Chennai - The moment i alighted from the train i felt that i belonged here. There was something special about the place and i could sense it. I had been to Chennai many times before but this time the air around me was different. This time it was the sweet smell of expectancy.
I immediately recalled the last time i sensed something similar. It was 4 years ago that, on a similar day, i set foot in Hyderabad. From Vizag to Hyderabad and then to Chennai. I seem to be slowly but steadily climbing the "city ladder". The rung from Vizag to Hyderabad was a big one for me. Vizag, though a bustling city in its own right,is by no means any comparison to Hyderabad. Hyderabad was big but not impersonal. There is a great culture to the city and the people. During the 4 wondeful years i spent there, i absorbed a little of it and enjoyed everything about it. Now its time for another rung. This one promises to be a much smaller step. Chennai and Hyderabad though poles apart have both won my heart.
There is something about the way a city wins you over. Hyderabad does that with its ancient laidback culture. The 'chalta hai' attitude is so pervasive that you will get swept away by procrastination even before you realize it. Chennai has its own style of doing it. Its people are intellectually stimulating while being dizzying fanatics. Its climate is pleasant and sultry at the same time. The roads appear wide sometime and like dingy lanes at times! Its a land of two faces and while you may love or hate it, you cant be indifferent towards it.
I have however come to love the culture of this place. One of the things very high up my wishlist is to learn tamil. Being born a malayali will certainly help but it seems a long time before i can really give the auto drivers here a piece of my mind in Tamil. I would love to use the slang like the way some of the guys here do. I am also amazed at the way the movies shape the colloquial language and the slang here. Thanks to a few really helpful colleagues i am making brisk progress in this regard and will one day be using "maccha" and "mapalai" very effectively.
Leaving behind friends, college and hyderabad was tough but Chennai promises to make up for it. Only time can tell if it can.