Madras to me is…

My Journal:

In February 1986, I remember that as my first trip to Madras, I was in my middle school and was awe-inspired by the city and its massive and impressive icons and its people and its vibrant culture. That was a visit with my family for the purpose of getting blessings from the Pope John Paul – II who on his visit to Chennai addressed a huge gathering in the marina beach. The chennapatnam established over 374 years ago, the city of Madras and currently the city of Chennai is an enticing city with its enthralling attractions to the natives as well as foreigners.

My dad made sure that we visited the other tourist attractions like Vandalur zoo and Valluvar Kottam during that trip. Even though later in my life, I travelled to see even the world famous San Diego zoo in California, the Vandalur zoo has its own special place in my mind!

In mid nineties, I made my second trip to Madras to attend the counseling session in Anna University to do my M.Tech degree there. My next two years, I stayed in the PG Hostel of Anna University and enjoyed getting the taste of living in a metropolitan city. I just loved my college days, the canteen, the hostel, the redbrick buildings of Indo – Saracenic architecture, great friends to hang out with, all along in the carefree spirit of the youth …lovely days in Chennai.

The same year, I met my husband to be @ the Santhome church. It was an arranged marriage and in the dim light of the dusk that evening just outside the church, in the midst of my relatives and his, we took our first look at each other. It was meant to be, to live happily ever after.

In late nineties, I got married and went off to US. When we decided to return back to Incredible India, my husband opted for Chennai. Finally I made my home in Chennai.

To me, Madras has always been a place to celebrate the raga and the nardhana, the carnatic music and the bharathanatyam dance and a food lover’s paradise as well, from the olden days Buharis and woodlands drive in to today’s Junior kuppana. Madras has always been a great place for shopping and entertainment from yesteryears Moore market to today’s modern malls and bookshops such as Higginbothams to today’s Landmark and a stretch of wonderful theatres along the olden days Mount Road to today’s sathyam cinemas…

I love the city because it offers you a myriad of exotic arts and culture and tantalizing cuisine, magnificent heritage and cosmopolitan environment and peace and safety of a haven and wonderful, friendly people and the beautiful but ancient Tamil language, all at the same time with a modern touch as well. And to me, it is a great place because it holds special memories of my youth and today my daughter is creating her own magical memories of the place….!

Post by: Annie Leovalan, Runner Up Winner

The views expressed in the posts and comments of the Madras Week blogs do not reflect the positions or opinions of British Council. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. British Council is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied here.

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