Little Miss Sunshine!!

A pinch of salt, a spoonful of sugar,a mixture of condiments,a dollop of cream... so are my stories, so are my dreams!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An ode to the city I call HOME

To meet, to know, to love and then to part,
is the saddest tale of many a human heart
- Anonymous

Adieu, Adiós, Sayonara, Alvida, khuda hafiz.....Goodbye!!

This is not a post that talks about how much I hate to say a farewell, since I am leaving for US in a month from now, but this post is about the 10 best things I have always liked about Chennai... a city that has pretty much given me everything!

1. The Beach
Yeah that’s right Asia's longest beach tops my list.... one of the best hangouts at Chennai and its FREE!! No entry fee! Unless of course u wanna have food at planet yum... but the best time to see the beach is under the starry sky, makes you wonder at nature's profound never-ending miracles. Be it marina, Besant Nagar, Mahabalipuram or a private beach at one of the ECR resorts, these sandy shores are just an hours drive from anywhere within the city. Where else would you get this luxury???

2. The Temples

This city has never lost its old world charm. Though we have paved the way for IT revolution we still abide by and coexist with tradition...That’s one of the most charming things about this city. We still have famous temples such as Kapaleeswarar temple, Shri Parathasarathy temple and Vadapalanai temple which are visited on almost all auspicious occasions. Some of the temples are even as old as 1000 years but our everyday lives still revolve around these architectural wonders of the yester years and in a way we are proud of our rich cultural and literary tradition.

3. Shopping

Chennai is truly a shoppers paradise... shoppers stop, Globus, our very own pondy bazaar(where a 500 rs item can be bought for 50 rs if you know how to haggle) and i don even have to mention Spencer Plaza which has been here for over a 100 years now has become quite the nickname of Chennai. Of course if you get into one of these places u really can’t come out but it’s a great hangout anyways and one of Chennai’s specialties ... within a radius of about 2 kms T.Nagar has almost anything and everything you will ever need in your whole life.

4. Multi cuisine food

Be it saravana bhavan or subway, Sangeetha or little get almost any cuisine here and truly the best of them. Although nothing can really beat a Ghee roast or hot hot idlies with sambar.... No wonder Indian food is still considered a delicacy in many countries. Sometimes i get the feeling our kind of cooking involves 100 different ingredients and to make three courses of such food items, each cooked in a different style, truly involves humungous amount of time and effort....Never know how our moms manage it. havent asked her about it coz im afraid she will say "No its not that hard. Why don u give it a shot?"

5. Bustling with life

I have never seen a city more alive and bustling with life as Chennai is( haven’t seen Mumbai though) . Life on the roads starts as early as 4 am when the milk van makes a round of the around 5 am, school students start going for tuitions classes. By 9.30 the traffic reaches such levels that you are forced to drive through the roads inch by inch until you reach the destination....I will miss Chennai’s traffic the most….it kinda wakes u up from sleep on your way to the office :-)

6. Filter coffee

Chennaiites are coffee lovers....We like coffee even in our desserts (Tiramisu :-)). Ever since I was 3 yrs old the first thing I have seen in the morning is my dad having a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. We have lots of cafes springing up all over the place but nothing can take the place of a well brewed hot hot cup of filter coffee that my mom makes early in the morning.....

7. Cinema

Cinema is very much a part of every chennaite's life....We wait months for the release of a movie and even pay hundreds to catch the first day first show amidst all the fan frenzy atmosphere in the theatre...but gone are the days when going to a movie meant standing in queue for hours to get a ticket. Everything has become simpler with the advent of internet. Theatres have become a lot more customer friendly and multiplexes cater to almost everybody’s taste in entertainment. Though the food items are atrociously expensive, watching a movie has become more of an experience to savor.....

8. Auto

Boon or a bane, they are here to stay. Nothing to beat an auto ride through Chennai’s very own tortuous roads filled with potholes on a rainy day. No one can stop them from asking almost triple the usual cost if they find out you are new to Chennai....but some are very interesting to talk to. Some really have an opinion on almost everything. I have even come across an auto driver who has a light music troupe and goes to Malaysia for singing.... but one thing is for sure, any day, anytime you walk out of your home, you can hail an auto to reach any destination(as long as you are ready to pay them!)

Whether you love them or hate them you just can’t ignore them! :-)

9. Rains

Rains????? In Chennai??? You might wonder if that’s a joke.....Accepted they are very rare and far in-between but we do enjoy rains when it pours down. I still remember my schooldays when they used to let us off early due to rains and we used walk with a schoolbag and a raincoat, play in the puddle, get drenched in the downpour, watch the weather report at home and pray fervently that we should have a cyclone the next day so that all schools will be on leave.... Of course there might be power cuts during rains but then u have electricity everyday, rains come only once in a blue savor it when it comes!

10. People

All through the hustle and bustle of everyday life, if only we take the time to look around us at an autowallah or the flower vendor we can understand what life is truly all about.... most of them I have spoken to have come to Chennai in search of jobs, to earn a living. I think that’s one of the remarkable characteristics about this city. For the past 200 years people have been pouring into this city in search of a better life, in pursuit of happiness and have made this place what it is today. It is truly incredible that these people have still not lost touch with their roots. They have not forgotten to smile and lend a helping hand….

Many still crib about life being difficult in this metropolitan with the crowd, competition and hectic life schedule but I would only say "What’s life without a little challenge? Can we do without a pinch of salt in our food? Then why shirk it when it comes to life as a bigger picture?!!!"

The old chennai (mount road in 1905)

Chennai now (current view of mount road)


  • At June 27, 2007 at 10:07 AM , Blogger chandrasekaran said...

    Hi anu, the title Ode to the City is really very interesting. You have brought out the scenic beauty
    of chennai,which I have been experiencing for over 50 years.

    You have depicted the charasteristics of the city in a very intrinsic way.

    I really love this unique post.

  • At June 27, 2007 at 3:59 PM , Blogger Dushti said...

    Bloghopped from CM-chap. Your post brings me back lots of Madras memories :-)

  • At June 27, 2007 at 9:21 PM , Blogger CM-Chap said...

    Anu... Simply Awesome. What else I can say... Fabulous. I miss Chennai.. Waiting to land back there soon. Hmm It made me realize what I'm missing for past 6 months... Marina Beach, Sangeetha, Mandaveli, IT Highway, Spencer's, Elliot's Beach, Walk in Boat club road and Bishop garden... Hmm few more months to get back all this.

  • At June 27, 2007 at 9:25 PM , Blogger CM-Chap said...

    Advance Welcome to North America... World of Pizzas, Burgers, Credit cards....

  • At June 27, 2007 at 9:54 PM , Blogger Anu said...

    Thx....The intent of the blog was to bring back memories when a person reads through it...glad to have achieved it!

    Welcome! glad u liked it...keep visiting...

    thx :-) yeah i guess ill miss chennai too when i land there....

  • At June 27, 2007 at 11:36 PM , Blogger CM-Chap said...

    Yah defntly u will. So have as much as South Indian food now itself... by the way just nw updated my new post... I stood by the promise.Ha Ha

  • At June 28, 2007 at 12:37 AM , Blogger BKa said...

    Gr8 post Anu... Chennai is a wonderful city... Right from temples to beaches everything about the city is special.

  • At June 28, 2007 at 1:06 AM , Blogger Nivi said...

    "What’s life without a little challenge? Can we do without a pinch of salt in our food? Then why shirk it when it comes to life as a bigger picture?!!!"

    Exactly... like u said its the roads,the traffic,the innumerable credit card phonecalls, the food, the coffee the everything tht i am gonna miss.. whats life without certain imperfections huh..i love chennai just the way it is ..well maybe the auto guyd can reduce theier fare a wee bit ;)
    awaesome man.. great adieu!!

  • At June 28, 2007 at 1:29 AM , Blogger Anu said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At June 28, 2007 at 1:30 AM , Blogger Anu said...

    hmmm very true! btw checked out ur post :-)

    Thx da.:-)did u actually read it fully??? :-)

    yeah there is somethin very endearing about imperfections that makes us feel as if somethin is not going right if its not present :-)

  • At June 28, 2007 at 2:04 AM , Blogger navien said...

    Gr8 post anu!! Gud title too!!

    Yeah chennai s a wonderful city. The early start of life in chennai everday s one of d characteristics i like more abt chennai..True tat chennai city houses all d wonderfu temples , beaches n restaurants tat u said.

    Only one thing i dislike abt chennai is its weather..bein hot almost for 10 months :-(. Otherwise this will make it still more a happenin city.

    Take as much southindian food as u can before u leave:-)

  • At June 30, 2007 at 11:01 AM , Blogger Ramesh said...

    hey radha...

    different post.... different frm wat i thought... gud one..very well
    told abt chennai....

    All d the best for ur future..

    we ll miss u....

  • At July 1, 2007 at 1:54 AM , Blogger Sesh said...


    Singara chennayin azhagu endrum maaradhadhu endrum, merugerugiradhu(azhindhum varugiradhu) endru nandraaga koori irukkiraai :)

  • At July 2, 2007 at 10:06 PM , Blogger Anu said...

    of course ill miss u guys too!!! im seriously thinking on the parcel idea:-)

    aha enna thathuvam!!!:-)

  • At February 8, 2009 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

  • At October 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Hi I'm Steve said...

    hi anu great blog but I believe you havent writen in a are you back in chennai?


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