Madras was almost like my summer camp when I was in school. My mom hails from the great city and every summer holidays I would be sitting in the madras mail to visit my relatives. But it was later when I went to Chennai that I started falling in love with the place.
“Eeeeee … Chennai .. !!! Wahan kaise koi reh sakta hai(how can anyone live there)” is the usual reaction I get from people living in the northern/western part of the country. I guess they have their own pre-conceived notions to support their views. I guess language and food habits would have to be the primary factor for their opinions. The language part again opens up a huge debate always. And I too have my complaints against the city for that. How a state chooses not to associate itself with the language which is followed in most part of the country amuses me. Well that is the diversity all keep talking about I guess. But again things are changing slowly. It’s not only the pawn brokers, who were called “shets” ,who are the hindi speaking public in the city. Thanks to IT again I guess. I even heard Mr. Karunanidhi reciting a few lines in hindi the other day. Beat that!
The city today is a confused one, if I may put it so. One side of it is still highly glued to the traditions and the customs it is associated with. While the other wants to break free into the next generation. I remember how a news coverage on how guys n girls get tango in pubs and disco made a huge roar out there in the media. Duh, What do they expect would happen there? Margazhi Festival Bhajans !! ? If you are a big fan of night life, then Chennai probably isn’t the city you are looking for. Although there are enough pubs n discs out there, it wouldn’t even come close to being a party animal’s paradise.
But what you will find in Chennai is warmth of the people. I am not sure how many would agree with me on this. But I find the people in Chennai to be really warm. Sure there would be exceptions, but the helping mentality of the Chennaiaites needs to be applauded. They would go out of their way to help you, especially if you are a stranger to the city. The love for the cinema is the other thing you would notice here. No wonder so many CMs of the city have been associated with movies. And there are more to come. I think only A.P could give competition to Chennai in their hero worship. The city produces lot of talent in whichever field you look at. Movies, music, politics, Business management, sports .. You name it and there would have to be a tamilian who would figure in the top 5 list of it.
The place would not fetch high ratings when it comes to climatic conditions either. Almost half of the year would be summer there. That is the only reason which would hold me back from settling down there! For the place has everything else I would want. Movies (Of all languages), theatre, live concerts, pubs, temples and most important of all Beaches!! Do not miss out on the east coast road which stretches between Chennai and Pondicherry. So many amazing beach resorts cover the place. Paradise for beach lovers like me. The marina beach and the besant nagar beach in the city are not the small ones like you find in many other cities.
The sound infrastructure in the city is a great plus. Whichever government comes into power, it always takes care that the roads and other infrastructure do not get a hit. Still much needs to be done to accommodate the huge population of the city. The pull between the conservativeness and the flamboyance of the youth makes it a highly interesting place to live in.
Song for the occasion: I could live here from Bombay dreams / Swargame endralum adhu nammoora pola varuma!!