Chennai, Oh Chennai

Not the most creative title but then just wanted to get into this post without further ado because it has been a long time coming…
Many people and that included me too doubted and absolutely feared me landing in Chennai and for once they weren’t fearing for the good people of Chennai but plainly just for me. Yes I am an Armyman’s son and change and adapting is all but second nature but this was truly my first big move. My first job, my first shot at taking care of my own life and that tiny thing of adjusting to a new city. The language, the people, the food, the WEATHER!! The list was endless of all the things that would take a lifetime to get used to. I will not disagree that it’s has not been a smooth transition because it has been sparkling. For some strange reason which many are still befuddled about, I fell in love with this place the moment I stepped onto it. You can attribute it to the fact that I was picked up in a snazzy car and had an amazing friend waiting at the station for me to do the bargaining with the coolie while I admired the crazy atmosphere. But as my friend took me out of the station like a child being taken to a fair, I immersed myself into what would become ‘daily life’ soon. Chennai unlike any other city I have been to, maybe you can add Mumbai to it, had a strong pumping heart to it. The city was a city in a village in a metropolitan in a country full of small villages separated by a modern city, some sewage and a whole bunch of urban dwellers and pure hearted villagers. That is the best way to describe this city which is the reason the science of physics has found a fourth dimension, just to explain what is happening here.
I live and work on what many will say the other end of Chennai, while we here will say you guys live in the other end of the world. So putting it into geographical perspective, the heart really is the Nungambakkams, Mount Streets, Parrys Corners of the world while the T Nagars and the Anna Nagars are well, the Nagars and the Thiruvanmiyurs, Adyars, Besant Nagars is home. That will sound like absolute nonsense to a blue eyed Chennaite but to me it was just so cool that I could name and spell all the places in one go. Getting back to what is important is that the much spoken about government/s in the state which are basically, two (you know who), revolve like a game of musical chairs in which the final two keep running and the music just doesn’t stop. Well one of these geniuses are the ones who sanctioned the entry of IT in Chennai, ensured it was away from the city, built a home for it and said, ‘Listen you modern non - traditional little brat, I know you are going to spoil the other children in the house so I’m going to put you in a separate room away from the others. You can come to our side once in a while for stuff you don’t have there (theatres!!) and we will come once in a while to check on you. So you make your own living, call your kind of friends and we shall live happily ever after.’ Well the conversation happened in Tamil but that is all I could translate and basically that was the birth of what is now ‘my side of town’.
I have found myself a living abode in Thiruvanmiyur with all the luxuries I could ask for around me. Bessie beach - 10 minutes away, restaurants – you name it, we have it, essentials – so what is essential for you? and all the heart could desire. In all I am living in just the right place where every bachelor has ever dreamt of living. My little penthouse on the third floor of this house is where it all comes together as I walk into what already feels like home everyday. A great set of friends from my past and present (you know who) have also made life a breeze. I have discovered many a thing in very little time and I would like to share it with future aspirants of Chennai:
• Public transport rocks which include my favourite – share autos, buses – with strange numbers though!! and the train service – not crowded like Mumbai and much cooler.
• Egg burjee is egg bodimaas. They will refuse to understand burjee.
• Biriyani is generally Briyani
• All medical stores do home delivery. ALL!
• Movie tickets will never be more than 120 bucks. Even in multiplexes. Even on Fridays.
• Taking a walk into random lanes is an absolute treat.
• The cops can be bribed. Wait!! That is everywhere
• The streets are really wide.
• The CCD in the IIT is dirt cheap and Sparkys on a Friday is like heaven on earth
• Pondy is closer than you can imagine and more heavenly than you can imagine.
• Drinking is difficult as there are very few wine stores and the pubs aint cheap but then isn’t forbidden love always more exciting.

And finally, if you walk into this city with an open mind there is no way you can’t love it. It’s got its problems but just become a part of it and you will love the problems and I know I’m speaking a tad bit too early but I can’t wait for what’s yet to come. Now that would be the summer, right?
Yevlo, Venda, Naire, Ponnam, Sollringha.. Yup that is all you need for the first few months.