Central station, Marina beach, Kapaleeshwar temple, Carnatic seasons, Mahabalipuram ; These would be the first words of a globe trotter who has just visited "namma chennai". These are what Chennai is attributed to in several writings and articles. But, Chennai has got hell a lot more than this.The original (or) real face of Chennai ; it can be said , and it is little known outside it's boundaries.
Well, you chennaiites would have guessed it by now;
So, lets just take a tour of this authenitic chennai ....
Starting with the road works of Chennai, it is one of the world's most unsolvable puzzles. and the only lot who can solve this puzzles with great ease are the "auto-wallas". A trip through some of the roads will leave you totally befuddled. If you are really lucky enough you can get to your destination in time, which happens not even once in a blue moon . It's much rarer than that . Being unlucky most of the time, you'll just have to live with the tarmac and the babble of automobiles for hours, trailing like a snail, under the hot sun . Suddenly, from nearby you can hear a yell ; " vutla soltu vantiya da baemali ?? " . It would most of the time belong to an auto-walla , and it's our very own "madras tamil" that he is speaking.
Wading through the traffic , take any turn and your most likely to sight a man lying down as if on a cosy couch. Is he a begger ?? maybe, he is one. But whomsoever he may be , he is drowning deep in pleasure, en-route to heaven , Giving no care to the busy life beside him , free from everything and still travelling. People crossing him, everyone gives him a gross look and a little curse, and absolutely nothing more than that . He too needs no disturbance at all . I don't know what happens to him after that , maybe he gets up and goes down again, most probably at some other place. Thanks to the "Tasmac" !!
Travelling further and into a "meen sandhai", will fill you in with an indescribable aroma and a never before heard clattering of voices . The clattering is so much that you can't even hear what a person standing next you says . The perfect way of describing the "meen sandhai" in madras bashai would go like this ; "Angae ore galeejakudubaa, enna poyapoo" !! Still it's a market, and people manage to sell and buy fish without much difficult, which is why, it's "Namma Chennai".
The roads of Chennai tell you loads of things. Yes, much more than what the television can tell you . The walls of Chennai , majority of them, bear on them posters . Posters talk about every walk of life in Chennai . You can find posters depicting the happy smiling face of the political leaders, unlike that of the public, followed by the the faces of MLA's and MP's in decreasing sizes. They carry information on the "katchi manadu" which is going to be attended only by the party members. Posters depicting the hot movie releases, small posters for job vacancies which is noticed by a very few which includes the one who pasted it. And not to forget, the pan stains on these posters done by the people for 3 reasons
1) They can't read what is written on them and are highly frustrated by the fact that
they "can't read"
2) They have some kind of a unlikeliness towards whatever is said in that poster
and the third , because "one" and "two" did .
Take a round around 8 or 9 in the late evening . You will be puzzled to see a huge crowd in-front of a relatively small outlet. Just look a little up and you can see the unlit board which says "tasmac shop" . You are seeing a liquor shop . Not just a liquor shop, It's the most lucrative business of the government bringing in a revenue of thousands of crores intimately, year after year after year .
The Tea kadai's , Kai endhi bhavan's , Beeda kadai's , Meen markets, Katchi manadu's ,The ever-congested roads, Non-stop horn honkings , Political posters ( right on the "stick no bills" sign) , Pan stained walls, Water stagnant roads, A good many beggers , The highly-crowded TASMAC wine shops , Fast foods , Half - boils and to top it all "The Madras Bhashai " - like a cherry on the cake, will be the perfect definition for the less known face of Chennai .
Whatsoever said and done , Either good or bad , this is true and very much present. Chennai's very own people has given Chennai this .There are people, even today coming to Chennai from everywhere to earn a living . Some, who don't like all this, curse about it, and a few walk away out of it .The others love it and they live with it , for this is what they wanted.