Somehow South India has always been close to my heart. I don’t exactly remember my first trip to Chennai as a mere 3 year old girl (which obviously was a family trip). But I guess my relation with that part of India had its foundation then, barely aware what role Chennai would play in my life (I ended up there four times) later. I recollect incidents from my second trip to Chennai which was a part of my school excursion. Thinking of the long train journey was my only ailment. Nevertheless, we friends shared a good time exploring every coach & its passengers. It was that very train journey which stirred the traveler within me & ignited the spark. I observed the difference in land, people, climate & the flora of the different states my train blared through. It was intriguing to me. I realized what my social science teacher meant by “Unity in diversity in India”! Acts of waving local kids of the respective region from my window, getting duplicate stuff from the vendors & climbing to the third berth made me so happy. Crossing about 5 states we finally made it to Chennai at the wee hours. And much to our teachers’ dismay, there was no public transportation available to get us to our lodging place. The three days ride in the train had left us feeling exhausted. But strangely, I was as excited as I had begun from home. Of course there was a sinking feeling in my heart when I bade goodbye to my dear family for ten days. But I soon got occupied exploring the new world.
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Well, Here’s how I find Chennai. Chennai is hot and the traffic does not help either. Here politicians pose as film stars in banners while film star (Rajnikanth) is considered next to god. Ladies with gajras(I like the smell) in hair & gents with lungis form the quintessential Chennai crowd. The food (Idli, dosa, sambar) has a special place in whole of India. The transportation is well developed & Chennai does not lack the basic urban comforts either. The beach is good and they got some great beach side fish food too. This is the sea that actually brings life to the city. It is also a hub for different corporate companies. But Chennai is so modest you won’t even realize that it’s an economic powerhouse of the country.
Photo Credit: Flickr