Madras to me is the people, the culture, the city by itself. Its un paused self, the magic of being at peace in spite of being on a constant run between the rewind and fast forward buttons. Madras gives me independence, peace and security; a sense of being me, the way it keeps me spirited yet rooted.
May be that is why it is still being called “Madras”, in spite of being named Chennai more than a decade ago. The lingering nostalgia is what appeals me the most. I love the fact that I can still go nuts over “filter kappi” at Maami’s mess and can equally yearn for the crunchy frappe at any of the CCDs dotting the city’s urbanscape. Every other day I find a brand new Kumbakkonam degree coffee outlet popping up in the city competing with the mochas and baristas.
The best restaurants in the city offer me chocolate dosas and Mulligatawny soups! I forget myself in the plays of the city’s theatre groups, and forget the world during the Margazhi kutcheries. These happen alongside live concerts playing retros and the endless jazz throughout the nights. The fragrance of the city is still from the Mallipoo shops, though mixed with the scents of the orchids sold alongside by high end florists.
The indo saracenic buildings stand tall alongside boxed and glazed office complexes. I am not taken aback when I see the “vaasals” of glass clad IT buildings donned with “kolams”. Oh yes, it is not just the streets of Mylapore that are decked up with kolams!
The love for jewellery is immortal in Madras, just that these days it just doesn’t offer me the yellow metal. I get my bling for best bargains in the streets of Pondy bazzar, I shop for the Boho chic and hippie looks from the gypsies in Besant Nagar and for classic ethnic temple jewellery from the lanes of Mylapore.
A city that is easy on its routine, invariably gives me new surprises every other day. The constants in the city are the sandy beach, endless summers, and music-be it carnatic or the “kuthu” and gets its varying shades from its simple and modest inhabitants-you can’t fail to fall in love with these men with big moustache, women with long hair for their warmth and hospitality.
Just a small visit to the city will make you fall in love with its people, the culture and their lifestyle. And I can promise you that, you will leave the city, if ever, only with a heavy heart. I am just thankful to the city and its people for I learnt-
LESS IS BORE, IN THE MADRAS I ADORE.
NEED EONS TO EXPLORE, FOR IT IS ALL YOUR.
Post by: Valaikodi
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.