Me Thinks

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chennai Phobia

Being a hard-core chennai-ite (madrasi sounds better, right?), I've always wondered why is m'ras so loved by people who are raised there and so hated by the ones who are from elsewhere. The curious cat in me even interviewed some people who proudly call themselves madras-haters. I've always been up in arms against such people.
Me - Why do you hate Chennai?
Them - Its too conservative
Me - whats so modern about any other metro, say Kolkata?
Them - ummmm..... and the weather is too hot. Can't even imagine being there in summer.

Fair enough. But chennai has Marina I shout but no one is intrested. This madras bashing is very prominent in matrimony circles. Tamil guys who are from any other part of India don't want M'ras girls. Girls from other parts of India don't mind M'ras guys as long as he studied in IIT. I caught one such guy who used the conservative card first. But me continued....
Me - Whats so wrong in being a conservative? (right-wingers hold on, this is a different conservatism)
Not me - M'ras is neither conservative nor modern. Thats why its easy to spot a girl sporting a jean and accesorising with pottu (bindi) and rose or mallipoo on her hair.

Me was stumped. I can't say no to that. But still added "The West would soon embrace jeans with pottu and mallipoo like it did Yoga and then you guys would die to get introduced to such a fashion diva". As funny as it sounded, I was happy I defended my beloved chennai yet again... until I came across Chenthil's article.
I obviously don't hate the city but won't support such hypocrites who infest Chennai. Its hypocrisy in the name of conservatism that people actually hate, I reckon.


Blogger Bachelor said...

I stayed in chennai for abt 4 yrs on and off and the only reason I was there was I was going around with my girlfriend (now my wife). I hated the city initially, but I guess its the people that makes you love any place. I loved hanging around the city with my wife and we've been to every teeny weeny place in chennai. It holds a lot of memories. Inspite of the heat, the pollution, rude auto drivers and rash MTC drivers, I still have fond memories of the place and cant wait to visit it again next month.

Like I said, its not hte place per se, but its the people which makes the place beautiful.

2:47 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

From one Chennai lover to another, I say "Chennai rocks, no matter what" :-)

1:50 PM  
Blogger tilotamma said...

The day we stop thinking Madrasi is an insult we should be fine :-)

11:01 AM  
Anonymous ramki said...

Sorry for the delayed response to this spot. Missed it earlier. I too have this argument/discussion quite often with friends and acquaintances often. I still haven't been able to figure what is conservative about Madras. I recently heard from a friend that Madras is an unfriendly city. In what way, I asked him. His response was that people speak only Tamil or English and not Hindi, unlike in other cities in the south like Hyderabad and Bangalore. My response was then for a guy from Tamil Nadu, every other city in the country is unfriendly, because none of them speaks Tamil. Despite its huge and growing list of negatives (the rudest auto drivers possible and general arrogance of almost everybody on the street), it still is a terrific city. I wish it had remained more "conservative" than what it is now -- you wouldn't see all those good bungalows getting knocked down to give way to monstrous stuctures!

10:11 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

Ramki, as much as I love the language called Hindi, I hate such hindi imperialists. They are so parochial. Luckily, they are a few in number.

8:06 AM  
Blogger ashok said...

on the subject of chennai this

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site! »

11:05 AM  
Blogger Dea Mathew said...

I am not a Tamilian but had to do a 4 year college in Chennai. I do not think I can hate any other place in the world as much as Chennai.

Everything there sucks.If you are not a Tamiian people will ignore you and gossip about you.

Even bollywood actress are not as proud or as arrogant as a Chennai raised Tamilians.

They are rude, dress very badly and I do not want to associate with a tamilian for the rest of my life.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born and brought up in Chennai but I've also lived in Bangalore and Mangalore. I feel that much of the hatred for any new city arises from a lack of knowledge - we go to a place expecting something else and the place happens to be different. Just like any other city in India of the same size I don't understand why someone should have strong feelings of love or hate. Chennai is not clean but of course you'll never come across in India roads that are as clean as those in Singapore. Of course, I might be fleeced in Mumbai or Delhi, too, or even in London. We might also find Hindi-haters in Mumbai and in Delhi anyone vulnerable could be molested be it women or a student from the north-east Chennai is comparatively safe.As for booze, yeah, the scene is not really encouraging but unless you are addicted to liquor why should you really bother about it. For once in a while orgy you can make it to Pondicherry.

2:58 PM  

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