Chennai Aka Madras celebrated its 370th Birthday yesterday and it just slipped out of my overloaded brain. I decided to give the post a miss, but it’ll be unfair of a Die-hard Chennaiite!
The very word Chennai brings a mélange of emotions. A city where the old and new co-exist with ease. It is a multi-faceted place, ever changing, yet sticking onto its roots. A city where every event is a moment of joy and celebrations galore! We the people of Chennai symbolize what is called the – Case of Contrasts and Extremes.
Chennai is – I really don’t know. The words don’t seem to flow for some strange reason. Not because of my inability to think, but because, its such a complex place that, it cannot be summed up in one little sentence!
Madisar Maami & Mini-skirt Chick, Lungi & Armani, Sundal & Sushi, Kapaleeshwarar Kovil, Thousand Lights Mosque & the Velankanni Church, Saravana Bhavan &The Park, Satyam Theatre & Raaki Theatre. SRK & Rajnikanth, Sunda Kanji & Chivas Regal, Potti-Kadais & Swanky Malls, Poli Samiyars & Art of Living, Marina Beach and Mayajaal. Did I miss something? Yes! Tasmac and Dublin!
People tread these paths with equal ease, and know how to strike that balance. There is something about this city, which is inexplicable. The minute you step out, a sweeping feeling takes over. I think it’s called “Magic of Chennai”.
Living in Chennai, is as good as being in paradise. It’s safe as an oyster shell. An unshakable belief in people, that nothing can go wrong with the city. An epitome of warmth, it welcomes everybody with open arms. Chennai means different things to different people. You can belong to any category, and still fit in like hand in glove. Dint I just mention Chennai magic- This is it!
It’s “THE” place to be in. You can do just about anything. For the sake of simplicity and thanks to my assignment hangover I’d classify it into the following categories.
1) The Food: Ah! A foodie haven. Fried prawns on the beach, five star cuisine, Mexican, thai, continental, sundal, the filter kaapi, the unbeatable idli Vada combo! Everything just falls into place. You can be a high flying business executive or a ever broke college kid. There is something to fit in your budget. You’ll never go hungry here!
2) The Roads: Do you like the latest pulsar Ad? Want to try out those stunts sometime? No worries bring your bike here. Riding is as good as performing stunts! Left la signal pottu, right la kaiya pottu, straighta pora pasanga :D Zig-zag-zoom is what we do every day.
3) Shopping: If you are a shopaholic, please come! Pondy bazaar road side porukkals, Westside, Lifestyle. The choc-a-block T-nagar. Budgetary constraints are best forgotten. You can do a whole range of shopping with just 200bucks, provided you have the ability to mill in the crowds!
4) The Beaches: Chennai is one of those luckiest cities in this whole wide world. We have a beach in almost every area. The Besi and Marina being the pick of the lot. These places are breeding grounds for – romance, kalla kadhals, football and cricket matches, gossip, fitness freaks; the fortune tellers- all find solace in this place. You can never get enough of it!
5) The Movies: We’re movie maniacs! There are so many thalas and only one thalaivar. The undisputed Cinema Paradiso. Movie releases are as good as festivals. Larger than life cut outs, Abhishegams, vitta prasadam kudu kudupom :D
6) The Transport: Monstrous MTC busses, MRTS , Share autos, Autos, Share vans! If you are lucky, a bike or car of your own. Travelling in these are the best forms of adventure. F1 will lose out on its charm if they see our Chennai drivers fighting it out on the roads.
7) The Police Mama: You spot them at signals. If its month end, don’t perform any of the stunts mentioned in point-2, they’ll fleece. They’re sometimes the nicest people around.
8) The Auto Drivers: This should’ve been my first point. They’re the specimens. The Brand Ambassadors of the city. Mess with them; you’ll never get away with it. With exorbitant rates, coupled with bad driving skills, they rule the city!
9) The People: Everybody is a star! You can participate in a tv show and become popular. All we need is fodder for gossip. :P Chennai-vasis love our fellow people. Be it street fights, fighting over pots of water, we rule!
10) The Rains: How did I miss this?? When it rains here, it really does! Clogged roads, over flowing drains, crowded streets. Yet life goes on as smooth as ever. Everything gets a coat of fresh paint in this season. They look nice and clean. Water does the trick. This is when point-9 people take maximum advantage of you.
All said and done, Chennai can never be described in any number of words. No matter how much you say, something still goes unsaid.. That is what the city stands for. Just when you think, you’ve figured it out, it springs up a surprise. Chennai may not be a Mumbai or Bangalore. But its “Chennai” Unique in everything- Language, culture, people, lives.
This is where I truly belong. No matter where work takes me, I’ll still come back here. Buy a house right in front of Besi-Beach and live there for the rest of my life!!
Chennai, I LOVE YOU!!