When I received the posting letter for my first Job, I was more than disappointed to find that I was to report in Chennai.I had been fervently hoping that I would get allocated in Bangalore, a city much closer to my home and famously known for it’s pleasant climate.Chennai,from what I had heard, was a hot,humid,unclean place. So I packed my bag with a heavy heart and set off on my voyage,hoping with all my heart that what I had heard about the city was not true!
As the train neared the Chennai Station, I was welcomed by a stale smell of human waste, and ‘breath’ holding view of people defecating on the railway tracks.And boy,was it not hot! Initial days in Chennai were days of grumbling-too hot, so polluted, buses too crowded- I was not familiar with the lifestyles in metro cities of India.The first thing I did was to change my location preference to Bangalore and I waited for a miraculous transfer.
But. as days passed,I fell in love with the city. In fact, today when I talk about Chennai I feel a sense of belonging.When I hear somebody complaining about the climate or the pollution, I get all defensive.
I lived in Chennai for close to four years and went from being a ‘new comer who was exploited by local auto driver’ to a ‘native who knew the heart beats of the city’.
Yes, Chennai is one hot place to live in.In the room where I was staying as paying guest during the initial few months there was no A/C.I remember waking up one night feeling so stuffy that I thought I would faint. I went into the bathroom and poured a whole bucket of water on me and slept with my wet clothes on.I have never appreciated monsoons as much as I did when I was Chennai. After the tiring waves of heat, rain was like an elixir of life.But then , it doesn’t take long before the city gets clogged with rain water thanks to the poor drainage system.
But in spite of all her flaws ,Chennai is a beautiful city.Life in Chennai was nothing short of pure liberation after the life long 6 pm curfew that my home state Kerala had levied on me.From my experiences I would say Chennai is one of the safest place for women in India.
The beaches of the City ,though crowded, are fun getaways. I don’t know how to express the pure joy i had experienced visiting those places-especially the Besant Nagar beach, which was kind of my favorite hangout.During the evenings, the beach would be bursting with so much life and colors.
Not only the beaches, the long stretch of ECR road taking you to Mahabalipuram and Pondichery offers a beautiful scenic drive.I would always cherish those long drives that my husband and I had gone for on those roads!
The ride on the local train offering a elegant view of the Marina beach,the shady getaways hidden through out the city, hotels offering yummy food, the great bargains you could find at T Nagar shops, the loud music from the temples, great seafood, share autos taking care of all your transport needs and offering occasional thrill rides :)….there are so many memories that I cherish about this city.
Chennai holds a very special place in my heart.This is the city where I got my first salary, where I started my married life, where I found out that I was pregnant-in fact the city has witnessed so many ups and downs in my life!
I could go on and on about my life in Chennai, but may be I would store it for yet another day. For today i just want to say how much I loved my stay in this wonderful city and how she has become an unforgettable piece in my journey called life!!