Mad (at)About Madras

I hated Madras..with a vengence…I was clear I would never ever settle down there…the weather, the water, the rickshaw people, the crude Tamizh..everything about Madras was a strict no-no from me…

I would tell dad, I dontย care if you have been brought up there or studied in Anna malai university or IIT Madras…I am never going there ever…
I told my parents, even if I get married, I would never ever marry a guy who has been brought up in Madras..even if he was richer than Bill Gates…
so you do get the drift…RM refusing money is like the sun rising in the west or something

anyways…they searched for RD from Calcutta (RD is not even richer than forget about the Bill Gates threat hehehehe !) and then we settled in Mumbai..

and then R was born

and of course blogging happened…

And began my admiration for Madras commenced..

First it was ArtNavy . She used to be in Madras earlier and would post such wonderful happenings there, that I started slowly admiring the cultural richness of the place.

Then of course it was Apuย  of the Womensweb fame who was also earlier there and is there now and she was the one who made me change my view about Madras folks in general….she is such a wonderful person that I realised that all people from Madras are not rude ๐Ÿ™‚

And then of course as my blogging group grew larger, I met the wonderful Ratzz who actually sent across a birthday present to R even without knowing her…I realisedย  Madras folks are great

and then I met up with Vidya and Ratzz..and my love affair with Madras was full on..

I read SAB and Tharani and Sugar and Spiceย (who is officially still a Madras wali ) and summerscript (who again is not exactly there…areyou SS?)ย  and realised Madras folks are actually really reallyย sweet and fun and smart and lovely and what superb all this..of course my dad is from Madras and he is the bestest guy in the whole wide world ๐Ÿ™‚

The cultural richness of the place is amazing and few cities have so much for children and adults alike…the Tamizh is not crude but its just the way its spoken (Most people find my Hindi crude!)…the weather can be pretty decent (at least when I was there) and there is a way to handle the rickshaw fellows there…

The lovely literary fests, children’s workshops, Tulikaย publications, superb music and dance festivals, the Thyagarajaย festivals, the lovely streets still retaining the old world charm, the names of the streets retaining the British influence, the trains (much better compared to Mumbai), the shopping places, the lovely malliย poo on women’s hair (I hate flowers in my hair but love to see it on other people!), the bright colours that hurt the eyes :), the strong flavors of sambharย and the pungent smell of the puliodarai, the yummy onion sambharย (I eat that sambharย after removing the onions from it..I know I am weird!), the flufflyย flowery soft idlis, the crispy hot dosas,the spicy hot rasam, the crispy papadams, sundal on marina beach with a tinge of raw mango and lip licking lemon

ย … could I not like such a place *Idiot I am*

Madras, I repent hating you till about 2 years ago…I do love you now...and will come down to you whenever I can..kyon ki – party abhiย bakiย hai ๐Ÿ™‚



And to know if RM wants to choose her daughter’s friends click here


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68 Responses to Mad (at)About Madras

  1. Sumana says:

    Looks like RM is migrating to Madras/Chennai…..All of a sudden a post on Chennai. Nice.. Every city has its ups and downs, but the way you have described Chennai makes me take a trip to Sambar Sundal place.

  2. Seema says:

    I stayed in Chennai (I like to call it that) for almost a year and given a chance, I am ready to settle there for a lifetime. I love Chennai, I mean it! I started my career in that city. I lived independently for the first time in my life in Chennai. The infrastructure, the disciplined way of life, focus on culture, hospitality of people there….. I can go on and on and on! I worked in night shifts but never for a day I had apprehensions about safety. The security escort would wait outside the gate till I had entered home and locked the door from inside. I had some amazing neighbours and wonderful colleagues. They taught me Tamizh. I would go to office daily with a list of English sentences or words and they would translate it for me. So, you can always find me humming – “Chennai Super Kings ke periya whistle adaiynga…” (Please excuse any spelling mistakes)

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahh! I loved your take on Madras..and me for some strange reason just cant call it Chennai…I am trying ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thats why you understand so much Tamizh is it? Awesome

      • Seema says:

        Yes, that’s why I understand Tamizh so well โ“ :!:. I even speak the language, alright! (However broken it might be)

        And hey, you missed Kothu Parotta and layered Parotta, Hot Bajjis right off the piping hot oil on the beach and of course Chettinad food…. Yummm!

  3. VJ says:

    I am a true blue Madrasi too !!! You missed me in your list.. Boohoo !!
    Being born and brought up there and lived 22 years of my life there, I cant fault that place at all .
    I started reading your post and was thinking.. Oh no.. RM has got it completely wrong.. I need to educate her about Madras.. but was beaming in the end reading about the nice things you had to say !
    Considering I am always Madras sick (like home sick).. loved the post.. Made my day RM.

  4. summerscript says:

    hehe.. I am not a madrasi but love to call myself as a madrasi- is that possible? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Pls don’t remove my name from your blog now. Pls Pls. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I too love madras for so many reasons ๐Ÿ™‚ The main reason is that so many ppl I really really love are in chennai.
    Once one of my friend visited chennai and she gave me some really bad comments. It hurt me, made me mad. The whole day I was restless and I found an excellent article about chennai in Hindu website. I forwarded the link to her and then only calmed down ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Yeah I kinda agree with you; I would fall in love with Venus too if Princess SAB was born there to rule it with her sense of humor ๐Ÿ˜›

    Btw I still have very very mixed feeling for Madras ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    • R's Mom says:

      Venus? If SAB was inside the Sun..I would love that place hehehe ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can totally understand the mixed feelings rey…even I had..but now..mostly I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rowdy girls. dont make me blush-u ( did you listen to why this kolaveri di?)

        i hated madras when i moved here from bangalore. it fell short of everything when compared to b’lore – people, weather, mind-your-business-ness, i had a huge complaint list ๐Ÿ˜

        now it’s grown on me ๐Ÿ™‚

        • R's Mom says:

          no no yet to hear that…ufff! today I read 3 posts on that..and about a 100 comments..I am going to hear it over the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

          Madras is nice na ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Pepper says:

    Hah! Same here. I hated Madras from the core of my heart. I did not even like visiting the place. I hated the attitude of the people there. I never wanted to have any connection with that place. And then what do you know? I fell in love with somebody who was born and raised there. Somebody who belonged to that place. They do say life makes you eat humble pie, don’t they?

    Only after I got married I started seeing Madras minus the negativity that had so far clouded my mind. That is when I started appreciating the beauty of the city. Now I feel happy I have some connection with the place ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Of course, I am a Madras-vaasi!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ But I am not sure if I am ‘sweet’, though! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I know a lot of people who hate Madras but I don’t think any one brought up there would hate that place. Madras is like ARR music; it takes time to grow on you but in the end you realise you are in love with it! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    And you left out ‘filter kaapi’ in your long list, RM!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  8. abhinav says:

    Loving or hating anything on an absolute basis is often a folly.

  9. Aparna says:

    awww, thank you for the nice things said about me. one can never have too many compliments. *blushes* ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. kirti says:

    And I am still at ‘i hate Mumbai’ mode for almost the same reasons you hated Madras once.
    But trust heart for changing it.

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahha! I will tell you know what my parents say about Mumbai ‘ only people who had done a lot of paap stay in this city’ and my dad was in IIT mumbai for 4 years when he was doing his PhD..hehehe ๐Ÿ™‚ Its crazy eh?

  11. Smita says:

    I had never been to Madras and there were no chances that I wud be going there but then that was before my Dad accepted a job offer which took him to Madras.

    I have been there 2 times, once for a week and then for 2 months and mostly have been holed up inside the house but I still lvoe that city dunno why.

    It has a charm which is irresistable ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I will say this at the cost of being hit, yes you are an Idiot ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. RS says:

    Ok, the couple of things that puts me off Madras – The weather-always sweaty and the auto drivers. But to compensate for that theres always the beach and lovely people…

    Read the other post on WW – I dont think you need to worry at this stage who her friends are though you will anyway be telling her what’s right and what’s not and going forward too you can only keep your eyes and ears open and listen-you cant stop her from making friends.Except you will have to be aware at all stages… OK, maybe I should do a post on this too! You and your thoughts!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Ashwathy says:

    I used to hate Madras myself. But over time I’ve found that I know too many friends who are either from that city or have come to be eventually settled there. Found myself having to visit there no matter what.
    Have to admit….love that city… EXCEPT for the weather ๐Ÿ˜ that’s toooooo hot to handle….

  14. uma says:

    hmmm..well, my first for getting married was that “the guy should NOT be from chennai” and then,like pepper said, I had to eat humble pie. Hubby was born and raised there. Things you mentioned are definitely the high points of the place..still, I don’t know if I’ll start liking the place enough to settle there..:-) Yes, people from there are definitely good people.

  15. uma says:

    first condition I meant..

  16. garima says:

    Your post tempted me to visit chennai.
    So kindly book tickets for me and get my leaves approved so that I can go and have fun in chennai ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Vidya says:

    Oye… are these some hints?!! Tell me you are relocating to Madras!! And i want to come to Mumbai:(

    I think there is good and bad to any city- because it is defined by the people who inhabit it.. Chennai was earlier cosmopolitan only in name.. things have changed with the boom in IT and IT-enabled services industries.. lot of young crowd, a broader outlook..

  18. Zephyr says:

    We usually tend to dislike something based on preconceived notions and end up liking it when we actually see the thing and get to know more about it in first person. Likewise, we are many times disillusioned too by something we thought was wonderful and then find it yech…Enjoy your love affair with Madras nalla madras, though now it has become Chennai ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Oh I love Madras..and i am glad u do too.. I have lived in madras all my life ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Writerzblock says:

    Oh man, you just made a fan for life ๐Ÿ™‚ Cos…. I’m from Madras toooooooooooooo ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Smitha says:

    Madras has always been the transit point for us when we used to travel from Jamshedpur to Kerala – those days when we had no direct trains ๐Ÿ™‚ I somehow used to associate Madras station with my idea of madras ๐Ÿ™‚ They had a wonderful Higgins-Bothoms book stall from which I used to get one book – such a treat – in those days..

    I have never lived in Madras, but having heard so much about it – would love to atleast visit..Living – I hope to live in Bangalore – somehow that place has my heart ๐Ÿ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      I know I know..the dad always used to let us buy comics and books there ๐Ÿ™‚

      Bangalore is it…I dont know Smitha…I have pretty mixed feelings about Bangalore..I dont hate it..but I dont love it either ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course I have been there ONLY ONCE!

  22. Aathira says:

    Never been too the the city at length. Just a quick stop when with my parents, to visit their college friend, and I have never been too big a fan of Madras. Maybe I should go there again and check it out for the real essence.

  23. Bikram says:

    and make sure when you have that party I AM INCLUDED ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. A-kay says:

    Having grown up in Madras, I still canโ€™t call it Chennai (may be cos I have never lived there after it became Chennai) โ€“ it is always nice to hear someone say such nice things about the city that you call home. I used to tell my parents I will never marry a guy who is in the north of India, which for a madrasi like me is anything north of Vindhyas It took me a while to realize how naive it was of me and now my secret desire is to live closer to Himalayas โ€“ so lesson learnt, โ€œnever say neverโ€!

  25. anisnest says:

    ***sob sob sob*** you missed me in the Madras-vassi bloggers list ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ .. let me go and book a room now to cry all weekend.. RM ignored me ***sob sob sob***

  26. Tanishka says:

    I have never liked or disliked Chennai but I have heard mixed reactions for the city… I’m confused but then their is nothing new in that…. ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Sam says:

    Any city that has a lot of friends is great to live in but I have mixed opinions about Chennai. Some definite put-offs are the conservative mindsets, sometimes the stark ridicule of different caste systems, and the autowalas. But there are always exceptions – like the autowala yesterday who talked in excellent English about politics, police and the country; lovely beaches (but anyone who has visited the mangalore – goa stretch will be a tad disappointed here); helpful people. As a woman living here, the dressing attitude defn puts me off – have written about it here ( I would love to be in Bangalore any day;-)

    • R's Mom says:

      hopping over ๐Ÿ™‚

      Bangalore, I have mixed feelings honestly..I have been there only once and was pretty much overcome by the traffic situation..of course being in Bombay, its stupid to say that…yet ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Pingback: These Large Hearted Folks… | R's Mom

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