She was my first love. She was the one who embraced us when our family needed a place to stay. Our journey together began from there.

She shaped my childhood. The now busy streets were once empty spaces full of nature’s bounty.  She had a different name – MADRAS.   There was a time when you could travel from Anna Nagar to Tambaram in just 10 minutes. Is it even remotely possible today? I don’t think so.

As I grew she grew with me too.  Liberalisation opened the doors of India to the eccentricities of the West. My teenage years coincided with her own struggle for an identity crisis. The food chains expanded smalls shops were slowly being replaced by Supermarkets. Single screens gave in to multiplexes.

She was neither here nor there. Then came the transformation. She found the right mix. The perfect blend of the old and the new. Tradition according to me is retaining what shaped us. Namma Chennai still has that old school charm about her.

Despite the so called globalization her people are still the same. Despite the advent of multiplexes we still enjoy first day first shows in KASI THEATRE. Nothing beats whistling and dancing for our superstar with the single screen crowd.

Did I say Supermarkets somewhere at the top? But getting then muttai from our known annachi is still one of life’s little pleasures.

I have lusted, wandered and roamed elsewhere in pursuit of materialism but CHENNAI still remains my own true thing – My first love.








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