Monday, December 10, 2007

The Shringaram about Chennai.

People, people every where, not a soul to stop around; that’s Chennai in a phrase to me. Every time I visit this place, the space has crunched further and people have expanded mercilessly beyond what the city can hold. Time seems to be a friend, long forgotten and nothing seems to stop to at least sigh. I don’t really care if you head up against me in the road as long as you don’t damage my car. I have no reason to tell you have been driving like mad because everybody does. People and more people, I was one among them and I had to like every 5 minutes, push myself a little harder to keep with the pace; when I had to place order for my food, when I had to ask the cab driver if he would take me to a place, when I was using the ATM or when I was paying my bill, there is a natural fast belt that keeps life on the move in here. Chennai, I would say, is a people’s city, the growth, the uplift in life style, the ever increasing space-constraint and all the facts that make the city as wonderful as it is, well, I can only think of one reason, people and more people.

It’s a cool December week, slowly creeping over the weekend and thankfully the climate plays a friendly host. I do not know the city. I don’t think I would ever, but I pretend to do so, conveniently when I speak to people and I believe it is to safe guard the lie that I knew the city and you couldn’t cheat. “This is not my kinda place, ma” I heard myself tell amma when she was talking about how quick the returns would be if you invested in Chennai’s real estate. When I told her I would rather invest in a place like Coimbatore, I saw her sigh and I think she told appa that I was hopeless in building money. Yea, that I am, I always knew that.

But strangely and almost always, I feel at home when I stray around the streets in Chennai. And coincidentally I have rarely had to put up with the city’s summer, prompting me to count another reason to like or dislike the place. I think I like it, I really do, but not in comparison with the other cities I have lived in. I expect more space and a relaxed pace to live life. I wouldn’t want to spend more time traveling than I would in the actual destination. I wouldn’t mind if it was crowded. But I need to have that time to stop and talk to a person, if in need. I don’t know, Bangalore is nothing short of crowded either. And the traffic is crazier because there is lesser space. People sprint for a hide-out which gets more crowded on weekends than how an office would be on a week day. I still have a never-ending crush for the place.

There is something new Chennai has in store for my each visit. The new mall Citi Center resembled Forum to me but surprisingly less crowded. I think I feel nostalgic about Spencers every time I visit and hence would choose to say Spencers remains the hottest spot to hang out despite getting a little older and withered. After hanging around the multiplex-and-branded-stored-malls for a day, it was and it has always been excitingly convincing and tiring at the same time to bargain and do street shopping through Pondy bazaar. After all, what would a trip to Chennai mean sans buying loads of goodies.

After a couple of days of romancing with the Singara Chennai, it was time to pack off and leave. On my way back from the city, my cabbie wants to know if I belonged to the place. I smile and give him a No. We were driving through Sterling road, Nungambakkam and the lights and the hoardings were brilliant.
“Can we reach in one hour ?”, amma asks him looking at the blocked traffic. He politely says, ‘I will try ma’ and the next half an hour he took us through the shortest but bumpiest routes possible, or at least we believed, to avoid the wait at signals so we get to board the flight in time. We smile at him thankfully after paying and he asks “inime eppo varuveenga?” (When will you come again)”.
Varuvom, seekrama”, Appa replies (We will, soon ), signing ourselves out of the city.

Yet again, I get convinced by the truth that this is the thing that brings life to the popularly favorite Chennai, its people.


PurpleHeart said...


Santosh said...

so you liked chennai and the post says that you had a gala time in chennai :)
Chennai was the reason for such a long time since you wrote any post.

whAt A LiFe said...

Chennai is a great place to visit. Many of my friends have visited the beautiful country and mentioned so many stuffs. Definitely, its in my holiday list...

Anonymous said...


Chennai, happens to be a city I have laearned to love. Or did I have any chioce: I was born in Chennai.
I have also stayed in Chennai for two years from 1998 - 2000. Could relate to most of the post. I wasn't impressed with city centre when i visited last. Spencer plaza is off course all time favorite.

Vasanthan said...

i was in a illusion that i could escape busy Singapore and file refuse in India. but i guess i am wrong. in terms of traffic Indian roads are the busiest in the world. but in terms of work Singapore is God-like! i spend more time in the office then anywhere in the world.
my colleague told me "if i my wife asks for a divorce, i am claiming the damage from the petty cash in this company!".

Smi said...

hey sweets, thank youuu..

So now i will ask when are you leaving the amnjikkara local and coming over?

JollyRoger said...

Hey finally a post about Chennai that is not overdone with negativity!!! Loved your post as much as I like this place. After a lot of thought and stretching my budget like a rubber band I decided property in Chennai was beyond my reach and am opting for Coimbatore too.

Do visit us more often. : )

Yasser Rahman said...

Chennai is a wonderfull place. I was born in Bangalore, but Madras is what I call home. I've lived all my life here, and Im proud to be Madrasi ! :P But yes, like you said, its the people that make this city a better place to live in everyday, and Everyday I fall in love with this city..more and more. And amma is right, Chennai is the place to invest your money, much better than Coimbatore if you ask me :)

Yasser Rahman
Connection Point

PurpleHeart said...

Santosh, Yes i did ! :)

Shantini, Ohh u must, u know !!

Kulpreet, Totally !!

Vasanthan, Indian Traffic is heading towards the top notch when it comes to time consumption, yea !! And thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Smi, Hold on !

Jollyroger, I will u know :) Thnak you !

Yasser, hmm...i can make out u still like to call the city Madras. It's a mix of everything and I can understand what it means to people who live there :) Thanks for stopping by.

Honey Bee said...

OOOps so you were in Chennai.. Lemme know the next time you ar ein Chennai.. If I happen to be ther.. may be WE ( I, U and Scribbler) can meet..if it ok with you 2

And am back..oops you are tagged

PurpleHeart said...

That's a fabulous idea, Honey ! Next time, we shall !!

Bungi said...

You were in Chennai and didn't look us up?!!! Tsk tsk...

I love Chennai too. What i love about it is, i can choose the pace i want to go at.

One of the things you should do is, go to the beach by yourself and sit there for some one hour... Probably some late afternoon or early evening... Better still, catch the early morning sunrise...

seahorse said...

'The people'....very rightly said.