Madras

Yesterday, just as I started typing a post for Madras Day, there was a power cut. When it came back within 10 minutes, I started again when the current went off again! When the same thing happened for a third time ( 😦 ), my Dad said, ‘Power cuts, bad roads, traffic jam, crappy ‘Hindu’ newspaper, Cooum River. This is Madras. You might as well write a post on that.’ But, I said, ‘There are two sides to every coin. 😛 ’

A walk down the Boat Club Road, Greenways Road, IIT Campus or along the sea shore in Marina Beach, Elliots Beach. Watching the waves, getting drenched on the salty sea water in the beach. Driving in Kotturpuram Road during non-peak hours. Kapaleeswarar Kovil, Parthasarathy Swami Kovil, VaLLeeswarar, Marundheeswarar, Virupaaksheeswarar, Agastiyar Kovil, Kesava PerumaL, Madhava PerumaL temples (the list is endless). The ubiquitous Ganesha ‘temples’ at every other street in the city. The Gulmohar, pink-coloured flowers in Thoongumoonji maram (don’t know the English name), and the yellow flowers (again, don’t know the name) in full bloom in many parts of the city during Spring or whatever the season is.

Shopping at Nalli, Kumaran, RMKV, Pothys, Chennai Silks, Naidu Hall, Krishna Collections or Roshanlals, Her Choice, Moksha or Saravana Stores, Jeyachandran Textiles or the platform shops in Pondy Bazar or one of the many small shops in the ever-crowded Ranganathan Street. Eating out at Saravana Bhavan, Sangeetha, Woodlands, Mathura, Palimar, Eden, Gangotri. Ice creams at Freeze Zone, Snofield, Milky World. 😀 Sweets at Grand Sweets, Shree Mitai, Surya Sweets, Sri Krishna Sweets, Adyar Ananda Bhavan. Food World/Spencers Daily, Nilgiris. Flowers, fruits, vegetables in abundance at the Koyambedu market.

The fruits/vegetables/flowers vendors who take the money from you with a smile when you happen to be their first customer of the day. Fighting with Auto drivers and feeling triumphant when he agrees to the fare that you say. During concerts, hearing Mylapore Maamis boast about their son/daughter settled in US or discuss about what’s happening in Mega Serials. The bus conductor who refuses to give you 50 paisa change. The poor people missing bus after bus at the bus stop, hoping that at least the next bus doesn’t turn out to be a Super Deluxe or an Express bus. The shopkeepers in the platform shops with whom you can bargain endlessly though still he gets to win in the end most of the times. The road-side Romeos who stare and shamelessly sing loudly whenever a girl passes by. 😐 The traffic police who is never present when there’s a traffic jam.

The December Music Season. Kutcheris at Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Asthika Samajam, etc. Movies at Satyam, Udhayam, Melody, Mayajal, Devi. Travelling by PTC bus with friends, while bunking college, chatting with them and at the same time, having an eye on your purse lest it gets stolen. Hunting for projects, during college, in all the shops in Ritchie Street. Roaming around aimlessly at Spencers or Citi Centre with friends. Trains at Egmore, Central, Tambaram, Mambalam stations. School excursions to Guindy Park, Snake Park, Planetarium, Vandalur Zoo, Museum, VGP, Mahabalipuram.
And above all, my home sweet home! 🙂

This is Madras for me and I love this city very much. Sorgame endraalum adhu nammoora poala varumaa? 😉

Wishing all the Chennaiites a belated Happy Madras Day and a very Happy Madras Week! 🙂

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34 Comments

  1. August 23, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Very good post 😉

    You have covered almost entire south madras. But how many times you have crossed over to the other side? 😀

  2. Sangs said,

    August 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Agreed on the food part.absolutely heavenly to eat masala dosa without red chutney and non sweet sambar 🙂 .Btw,you forgot the thing I miss most about this city – Madras Tamizh !!! Majaavaana baashai 😉

  3. Sangs said,

    August 23, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    and,yea nice post btw,i liked the way u started it 🙂

  4. Sami said,

    August 23, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Very Nice post !
    I never new that these many temples in Madras ! Never visited the temples in Madras except for Muppathamman kovil.
    and Yes shopping is ‘ONE OF THE BEST’ of madras
    //Fighting with Auto drivers and feeling triumphant when he agrees to the fare that you say// Yes 🙂
    Autos/Buses – for me worst things in madras and ofcourse the water problem.
    Heat & Sweat – Chalta hai BOSS ! 🙂
    But ennava irundhalum madra-a vittu kodukka mudiyathu 🙂

  5. Mahesh said,

    August 23, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    West Mambalam / Mylapore is an experience. Hearing a concert at Ayodhya Mandapam with the PRC making all sorts of noise.

    Marina Beach, the sundal there, and then a leisure walk to the or Sastri Hall to listen to a concert. Bliss. Marina Beach is the *best* beach in the world. I have seen a few, nothing is even close to the atmosphere generated by Madrasites!!! And to see a full moon whilst wetting your feet is theraputic.

    That big road Usman Road[?] with all them shops GRT [my mum spends more time there than at home I think], Saravana Stores [that big 7 storied one, where my Dad spends most of his time], I prefer all the fresh [god knows whether it is, but there ya go] food shops outside. Every time I spoil my stomach but worth it. Oh, I love Ranganathan Street!!

    My mouth waters now thinking of Milagai Bajji 🙂

    Good ole Madras. Any idea how *old* the city is?

  6. Sathej said,

    August 23, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Coming to the Kutcheri venues, two absolutely great venues you have missed – Musiri Chambers and Thyagaraja Vidwat Samajam(sitting down), Infact, they are two of my favourite venues.
    And yes, a nice encapsulation of all that’s Madras.
    Sathej

  7. SK said,

    August 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Wow, super post.
    Innikku Madras Day?

    I miss Chennai, boo hoo. :–((

  8. Ranjhith said,

    August 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    🙂 Super desc. Looks like, you have been in the flow. Actually, I’m little new to Madras. Hope you can be my travel guide. 😀

    > crappy ‘Hindu’ newspaper
    Ho! Hindu joins TOI? Too bad. Or is it just the Madras edition? 😛

    > yellow flowers
    I guess, some posts earlier, you found a name for it. Didn’t u?

    > Romeos who stare and shamelessly sing loudly whenever a girl passes by.
    Shudn’t this be like, Romeos who generously consider every girl who passes by as Juliets? 😀

    Anyways, Madras நல்ல Madras!

  9. Adiya said,

    August 23, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    hey

    thats the way to go ahead with life..
    what about electric train journey, stuffy seasonal items and so on so forth. I started my carrier rather searched job for two weeks in chennai after that somehow chennai didn;t like me :))

    சென்னை செந்தமிழ் மறவேன் என்னாளும் !!!!

  10. sangs said,

    August 23, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    but chennai can do without the roadside romeos.everytime i see one,i feel like going and stuffing their ogling mouth with dozens of spicy green chillies.

  11. sreekrishnan said,

    August 23, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    all said – well said – but why is this the chennai day ? Athukku munnala enna aachu ?

  12. Siva said,

    August 23, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    missing every bit of those places.. 😦

  13. arvind said,

    August 23, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    You missed my favourite – burma buzaar…
    i see some mini post being casted here..
    😛

  14. Naren said,

    August 24, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Wow..I still can remember guys calling me.”Evan Madras Paiyan” here at my current location..I always carry the pride in being Madras and Thiruvallikeni area…
    It’s need some disaster in me to remove the Sambhar smell of “Ratna Cafe”, sound of Marina waves, busy Zam Bazaar market, Beach side cricket, blessings from Parthasarathy, Thiruvateeswarar, Ragavendra temples..I would create another post about Triplicane..
    First time to this blog..made a memorable one..

  15. Bharath said,

    August 24, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    My first non-Maniratnam non-ARR comment on your blog 😀

    Im a Bangalorean – Been away from Bangalore for a couple of years and been in Chennai only for the past one and a half years… I love the place – I think its the second best city in India (catch a Bangalorean saying any city is better than Bangalore ha ha)… My favourite things about the city are the fantastic roads (Kotturpuram Main road, OMR, Mount Road and of course ECR being the top roads), semi-organized traffic, well organized flyovers/infrastructure… I think the traffic police do a great job – not exactly operationally but in their planning – the recent changes at Saidapet/Sardar Patel Road being case in point…

    Satyam, Saravana Bhavan food (the best Saravanas is on RK Salai – his coffee and Pongal are divine), Drives on ECR including to Mayajaal… Marina Beach on a cloudless day with waters rivalling Bali and Phuket… All the hep maamis at Music Academy 🙂

    And the fact that its a 3 and a half hour drive to Bangalore 😀

  16. Aparna said,

    August 24, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Ferrari,
    Thank you. I have crossed over to the other side only very few times 😉

    Sangs,
    Thanks 🙂 Madras Tamizh is one of the many things that I missed out in this post. Oru postla Madras patthi cover paNNa mudiyuma? 😉

    Sami,
    Thank you!
    :O I thought I had not even listed 1% of the temples in Madras! I think I can actually come up with a post on temples here since I have visited quite a few.

    Mahesh,
    There’s so much to write on Mylapore and Mambalam, isn’t it? 😉
    Btw, Madras is 368 yrs old.

    Sathej,
    Thanks. The etc. is supposed to cover all other venues 😉

    SK,
    Thanks 🙂 Aug 22nd is Madras Day

  17. August 24, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Presenting, Planet World–The Madras Edition.

  18. Aparna said,

    August 24, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Ranjhith,
    Thanks. Sure 😉
    Well, Hindu hasn’t been a favourite of many for a long time now.
    I am not talking about those yellow flowers here. This is different. And yeah, I missed out mentioning those yellow flowers (konrai) here!
    //Shudn’t this be like, Romeos who generously consider every girl who passes by as Juliets?// LOL. Actually, I should have written it as Road-side rowdies 😐

    Adiya,
    Has been a long time since I travelled by Electric trains.
    Btw, hope you liked Chennai even though the city didn’t like you 😉

    Sangs,
    Yup. I too feel the same!

    Sreekrishnan,
    Check this out: http://themadrasday.in
    Btw, how come ur initial is missing? 😛

    Siva,
    Hmmm

    Arvind,
    I missed that place since I haven’t gone there yet!

  19. Aparna said,

    August 24, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    Naren,
    Welcome to my blog! Thanks 🙂
    Waiting for your post on Triplicane!

    Bharath,
    Yes 🙂
    //catch a Bangalorean saying any city is better than Bangalore//
    same holds true for the people of every other city 😉
    //fantastic roads (Kotturpuram Main road, OMR//
    From when did OMR become a fantastic road?? :O
    Btw, I guess the last reason is the most important one for you liking this city 😛

    Daneel,
    🙂

  20. arvind said,

    August 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    oh..so bad…
    u may not be a big movie buff…

  21. praveen said,

    August 24, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Tats Madras….we r mixed wit both good n bad things in madras…without them madras isnt there….missing madras… 😦

  22. Sami said,

    August 24, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Yeah pls write about temples of madras !
    Though am a born chennaite, i dont know much about city except for west mambalam & t.nagar area. 😦

    This post had tempted me to write about Trichy, will come up with that soon… 🙂 But i have to dig up to early cholas to find the birthday of Tiruchi

  23. Adiya said,

    August 25, 2007 at 12:31 am

    i like places. i am geographically neutral person. i love places and its nusicances, gourments .. etc etc.. additionally chennai is our mother land also how can i say no. mm.. 🙂 appuram enga akka vera anga erukagina.. so its all related. 🙂

  24. sreekrishnan said,

    August 25, 2007 at 11:26 am

    yeah after Sang’s comments i am consciously trying to write my name alone … login id mail addr everything has this … pazhakka dohsam !!

  25. sreekrishnan said,

    August 25, 2007 at 11:29 am

    and checked the site – appo british vandhadhaala we celeb this day .. hmmm angilayergal aatchi!!

  26. Aparna said,

    August 26, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Arvind,
    Yup I am not

    Praveen,
    Welcome to my blog 🙂 Hmmm

    Sami,
    Sure. Please do write about Trichy. I have been to Trichy just once

    Adiya,
    🙂

    Sreekrishnan,
    Habits die hard 😛 Yeah

  27. planemad said,

    August 26, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    whoa, very nice.
    My favourite madrasi item is the food. lipsmacking and cheap 😀

  28. Aparna said,

    August 26, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Planemad,
    🙂
    Welcome to my blog.

  29. Aparna said,

    August 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Planemad,
    Welcome to my blog 🙂

  30. Vincent D Souza said,

    August 28, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Good to see so many blogs on Madras Day/Week.

    As the motivators behind this community event we are really happy with the amazing response to this unique city celebration.

    We hope it becomes bigger and bigger.

    Do visit our web site – http://www.themadrasday.in – there are pictures, blogs, notes and the Chennai 2007 T shirt on sale ( we welcome bulk orders from clubs, corporates, assns. because the first lot will sell out in a fortnight and we plan to order 300 more.

    I am at vincentsjottings.blogspot.com

  31. ananthuv said,

    August 29, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Nice post. If you want to have some insight into Madras of yesteryears (a few decades back), visit my blog. Happy living in Madras! 🙂

  32. Ravi said,

    September 1, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    ..100 % i agree with U … ” A …. A” … (am more fascinated by names startin and ending with A … ) .. i luv chennai as much as u do … as its where am defined .. happy chennai da .. though belated ..

  33. Aparna said,

    September 1, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Mr. D Souza,
    Welcome to my blog 🙂 It really feels great to have a day like this to celebrate our city!

    Ananthuv,
    Thanks. I can’t imagine Madras to have been like what you have written in your post! 🙂

    Ravi,
    Welcome to my blog

  34. Ravi said,

    May 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Madras is always Madras, no matter whoever changes it or calls it otherwise.

    Changes are so much irritating and make life more difficult . I always say Madras as I’m used to from childhood but people around me frown as I’ve uttered some obscene word.

    Well, If you don’t like british names or anything done by british then, why do you still celebrate Jan 1st as New year? We have seperate Tamil New Year right? Why don’t you destroy the high courts, railway tracks constructed by british & reconstruct from the start? Sounds stupid right… Same way, It sounds stupid to change from Madras to Chennai when both co-existed without any problem. Now , only Chennai exists . where’s my magnificent Madras? My DOB Certificate lists it as Madras. A’m I born in a city which does not exist? These changes promote regionalism & not nationalism… which will ultimately result in a separate Country ThamizlNadu(Once known as the State of Madras).

    Don’t know where will it End?


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