Having lived for over four and half years in Chennai, it saddened me when I couldn’t bid adieu to the city like how I would have wanted. I came out of it in a hurry. The job’s immediate joining demanded that and I had to adhere to it. I couldn’t post any sentimental posts on Facebook or write blogs at length as an ode to the city that was my home since I got married.

There are so many memories and moments now attached to the city that I sometimes wonder whether my stay was longer than I perceive it to be. Such is perhaps the charm of the city. I made friends and foes. I developed bonds with people unknown. I moved beyond my comfort zone. My patience was at test while raising a child with the husband as a lone support. But the city taught me several known yet unknown emotions. From food to people, culture to tradition, there are a number of things that I learnt and unlearnt.

This is just one of those nostalgic posts that had been long due for ‘Namma Chennai.’  I already have the next post in my mind for this city. People back home in Delhi have already designated me as someone who’s more a Chennaiwasi than a Dilliwala. I don’t know if am complaining. But one part of me cries out for Chennai while the other part screams “’Am a Delhite. Thoroughly.’

So here are FIVE things that I would like to tell you about Chennai:

Chennai Is Chennai

It is the capital of Tamil Nadu. There are five southern states which are different not just how they are located geographically but also in their food, culture and traditions. So the next time you call someone from Andhra or Karnataka a Madrasi, bear this fact in mind. 😛

Food Is Beyond Idli-Dosa

While it is the land of idlis and dosas, those are NOT the only food items you get there. And, yeah the favorite ingredient might be the curry leaves but again that’s not put in everything and anything that you eat. If you happen to eat a non-vegetarian or veggie dish with curry leaves, it is likely that the dish is from the South and is perhaps cooked that way. I say it because I have lost the count of people telling me how there are no food options in Chennai and how they add curry leaves to everything. My reply? Guess, you haven’t really explored the city as well as you should.

Just Another Unsafe City

No city is safe. Be it late at night or early morning, every city has its own set of obnoxious monsters who are ready to pounce the moment they spot a girl. It does not matter whether you’re alone or not, whether you’re in Chennai or Delhi, you’ll come across such miscreant. I have had my share of unhappy incidents. The difference is it doesn’t get reported as much as it does in the capital city or otherwise.

Mix Of Good & Bad

Not everyone you meet here is going to be as helpful as they appear to be. Some would befriend you for what you are, where you work and some would do it just to show off. But there will be some genuine ones who would be there for you at any time of the day/night. People aren’t poking into your business unless it is of concern to them or you make them concerned about it.

Chennai Is A Celebration

The city is so intricately tied to its culture, rituals and traditions that it doesn’t matter to them what you know or not; you cannot ignore their rituals. Festivals they celebrate will be known or explained to you more than what you may have learnt about them on your own.

This is not the end of the list. Guess four years of stay is too long to be put down in mere five points. The ups and downs, joys and sorrows are aplenty to be expressed in words.


About The Author

Sneha Bhattacharjee is a hardcore Delhiite, who settled in Chennai after marriage and now moved back. She is a writer, blogger and a social media enthusiast. Apart from reading and writing, she loves singing. She has worked as a Sub Editor and Senior Copy Editor for Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India and presently she's with Business Standard. When not engrossed in work, you will find her running behind her toddler. Off late, her new found passion is to run and be healthy.

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