My Life, my dreams, my musings……..

July 17, 2009

Musings of a Madrasi-2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Shyamala N. @ 1:48 pm

You’ve not seen or experienced Madras if you’ve not shopped in T.Nagar. Wow!! Nothing gives a better kick than buying two bags full of stuff, without even a slight dent in your pocket! Of course, the durability of such stuff is dubious, but then, who cares??? You just go wading through the crowds and get jostled and trampled upon, but never, not even once does the idea of leaving strikes you. The above description is subject to planetary differences. I am talking strictly about Venusians. They don’t make shopaholics in Mars, you see. There is absolutely no means to differentiate the crowd that’s overflowing from the shops, and the one which is walking on the streets. And come “Aadi”, we put off everything else and shopping takes priority. Reason? The Aadi discount. The thing is, during Aadi one is now supposed to buy anything new. Marriage talks are put on abeyance in this season. But, but…the various shops play to their advantages. Practically everything’s on a sale in this season. Mobile phones, laptops, clothes, electrical appliances…you get a flat 5-50% off on anything you can lay your hands on. Who can resist such an offer? So we throng onto the shops, from 9 to 9 and come out with heavier hands and lighter purses, but most importantly, a smile of content on our faces. 🙂 . By the way, I bought my Nokia 7500 on Aadi sale only…got it for Rs.3000 less than the MRP!!!

Madras boasts of a beautiful blend of the old and the new. We have the aatukkal and the Wi-fi. Grandmothers use ammis while talking to their grandchildren on their mobiles. We have Dakshinchitra and Tidel Park. Automobile industries, IT Industries…you name it, we have it. We are the land of the Valluvar Kottam and Thousand Lights’ Mosque and the Fort St.George. Our proximity to the sea has given us the title of “Gateway to South India”. Madras’s climate is quite interesting; we have three climates like any other North Indian state, just that we call ours “Hot, Hotter and the Hottest”. You’ll find this fact interesting about us Madrasis. When we see a co-Madrasi, we talk to each other in English. I have no clue why we do so, but we  do so!! Ahh…how can I forget Tamizh, the language of us Madrasis! Tamizhukku amudham endru paeru”– Tamizh is known to be the nectar amongst all languages. Life is a celebration for us Madrasis, and most fascinatingly, so is death. Had it been our way, we’d have festivals all the 365 days.

Madras is a wonderful melange of different cultures. The agraharams of West Mambalam co-exist with the posh Nungambakkam. We are simpletons at heart. Yes, our auto-drivers charge 3 times the actual fare, but we mean no harm otherwise. Our MTC buses are by far the best networked ones. You can go to any A from any B, thanks to our meticulous bus networks. Our local trains are not as crowded as the Mumbai ones, so you definitely will get a seat. We have Hotel Saravana Bhavans and Anjappars sprinkled at all places; I’ve told you- we take our food seriously. In all, we the Madrasis are wonderful people to be with and to mingle with. 🙂

On a serious note, Madras is not just about the filter kapis or the bhavans and saagars which are so conspicuous on almost all the streets. Being a Madrasi is not just about speaking Tanglish or Engineelish , or being on a shopping spree all through the Aadi Maasam. There’s more to it. We are the harbinger of an age-old culture, of an ancestral pride which is called Tamil Nadu. We still hold on to our orthodox ways, and derive comfort from that. Change as we might, there are some things about the Tamil Culture (and the Tamil Platter too, which gives Pizza and pasta and Chowmein a run for their money :P) which keeps us rooted firmly to the grounds so carefully harnessed by our forefathers. No matter if Amma rules or Kalaignar, no matter if more Cognizants and Tatas sprawl in the city,  no matter the name changes from Madras to Chennai, we remain Madrasis to the core! Vaazhga India, Valarga Tamizh!!



  1. jus awesome!!To be honest,I had goosebumps,when I read the final para..ha..felt proud to be a madrasi!!!how striking it is even I wrote something abt Madras in my blog recently..(not surely this rangeeee) but then..why is it we are loving Chennai suddenly;)

    Comment by Benny — July 17, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  2. haha…thanks benny!
    maybe the fact that we are gonna leave madras soon, is driving us to write about the place we so love!! what do you say???

    Comment by Shyamala N. — July 17, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

  3. Exactly Shyamala!! even I felt that!

    Comment by Benny — July 17, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  4. Very well written! Enjoyable and lovely!

    Comment by Kalpana S — May 6, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  5. Very Well written …..loved it.U must have written something about the crazy ppls out there in madras.4 years f ma life @ Madras……i just misss that so much.

    Comment by Anup Udai — May 12, 2011 @ 11:53 am

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