"Singaara Chennai"

Today, as the TV played on in the background, a skewed news bulletin titled “Wassup” on MTV aired something which caught my attention. More recently, Chetan Bhagat’s book ” The Three Mistakes of my Life” also said the same. So many polls in glossy magazines scream the same thing to me. Why is Chennai left out in their polls? Why is Chennai’s youth not interviewed by MTV? Why do magazines not compare Chennai or publish its pictures while introducing a new lifestyle or something new ? Why is Chennai the “left-out” metro?


To make things clearer, what I heard on MTV was the youth of Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and even Hyderabad!. Not Chennai. Chetan Bhagat mentions, ..Ahmadabad is not as hip like Delhi,Mumbai or even Bangalore..” India today reports every thing based on the lifestyles based on the aforementioned cities. Why ? It isnt as if Chennai is left out. I think its in a league of its own. Probably, people are too shallow to realize its real worth. I am not too perturbed by all this. It just makes me wonder as to why Chennai is slowly getting obliviated even from the list of metros?! The magazines and a music channel dont show much anyway.

So what if the city is not as geographically huge as Delhi or Mumbai? So what if Chennai’s youth dont run over cars on sleeping pedestrians? Is it a crime that women in Chennai prefer to keep their clothes on ? Big deal if the south-Indian heroes dont sport six-pack-abs-at-forty or size zeros? So what if we dont have winters? So what if majority of the people are not fair skinned?

Its a beautiful city. Even today, the city wakes up to sounds of suprabathams and nathaswarams. The girls choose to learn the traditional art forms with keen interest. The youth is very well dressed.Some of the best schools and colleges are located here. The roads are safe. (We dont have any blueline buses). The trains not too packed. Theatre is enjoyed by the people even today. Everything is hip and modern just like other places but never indecent. There is no excessive skin show. It has the maximum working women anywhere in the country.The films are meaningful enough (not all but yes the best movies are always remade in hindi which go on to become super hits). The biggest superstar lives here!It has the most amazing restaurants anywhere in the country.(Interestingly south-Indian cuisine has been voted the most healthy..Punjabi is right at the bottom) The best cricket academy (MRF Pace) is in Chennai. The city is nestled on one of the most majestic natural wonders, the marina beach which is the second longest in the world. I can go on about the city…but I dont want to since the city can speak for itself.

Bangalore has hogged the attention because of the IT sector. It is not the same anymore. Im sure an old-banglorean will never be able to relate to the mass of glass and concrete, youth and hippie culture the city has become. Hyderabad follows suit. Delhi is so ultra-modern these days, that it is difficult for normal sensible people to come to terms with its madness and quench the thirst for moolah and power.

I am not slandering any other place, neither am I showcasing Chennai. All I am saying is, give it the respect it deserves. Don’t go by the looks of the place. It is hot,humid and yes, it tans. But hell, look deeper. It has the most amazing choices of lifestyles to offer. You can live any way you want. If you want the mall-hopping, night-club going kind of life, that is also there or else if you choose to live a simple life with a tinge of tradition thrown in, you can find that as well. It is for the same reason, I find the Kapaleshwar Temple in Mylapore so enchanting. It is the oldest locality in Chennai and yet it is also modern. The temple stands testimony to this fact.

Go on, all you silly music channels and magazines. Don’t even bother about asking us all your stupid questions. That doesnt gauge anything much anyway.

I love this city. It is truly “Singaara Chennai”.

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18 thoughts on “"Singaara Chennai"

  1. I wanted to blog on this, but you did an awesome job, I might just put this link on my blog. I am tired of people complaining about Chennai. Ask for the reasons and they are mostly these: Heat, traditional girls and a non-existent night life. And most of these people who complain are from vague places which have one or two ground level shopping complexes at the max. And girls who sing Carnatic songs or wear the pottu are regarded boorish. There are also these groups which decide Chennai is a waste to live in, as no international rock bands come to perform and they all go to B’lore or Mumbai. Well, we have our own world renowned Margazhi fest in december, don’t we? There are a lot of things in this city to be loved about. Christ, a guy who was born near the cooum river and is now a successful person in Mumbai comes and tells me that the river stinks and Mumbai rocks. Evident he has never been near Dharavi.

    I have lived in Chennai only for the past 3 years, even though I am a native. Not a day goes by without me regretting that I didn’t do my schooling here. The youth from Chennai are a class apart and are proficient in at least one form of art and sport, not to mention their excellence in studies. Chennai is known as the Detroit of Asia because of its huge automobile industry. And it is one of the industrial spearheads of this nation. Screw any magazine that doesn’t want Chennai to be listed in its ‘articles’, they are missing out on something huge.

    ps: I am sorry, Nita, if this has become a post of its own, but I couldn’t help it. 😀

  2. Hey! No apologies required. You just completed my post.
    Yes, the Chennai youth are indeed special.Talented and trained in some useful thing or another. Margazhi fest is the real music. Music from the soul. N yea, the attitude of people towards South-Indian girls is very biased. Colour and tradition are the only two things they can think about.
    Very nice comment indeed. Chennai \m/

  3. lol im no chennai fan but wont complain abt anything, dont wanna spoil anything for anyone
    im jus hopin as im posting this comment that chennai wins todays match 🙂

  4. Awefuckingsome! Began reading with a beam on my face and it just got brighter with every line :B Seriously, couldn’t have done a better job of this if I’d tried, and heaven (and giz as well :P) knows I’m passionate about this topic, sometimes almost aggressively so. To give the critics their due, it’s not a love-at-first-sight city. And we have our share of miseries, duh. But finally, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. And in our eyes, this city is singaaram indeed 🙂

  5. absolutely pro-ly written.
    the thing about chennai, and prolly why its excluded from the stereotype metro surveys is its blatant uniqueness, i mean, malls n clubs n the like are found in every major city in the world, for gods sake, show some creativity ! Chennai exudes originality, n those who fail to see that, are dunderheads, if you ask me :-\
    but seriously, winters are needed 😛

  6. Yes, I remember you, Betty.

    Re your post:
    When turkeys, geese, hens and dodos want to compare among themselves and leave the beautiful peacock out, there is no reason why the peacock should feel bad.

  7. there are bozos out there…its there infatuation with ‘western lifestyle’ or just looking away from the good things around. praises are sung of the most meaningless things (and often degrading). This particular ‘sect’ of people worships usa(unaware of its weak economy), loves france for taking pride in their language and culture(but criticize their own country), thinks its cool to love ‘italian’ or ‘continental’ when secretly, they dig ‘indian’ cuisine.
    And u started your blog with MTV wassup, what is splitsvilla all about? twenty women and two guys? I hope they dont cross the limits.

  8. Chennai, doesn’t need to be put in a league of the Mumbais, the Bangalores and the New Delhis. Its got a charm of its own. Ain’t it good that it isnt part of some stupid surveys? Its in a class of its own!

  9. A Chennai-vasi or an ex will appreciate this post whole heartedly! But if you really look at it… being excluded from polls that concern the country’s collective opinion even if they are the stupid mtv ones, makes no sense. A lot of news channels too leave out Chennai/ South when they conduct a national survey. I do feel the tiny pinch when it happens! I don’t even have to mention the attitude of the BPGC dudes towards south-indian girls. Its terribly disappointing and speaks volumes about their narrow minds and shallow selves. Oh well, in a gist, its heartening to see you, who only just moved to Chennai, write THIS post instead of one on Chennai’s blistering summer which most people choose as the sole reason to hate the city for. Why on earth were Air Conditioners invented? 😛 😉

  10. Hmm. Well I am in minority here since I’ve never been to Chennai and have mostly heard the complaints which Naren said: “Heat, traditional girls and a non-existent night life.” Another thing which I’ve heard is that the city is uninviting to non-tamil speakers (Something which I’ve seen in my batch mates too) But the description you’ve given is something very different from the image I had in my mind, so I also promise that the next time I go there, I’d look out for the best I can find. 🙂

    I am no big fan of Delhi myself (In spite of being from N India) and find myself completely out of place there. Mumbai has just too many people as well (I shudder when I think of the word- “crowd”) However, I do like Bangalore because I found the people there to be very friendly and amicable. I’ve stayed there for a considerable time to say so as well. The city has its own share of problems like transport and pollution, but it is one city where I’d happily relocate to (Apart from Lucknow which is my lovely hometown, and of course Goa!)

    However, just one funny thing: Who said healthy was tasty? Experience says otherwise, and taste is all that matters to me! 😉

    Also “got my foot in the mouth” said, “I don’t even have to mention the attitude of the BPGC dudes towards south-indian girls. Its terribly disappointing and speaks volumes about their narrow minds and shallow selves.”
    I absolutely disagree to this statement that it proves that they have narrow minds and are shallow. Everyone has his own tastes, and if a person likes XYZ girl or dislikes ABC girl, it is NOT because she is from North/South/Blah part of India, but because she is not his type. Regionalism does not come in the picture when a person likes/dislikes/has a crush on anyone and bringing it in such matters is absolutely inappropriate.

  11. hmm… well, im someone who hasn’t been to chennai and swears that delhi’s the best place on this earth when confronted by mumbaikars (otherwise too i dont think delhi’s bad, its home for me). nonetheless, i guess its dumb if the surveys don’t take chennai into account. its like, there exist certain stereotypes, and the channels would rather build upon em to make money.

    also, when mtv shoots stuff in delhi, it’s just one specific part of the city, ie, the malls and the westernized parts. the delhi they show in their vids isnt the real delhi neway. things have to be packaged in a glossy glam wrapper. so yeah, basically the point is they dnt reli do justice to the city theyre supp 2 b covering.

    n yeah, i agree with akash when he says that ppl nt liking others has nothing to do with the region they come from.

    and hey! punjabi food tastes good. might not be the healthiest but cmon!!! neither are pizzas and stuff… 😐

  12. Whoaa…wat a post!!!
    I have never been to chennai,actually the southernmost place i have been to is goa..lol..

    Nevertheless,magazines & bullshit media polls can't evaluate ppl's day to day life.
    About other cities,
    Delhi has night life,tackiest clothes blaahh blaah, lol but chics can't go out after 10 becoz it delhi as a state reports max number of rapes & other assaults on women.

    About Mumbai, It has the underworld 🙂

    About bangalore, im living here rite now & to be true, this place is on the edge of bursting out & anybody can feel it. in one line " IT Screwed the Garden City"

    About Chennai,
    No comments would like to visit though 🙂 btw tamilians are nice ppl & they are in abundance there obb..

    But accrding to me the best place in india is GOA.

    So go Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!

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