The city is all about balance and moderation or conservative and fearful. And, plenty more, writes Sudhish Kamath

We’ve always sensed it. It’s now official. A recent study has observed that Chennai is the ‘City of balance and moderation’.

And Chennai citizens are “deceptive understaters”. As Mythili Chandrasekar, executive planning director, JWT Chennai, who steered the study, reveals: “Balance and moderation or conservative and fearful.

It all depends on your point of view. As one of our respondents said: ‘Chennai can be called the city of balance, I hate them calling the city conservative.’”

The JWT proprietary Brand Chakras study that set out to understand how citizens relate to their cities, examined Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata through the seven Chakra themes: Survival, Pleasure, Power, Love, Creative Expression, Transcendence and Spirituality.

Sharing some of the highlights, she dwells on some of the dichotomies that the research study revealed: Chennai chatters about cinema, politics and film stars, but shuts its mouth about weather, pollution and cleanliness; Is moralistic, but ignores problems related to women; Has a flourishing high society life which is hidden; Chennaiites think they are of superior intelligence but feel others should recognise and appreciate them; Is competitive but not openly so; Is friendly, but only to keep neighbourhood peace; Is helpful but wants gratitude; Wants to experiment, but not cross the line; Is seemingly self-satisfied, but always conscious that it is “not as fashionable as” or “not as progressive as” some of the other cities; There is still belief in the system, but people are fearful of speaking their opinions out too loud.

(The study involved interviews and focus group discussions amongst citizens of each city.

Brand Chakras is the first Eastern framework in consumer behaviour and brand study.)