In Search of Madras in Chennai

One wonders at the time of writing this post, why the Indiblogger Team seems to have forgotten Chennai completely this year! Nothing of note this year in Chennai Team IB!!

Perhaps the bloggers in this city seem to have been forgotten akin to how the national television channels, very conveniently forgot to highlight the disaster that hit Chennai and Cuddalore earlier this month.

Well let us not digress and come to the crux of this blogging competition being conducted in partnership with Tata Motors, which essentially divides the bloggers in the country into four zones and seeks to award the zones and the bloggers based on the number of posts that are submitted. The contest also asks the participating bloggers to choose a city and state why it is a great place to live, connecting the themes of – Design, Drive and Connect – which are in the DNA of Tata Motors and their cars.

Design of Chennai:
The city of Chennai or Madras as we still choose to call it, because ‘Chennai’ is a city and ‘Madras’ is an emotion and a way of life! From the ancient Kapaleeshwarar Temple and Mylapore around which the cultural hub of the city exists, Fort St. George and the old town that the British set up, the city has gone on extending. Anna Nagar, T.Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Ambattur, AVADI where the defence factories exist and Tambaram; the city is built around the suburban railway network throughout.

Drive of Chennai:
Let’s interpret this in two ways! What drives the city and its folk? An innate desire to stay true to one’s dreams and succeed! This is what brings in people from all over the country and around the world to live here. Be it the man from a remote village in Bihar who ekes out a living here selling pani-puri or the German girl who enrols for a classical dance programme at Kalakshetra; there is a bit of sunshine and joy for everyone. ‘Resilience’ is what is ascribed to Mumbai/Bombay again and again, but the calamity that struck the city recently proved the collective strength of the dwellers of this beautiful city called ‘home’. The night-life is restrained, the people stick to their own thoughts, the heat is terrible, just some thoughts that have been propagated for ages! Come live here, and then you will understand the warmth of the people! It is genuine!

Driving in Chennai:
The scenic East Coast Road or ECR that connects Chennai to Pondicherry is a beautiful stretch that runs along the sea and is a wonderful stretch to drive. The highway to Bangalore is good in most places and is a great drive as well. Traffic jams are there like every metro but not as insane as Bangalore or Mumbai. The roads within the city are fairly good though the rains have ravaged them badly now! But we will be back on track soon!

Connect in Chennai:
Connectivity is ensured by Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses that connect the city with districts as far away as Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram. The suburban train network is the life-line with passenger trains running right up to Nellore, Tirupati and Thirumalpur. Woe betide if the train network faces a problem, thousands will face a problem reporting to work on time!!

Connect with like-minded people, enjoy a music concert, join a book club, participate in a beach cleaning drive, join the Turtle Walk, run a marathon for a cause, join the Chennai Trekkers Club, if you love to blog then join the Chennai Bloggers Club! Go hunting for used books at Moore Market and Triplicane, admire ancient architecture in the temples dotting the city, or enjoy the caramelised popcorn and catch a movie at the Sathyam theatre.

I was born in Calcutta but by a twist of sorts landed up here and have lived here for 18 years now! I am a Madrasi and proud of that! Though the ‘Bangali’ in me will always stay, this is the city that made a boy into a man and taught him the harsh realities of life and taught him to forge on in life and I shall always remain grateful to this city for that!

Visit the Tata Motors website –! Cars that are designed for a great city of a great country!



  1. Wow beautiful. Loved the way you described about our city, especially that drive part. “An innate desire to stay true to one’s dream and succeed.” Excellent and so TRUE. Chennai is a perfect blend of joy, emotion, love and everything.

    And surprising to know that you are from Kolkata 😀


  2. So happy to read your post on Namma Chennai. We are celebrating the spirit of Chennai inspite of all the pain and agony we went through and I see this more as a Tribute.

    Yes, Indiblogger should come out with BNLF in Chennai in 2016 as promised. Hope it works out.



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