Madras Musing


I don’t really know if I qualify to write this. You muse about things you have a long association with; going by my age the only thing I have a long association with is my mind which is best not blogged about. But nevertheless I have memories of what is now Chennai. In fact it has been Chennai ever since I came here for the first time. I still end up calling it Madras thanks to years of references to what was then ” a-faraway- place- I- would- never- visit”, in the family.

Most of years here have been oddly lonely. Long school hours of me sitting by myself– one of the most backward students of class. Life looked up when I discovered the sea. The sea is remarkably beautiful, turquoise blue and fawn at times, it rages, murmurs, sighs and sings. The coating of salt it stubbornly leaves on your lips everytime and the slight spray you cannot escape. Brown sands and browner urchins. Peanuts and fries, horse and camel rides, sweets and parrots who pick cards to tell you your future.

Parts of Madras are remarkable- like the pantheon complex and the Churches– architecture that speaks of the spirit if India the way Nehru defined it- almost sphinx like, absorbing and accepting of other cultures. Other sides to the city aren’t quite as fascinating– this is the part that is struggling to let go of its unique city space. Malls and IT buildings, the Tamil version of Gurgaon.

But then Madras is a faded dream city, a city full of scared, shy but intelligent people grappling with the rest of the world. The only place I truly belong.