we are a city that welcomes other languages. we dont differentiate based on what you speak. we dont even expect you to know our tamil. we take so much pride in communicating with you in bad hindi, non-french or madras english. we will never make you feel out of place because of the language you speak.
madras has the BEST food scene in india. we are NOT sticklers about serving sambar only one way. even the basic sambar gets served HSB style, kalyana style, udupi style etc depending on which place you step into to eat. we welcome atho points with as much gusto as puttu shops and spiral potatos. food is the truest emotions of us being cosmopolitan.
3. address enga irukku?
madras is the ONLY place i have NEVER struggled to find an address. sure google makes your life easy but have you ever asked “anna intha address enga irukku?” (translation: brother where is this address?) to an autodriver here? autodriver will size you up in one glance and give you directions based on which category you fall into
*novice : “confuse aagatha, go straight last left, anga auto anna kitta kelu” (translation: go the said distance and ask another autodriver for further instructions)
*konjam theriyum : “globus theriyuma, athukku next left, third right, straight, last left.”
*advanved level : “parallel road to barnaby road madam”
basha bhai was not wrong. auto drivers are truly a symbol of chennai. the nicest in the country!
say whatever, our traffic sucks less and is bearable most of the days!
5. beaches and beach activities
i LOVE the marina. for me marina is HOME. but i TRULY love how we have the wonderful beaches we do and how several beautiful activities bring people together despite all odds. everything from frisbee tounaments, covelong surf festival, beach cleaning to peaceful protests. it all happens where the sand meets the waves!
6. the makkal (people)
barring RARE aberrations, the makkal in madras are super awesome. we welcome you no matter what part of india or the world you are from. we accept you, we give you space and even imbibe food and culture from you. we have whole areas in chennai that are defined by the people from a different place and we dont differentiate. i have never felt at home as much given my tamil skin and tongue.
vandhaare nijamaave vaazha vaikkum chennai da! (if you come to chennai, we make you more than just live. we let yo thrive and be one of us!)
7. december season
the air changes in december. sure decembers are also now synonymous with water calamities but december means music festival. it means art, silk sarees, mallipoo (jasmine flowers strung to adorn hair), it means filter kaapi, it means music. the aura of love and divinity that settles over madras during the music festival is inexplicable.
8. arts, crafts and the works.
sure, most cities in india have theatre art and city walks. but madras is on vera level da. we are one of the few that still holds dear old school drama like the crazy mohan and YGP troupe along with new age theatre. we throng lit-fests and theatres fest by THE HINDU and also margazhi utsavasam with gusto to belt some great art and food. experience a unique side of chennai, when you experience the art and culture we have to offer.
the annual book fair in chennai is a more a tradition than just an event!!
9. red tape doesnt affect us. much.
we have nonsense that happens to us in our city just like the rest of the world. but at the core it doesnt affect us. any change that touches emotions are not easily accepted, if ever. you may see me fill up forms with chennai as the address, but it’s always madras. i know millions who still use old and OG names for roads and places.
oh and let me tell you one thing. madras la rendu periya railway station thaan. onnu egmore, innonu central.
10. anna nagar is part of madras.