Friday, April 17, 2009

If you're happy and you know it..

Chennai is one of my most favourite cities in the world. I’m a small-town girl at heart I guess, and I can rave over the mountains and the trees as much as the next person. But Chennai rocks my socks. Every single time.

Its something in the air. The humidity is oppressive, the lingering scent of sweat in the air suffocates you, the sheer multitude of people can be pretty scary (to my mom atleast), but without all that it just wouldn’t BE Chennai.

We went to Ranganathan Street today, me, my mom and my 10 year old sister. My mom and my sister are the kind who love staying indoors, real far-from-the-madding-crowd types. But my dad and I are a little more adventurous, atleast if you consider my family alone. So from the dredges of my 5th std memories I summoned up the location of West Mambalam station and the way back to Nanganallur. :D (which is an accomplishment! Amma wanted to wait for the car.)

Ranganathan Street is, to say the least, overwhelming. The onrushing throng of people, the dominance of Saravana and all his Stores, Chocobar wrappers lying on the ground, stomped flat, tailoring offers coming from men with earnest, sweaty brows, little kids clutching their parents’ sleeves like lifelines, intensely coloured salwars clashing with their kurtas, all up for display. You look at all those people, on their own ways, doing their own stuff, with problems of their own, ostensibly not worried about whether they’re wearing Abercrombie&Fitch, whether the other people on the road notice them, whether they got tickets to that movie they wanted to watch, so on and so forth, and you feel humbled. And once again, I’m reminded in strange ways of how distinctive people actually are in themselves, and their total impact on the lives of people around them. Ok, random.

Anyway, from Palavanthangal Amma was just telling me about how Dad took her in a cycle rickshaw once immediately after their wedding, and I asked her why we couldn’t do it now, and so we did. :D The rickshaw puller said it ran on a motor and so there was no harm done to him. It was a first for me, and I enjoyed it. I took a picture of him once we got to Athey’s place, and he was simply thrilled.

It was a good day. I’m happy.

In other news, I bought a pirated copy of Paths of Glory and Love Story in Pondy Bazaar. I was tempted to buy Letters to the Penthouse, but then ultimately didn’t.

12 people shouted back:

straight from the heart said...

i tell you you are seriously crazy to like ranganathan street of all places in the world!!!girls i tell you...

Ryan.A.Nash said...

Madras gets me every single time. First it gets to me, and then it just gets me. I sulk about the weather and the vastness of it all, but in the end really end up missing it. The problem with coimbatore is it doesn't haev a beach.

And wrt taking pictures of people like that, always a good feeling. I once took a few pictures of the gola guy in rspuram in action, and he was mighty pleased. :)

crazylittlething said...

shyam, i don't exactly LIKE it, it just overwhelms me. what's in a little crowd and congestion? its an experience!

lol yeah sharan, i can so relate to that.. and i rather liked the picture i took :)

Ryan.A.Nash said...

Oh I did too :).Still have it.

straight from the heart said...

the experience fits into my top 5 all time horrors.
i went to that mucky place once and swore never to go again.so..

Priyanka said...

Landed up here from somewhere (not sure where).

I know exactly what you mean. Being from a place like Coimbatore, I can just stand in a corner of any part of Chennai and keep observing the goings-on for hours and still not get sick of it....the sheer size of the place.. phew! So much to do, so much to see and it never ends.
Chennai rocks MY socks too:D(nice expression)

Keep writing....

gayathri said...

yup, v can complain all v want about the weather, water etc, but you just can't help but love that place...never thought a place in South India will become as busy as New York where ppl really don't mind what the others r doing around them...Chennai does rock in its own way...

nice post....keep blogging!

JoVi said...

good writing style....Chennai does rock...any city in which greats like Pappa vidyaakar operates does rock....keep up the good work

Ashmur said...

i've been following your blog for quite some time and i've to admit that i enjoyed every single minute that i spent reading it. your writing is close to the best that i've ever read. its sheer joy to read this calibre of writing. keep up the good work and keep posting more. it helps me kill boredom to say the least.

Ashok said...

nice post but Ranganathan street and chennai..omigosh ..sucks big time..after staying in bangalore and coimbatore,walking on the streets in T-Nagar is my living nightmare..anyways keep blogging.

Murthy said...

nice post... Chennai has a special place as it fits everyone's lifestyle ....from a common man enjoying his 'Nashtha' (BF) on the roadside or the elites having a candlelite dinner ina star hotel, it is a cultural hub esp for the muusic lovers and the list go on. Keep writing Atulaa.

Uttara said...

Great bit of writing this one! Esp, the part of people and their little worlds..Went inside Saravana? The Walmart of the middle class :-). i got a free geometry box free as a part of summer celebration :-D

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