Hot and grimy yet accommodative and welcoming…Chennai has many facets

Like the migrating bird is grateful for the land to rest its feet, some of us are grateful to this city for allowing us to dig in our feet. We love Chennai for its accommodating nature and welcoming attitude. Everyday I wake up to this city’s charm and recall my first day in Chennai.

On a Monday morning, seven years back, Chennai greeted me with heat, grime and noise. As a googly-eyed fresher in college, there was too much change happening and I was frightened by so many thoughts. Everything was new and scary. Leaving home was difficult, but living in an unknown city, in an unknown space with strangers was even worse.

Chennai Central. It is the first glimpse and the last vision of Chennai for many who visit this city for different reasons. The big red building in movies has been a welcoming space for many first timers like me. But loud noises, strange odours and screaming voices — it was almost enough to send me back home. But something made me stay. With time, I started appreciating the positives of this city. And before I knew it, I was in love — with this city.

The city worked its magic on me very slowly. As it did for many others. The city may frighten you at first with its varied culture and vastness. But slowly she makes sure that this newcomer is given a taste of freedom and responsibility.

Agrees Tracy who initially had her reservations about shifting from Mumbai to Chennai. “The weather is too hot, the auto kaarans too rude and the people conservative… In other words, it wasn’t my beloved Bombay. But over the years, I have learnt to love and appreciate things that are uniquely Chennai. From the filter coffee to the cheaper movie tickets and local trains which are never too crowded, to the people of Chennai who are rarely in as big a hurry as most Bombaywallahs are.”

The city is unlike the other metros in its pace and culture. If Bangalore is a melting pot, and Mumbai a mixed chaat, then Chennai is a well-blended cup of coffee in every sense. The city gives you a good combination of food, art and love. For a traveller, Chennai is the place which satisfies all these elements. She lures the food lover with her specialities ranging from kothu paratha to idli sambar. For the art lover the city’s contribution to Indian music and art is well known. In short, she caters to the aesthetic needs of every soul in the city.

For a working person in Chennai, he or she might like this city for a different reason. Anju treasures the memories of this city with her best friend. The city gave a new angle to friendship and life. Something to smile about when she left the city.