Happy Birthday Dude !! – Madras

[Thanks – The Madras Day]

It’s ironical that ‘Chennai’ is celebrating Madras Day today. More ironically it completes a year of years. Don’t worry to calculate it is the 365th year[ending] since it was founded in 1639.

It was on that day, in that year, that a sliver of land, where the Fort. St. George and the secretariat now exist in Madras – now called Chennai, was sold to the East India Company.

The deal was struck by Francis Day, his ‘dubash’ Beri Thimmappa, and their superior, Andrew Cogan, with the local Nayaks.

It is believed that this deal was made on this day and these three men are considered to be the founders of this city.

The city has been witness to many firsts in India and been home to great men, institutions and developments. And such a day should focus on the city, its history, its past and its present.

I can never say I’m frantically attached to Chennai/Madras. It’s much more to that. Like others who love Madras, I’ve just love my home town. It’s the most lovable place in the world. I’ve been badly missing Chennai for sometime now and it was only last week, I was intending to ramble here on that. I was planning to list down the things that I miss in Madras. One of the prominent things is the cofee, the crowd and ofcourse the Marghazhi Kutcheri. Even today, while driving back, I was listening to Sanjay Subramaniam and felt so nostalgic. And as the festival season fast approaches the crowd on T.Nagar, the diwali shopping and above all that the friends and folks out there. Anyway let this not end as a crib.

The 365th Madras Day celebrations began last year. A meeting was also held at Amethyst where I rightfully missed to meet Rushdie and ofcourse Padma. More to that Ramnath did say that I missed a lovely lecture by S. Muthiah on Madras aka Chennai. I still repent for that when I read a Rushdie‘s book.

Whoever says, I love Madras, raise your hands !! Here’s mine.

36 responses to “Happy Birthday Dude !! – Madras”

  1. Me too.. I love Madras.. The only place in earth that loved by poor and rich, I believe.. Hail Madras.

    On this day, Thaai(Madras) manne vanakkam..


  2. OMG! After seeing Ferrari’s blog, I jus posted my bit on Madras… and here I come to find urs!!

    There truly is no place like this in the world!:)


  3. Guru, I missed them too (Muthiah’s lecture and Rushdie). I was at Amethyst a day earlier, when Randor Guy spoke on old Tamil movies. My guess is you would have loved Guy’s speech. But don’t worry, I heard he is working on a book on Tamil cinema. Should be a great read.


  4. hey ramnath,

    thanks for that clarifiction. should it be Chenthil who that to me. anyway, i missed rushdie and ofcourse s.muthiah. add randor guy to the top of the list now. i am happy rushdie and randor guy have a book coming.

    smruthi/prabhu, orey kushi pola irukku !!

    ajay, thats a debate. i don’t see any wrong. ofcourse i did feel when it was changed. not anymore. more than the name its the place that gives me happiness.

    nithya, you last line was appropriate.

    shyam, join the hand-raisers club.


  5. Here is my hand…..
    I can keep it raised forever if thats going to make any impact!!!!!
    Here I am, yet another Chennai lover who has lived every bit of my 25 yrs of existence there and just been out of that place for the past 5 months, but it seems like a whole eternity and I very much miss the place sooooo badly….:((
    Reading all ur blogs makes me feel much better…thanks LG and Ferrari and Nitya and Chennaigalwrites and Vatsan and many more who have made posts on the great place…


  6. “I can never say I’m frantically attached to Chennai/Madras. It’s much more to that. Like others who love Madras, I’ve just love my home town”

    I didn’t get this one, LG. You love it just because it is your hometown, huh? Like everybody else love theirs? Frankly speaking, everybody obviously would be biased towards their hometown, right? Being born in a place and lived there for 20 years makes us that way. Being grown up in a particular city’s culture and society and getting used to it will reflect upon our own attitude towards life, doesn’t it? And that makes us easily biased towards it than others.

    Honestly speaking, I do not mind talking about Chennai’s history and past and the good things that Chennai offers on a day like today (if you cannot talk about it on Madras day, you’ll never).But taking an unbiased view, I am curious to know your opinion on how Chennai stands up against other cities for its standard of life? I am talking about everything from infrastructure, weather (one of the important things for me), cost, the society, its diversity, its conservatism, its corruption, what it offers for the youth and the aged and many such things that I might have missed here. And to get an accurate opinion about that I believe one should have seen a few cities to make a meaningful comparison. I am just curious to know the flip-side of this post i.e., things that you dont like chennai or things that makes you think of not moving back to Chennai. Knowing many Chennaites who are living somewhere else now, I’d like to know what would their decision if they have a choice to move back to Chennai today? How many would and how many would not?

    Btw, adiyenum from Madras – born, brought up, steamrolled in Chennai for 23 years before I moved to Bangalore for work where I still live and visit Chennai once in a while when I have a reason to.


  7. Hey maverick;
    im living in bangalore for the past 5yrs this being my 6th year and yes im going back home. sometime early next year
    and oh since i’ve been to lots of places in india { i will restrict my comparisons to india } madras kicks some serious butt when compared to other places.infrastructure way way ahead of many other cities, relatively peaceful and calm life, and most importantly a highly intellectual and knowledgable crowd.agreed the pseudo’s exist and they do in pockets, they have not been able to take over the very basic qualities that the great city posesses.

    anyway on a more tangential note, lazy you once posted a pic that had shankar and rahman and rahman saying “pannalam”.was it about music for sivaji ? just my two cents worth in spreading a rumour 😉


  8. Lazy – me too! I just love Madras..

    Btw – info for you – Do you know our Captain Vjkanth has features in the cover of TIMES!

    Check my blog! We should be proud of his achievement!


  9. ‘Whoever says, I love Madras, raise your hands ‘
    and wipe off all those sweat in the armpits 🙂


  10. Machaan Maverick,

    Advantages of Chennai
    1. Cost of living is very low
    2. Real estate prices, reasonable
    3. Food.
    4. Public Transport (Only Mumbai has a better one)
    5. Roads (Being in bangalore, we have actually forgotten what roads are right?)

    And I am very seriously looking forward to going back to chennai after being in other indian cities like mumbai, pune and bangalore.

    Yes. The weather is bad. But with the amount of saving I am going to do by living in chennai, I can afford a split AC at home and an AC Car. Adhu poarum!!

    True, there are disadvantages. But when compared to other cities, its ok!


  11. True. But seriously, a split AC at home and an AC car is nowhere near enough for me in chennai. I need an 24×7 A/C (as long as someone pays the bills)that I can take everywhere I go in chennai. You just can’t overcome the Chennai weather anytime.

    Vadivel oru padathula solraa maadhiri, India map la irundhu Chennai-ya appdiye thookitu vandhu Bangalore la vechitaa, I will be happy. 🙂


  12. Comparing the two cities – Chennai and Bangalore (easy for me as I have seen most of both), I’d say Chennai would score over Bangalore for me in every aspect except the weather. Unforunately the weather is such an important factor for me (you just cannot escape the nature whatever air conditioning you do) and it sucks to such an extent in Chennai, it negates all other good things about Chennai for me.

    Anyway, thats my opinion.


  13. Annathae,

    365 years aai poodcha namma sennai vandhu??? Namba mudiyala ma !!!!! Inna sollu, namma yaenga vona poi dhuddu sambarichalum naama porandhu urunda idathae maraka mudiyadhuma. Inna innum konjuundu koda namma inpirastruchara improve pannino vachika, nammala adchika aalae illama.


  14. Lazy, and other fellow Chennai-lovers…

    For all of us that love Chennai, here’s a way to express it…

    Folks back in Chennai might be aware of this… I came across this site when I came across a site called iloveny.com which is kinda like a tourists’ guide for NYC… I just wanted to see if something like this existed for Chennai… and man… was I surprised?!?! apparently this initiative is the first of its kind in India… which adds to the pride…
    This is being maintained by a young dude from CTS Chennai, who started it just for kicks… and now is working on establishing a brand identity for Chennai… this could probably grow into a movement styled on the lines of “I love NY”…
    he probably needs all the help he could use… and welcomes ideas… bloggers linking to him would be a good idea too…
    Let’s spread the word….


  15. I agree with Maverick. I believe that those who have lived almost their entire life in Chennai right from childhood are the ones who love Madras – its just a natural attachment to their home. For others like me, who usually visit Madras now and then to see relatives every vacation, weather is a big sucky factor. Like Maverick said, I can never overcome it. Unfortunately this is the only major negative aspect of Chennai – nature playing a spoilsport.(I often wonder how our actors/actresses wear all those makeups/jewellery/dresses and dance around in the Chennai weather. For me,any job that requires physical activity in Chennai is BIG deal :- ) In every other aspect, Chennai scores over B’lore. And many who return from US, prefer to head towards B’lore maybe because of the weather/software companies etc. For me its still a toss-up.


  16. Hi LG,

    Chennai, Chennai, Chennai… more than love its one of the place where you feel you are one among the people. Its a wonderful place to live-in. It has given life to numerous people, famous personalities, artist… You can say like in India, its one of the land of opportunities. People come from far inside, understand the way of life here. Sometimes its hard, sometimes its a beauty. Always Chennai is sweet place.

    I can understand how much you miss Chennai. hmm..


  17. i raise my hands to join the crowd..hey i jus had a trip to chennai(vacation)…and i bought 2 posters of vintage madras pics..from some shop and had it framed it in my room ..showin my pride..chennai..chennai..yayyy..they cost like 450 each..but totally worth it..miss chennai..


  18. yeh joh city hai mera……..haha..madras city hai mera..lol…thai manne vanakam…ellarum madras ku oru ooohooo podunga pa!….ok here is the phrase which used to be real famous wen i was dling schooling in chennai – east or west madras/chennai is da best!!!!!!!


  19. I can understand when a person born/grown up in a cooler city says that climate in Chennai is difficult. But what I don’t understand is people who have lived there in 23+ years crib about the bad climate. Let us face it Chennai has a typical tropical climate (close to the equator and even closer to the sea!).
    There are other cities that are hotter than Chennai – Delhi, Bhubaneshwar et al. Why dont people complain those cities.
    The fact that we compare Chennai (read ‘our dear Chennai’) with hi-tech cities like bangalore means that Chennai is in a totally different class than the other Indian cities.
    Climate/weather should should never be given as reasons for a citites survivability. Infrastructure, facilities, Polictics – yes.

    In short I would not trade my chennai with any tiny, cooler city, phoney, costly city in India.

    My 2 cents.



  20. “I can understand when a person born/grown up in a cooler city says that climate in Chennai is difficult. But what I don’t understand is people who have lived there in 23+ years crib about the bad climate.”

    This is something even I cannot explain properly. Maybe, I can say that the fact that i have never seen better weather conditions in all those 23 years was the reason. Talking about Bangalore weather, if you get used to it for sometime it will make Chennai weather suck big time. After getting used to the cooler weather here in bangalore, even a weekend in Chennai would be something that’d make you think twice before going there. Believe me, I have also been in places which are hotter than Chennai and I have managed a bit. But Chennai’s humidity is something that cannot be matched. oru joke -“Arctic la irunthuttu kooda say ‘Chennai’ and you will start sweating 🙂 “.

    “Let us face it Chennai has a typical tropical climate”

    Adha face panna mudiyalennu dhaan me escape 🙂

    “Climate/weather should should never be given as reasons for a citites survivability. Infrastructure, facilities, Polictics – yes.”

    Infrastructure, facilities, politics – these things are not permanent. They keep changing. You can find ways to overcome them. But not the nature. Anyway, since this is subjective and individualistic. Weather figures right up there as #1 factor for me and it might not for others. Chennai is a fantastic city for me. It is just that the weather sucks, unfortunately!!! Yerkanave sonna maadhiri I’d love to take chennai with me wherever I go leaving that sticky weather back.


  21. My hands are raised and i’m on my feet.
    Hail Singara Chennai!
    Delhi sucks
    Bangalore crawls
    Mumbai rocks
    but it is Singara Chennai which reigns supreme…..
    All Hail Chennai! (rrreppeatttu!)


  22. Hi Friends,
    This is Krishna here. Happy to post a message on one of the best blogs that am seeing for long time!!

    Thx for the posting Maharajan about ILC in lazygeek. I herein invite you all to visit http://www.ilovechennai.com. Itz the website of ILC brand identity – a graphic element designed mainly for our city and residents to express our love. and yes! this is entirely different from Iloveny..as it is not tourist oriented…It started as “Yen Chennai” and due to various reasons got to be changed to ILC. juz download the identity in your favourite color… print and stick it!
    Thank you!


  23. I raise a toast to the life back in Madras
    Here are the few things I miss about Madras and life back home

    Early Morning Rise from bed

    Brushing your teeth by sitting on the stone intended for washing clothes(we never had a bathroom
    sink in the house till i was 22)

    Freshly prepard filter coffee by my mom

    My father’s obssession with brahminical traditions and rituals(Hope he never reads this)

    Quickly taken bath from a bucket of water (not from those fancy showers and bath tubs)

    Hanging on to the footboard of overcrowded PTC(Pallavan transport corporation) bus with the strong
    wind smashing on your forehead and the bus conductor yelling at you at every chance asking you to come inside the bus so that you will live to see the next day

    Playing cricket with my brother, cousins and my friends in the backyard and getting into lot of heated arguments during the game.

    Festive season of Deepavali( i can never call it diwali)

    10 paisa popsicle(called ‘kuchi ice back’ in chennai) sold by vendors pushing their hand cart

    Ogling at girls in temples and Bus stops


  24. Chennai city has a soul like Mumbai or NY. I did not grow up in Chennai, but this city’s character amazes and I am very proud to say this is the city I would love to settle in.

    There is an article about Calcutta by Vir Sanghvi which can tell you what this ‘soul’ means. If you think the weather, the discs and the english speaking elite is all that you need in a city, then Chennai is not the right place.

    Good to see a movement to promote the ‘chennaite’ feeling! Hats off to the effort.