Where familiarity does not breed contempt...

Recently I happened to visit Bangalore to attend my cousin’s marriage. Though I just stayed for three days, it made me realise my intense love for my native city — singara Chennai. I felt as if my independence, freedom and my rights were lost in the so-called beautiful city of Bangalore. If you are a true Chennaite, you will agree with me. Once I got off the train, it was impossible to manage without sweaters and scarves.

I couldn’t spot a single porter at 5:00 a.m. The taxi driver was “on time” and he gave us a proper prepaid bill — how could he be so prompt?! I decided to go on a brief walk to break the monotony of being in a bride’s home. There were no Pillayar or Perumal kovils on the streets; instead, there were only parks and playgrounds (how could those people live without free thayir saadhams and sakkara pongals?). Madisaar maamis and naama maamas were missing; stylish aunties and uncles were seen all over.

I took an auto rickshaw to meet my dad’s colleague and to my horror the meter was working! There were no traffic violations. Everyone obeyed the rules. They wore helmets and seat belts, and the buses were not crowded. I was charged only Rs. 69 for a eight-km journey.

Schools and colleges start only at 10 a.m. Shops open only after 9:00 a.m. Kandhasashti kavasams, suprabarthams, beautiful kolams, busy milkmen, road sweepers, roadside walkers were missing in the mornings. There were no platform vendors!

When I came back to Chennai, I needed no sweaters or scarf, porters were waiting to help us, people were haggling with auto and taxi drivers (he asked for Rs. 200 for a six-km journey), kovils, maamis and maamas were all here! And I exclaimed, “Oh, Chennai! How badly I missed you and I truly love you!”

S. Srimathi, I Year, B.Com, MOP Vaishnav College for Women