Friday, March 26, 2010

Madras Musings--- A Fixation

This morning’s fixation was Madras. No, I refuse to call it Chennai. And no again, I don’t quite know why I hit upon Madras; I have long given up trying to make sense or create logic for my sudden fixations such as these.

So Madras it was, for some reason. That got me thinking of my Madras memories, two years I remember so vividly, some of the best days of my life, an eternity ago. And then I thought, why not move to Madras for a bit? Yes, like I said, I don’t make sense to me sometimes either. I mean, I don’t have a job waiting for me there, I don’t know very many people there, I hate the sticky coastal weather (though it does wonders for my skin) and the summers are the stuff of legends. Plus, beaches I like, but couldn’t care much for, given my other permanent fixation for mountains.

Yet, part of the fixation of this morning was about the moving part. It just popped up like one of those silly eureka moments you get when you are bored and then there is a thought that you play around in the mind, just for utter time pass. And I made up a list of why and why not I should move there.

So, if I were to reject the place, it would be first for the weather, undoubtedly. Though I must say, once you get past that crazy, mind numbing heat in the summer, the coastal weather is actually nice. Yes, call me crazy, you ought to have known by now that I can be that!! Maybe I would have a problem with the language too. Well, I speak Tamil fluently but I don’t know, maybe I would hate not hearing Kannada on the streets. Come to think of it, you don’t get to hear Kannada on the streets of Bangalore either!

From the time that we lived there though, its so much better. Nearly two decades ago, it was impossible to get directions or ask anything if you didn’t know Tamil and we were all forced to learn it. Versus that, in Bangalore, you can live all your life without understanding a word of Kannada. I know people born and brought up here who are that way; bad, bad, bad. Madras is better now, the last time I was there, I heard more English being spoken.

Why else would I hate it? Well, it’s a city, and as a rule I choose to hate cities. Now we have the weather, the language issue. I can’s say much about the people, I don’t know that many there. The maamis with Kanjeevarams and lots of gold--- I don’t have a reason to dislike that though, just thought of them and put it out.

Oh I forget, it is a little too far from home. Bangalore that way is just 5 hours away. Plus, too many people that I love to death are in Bangalore/Karnataka. I am also told the auto drivers are atrocious there. Considering how I want to line up all auto drivers in Bangalore and shoot them, that would be a big, big, huge problem. Buses were good, I am not sure how they are now.

As to why I would move, it would first be for palm sugar chocolate! I am not a choco-fan, but there was this one little place in Parry’s Corner, one of those government co-operative ones, where you would get palm sugar chocolate, the yummiest chocolate I have ever had in my life. I have never had the time to look for it in the years past, but one day, I will track that place down, if it exists. I have to repeat, the most yummiest chocolates ever!!!

Then I love some parts of the city, the Adyar, Besant Nagar areas. When going to school on the back of the best friend Vani’s cycle, I would gape at all the wonderful houses, flanked by tall trees in quiet neighbourhoods, wide roads, a soft breeze. My most favourite house, one where the entrance to the house was at the end of a flight of stairs, was still around the last time I checked. I love the neighbourhood, the whole area. Or maybe it has more to do with the memories I attach to them.

The beach! I am surely not a beach person; you hear me going on and on, and on, about mountains all the time. But considering I don’t live anywhere close to real mountains anyways, beaches wouldn’t be too bad a second option. I love the memory of me and ma talking long walks along Elliot’s Beach every evening. A house close to the beach, now who wouldn’t want one of those?

The temple jewelry is so absolutely amazing! But then, I couldn’t afford them anyways. That brings me to Marghazi maasa, the month long music season. I am not much of a connoisseur of classic Carnatic music, but I like the idea of a music season which is so written about. There is also the Kalakshetra; we used to live close to that place.

Then there is the slower pace of life as compared to Bangalore. But then, all cities are like that, busy places, so I can’t complain. I also love the old heritage buildings and again, the wide roads. Traffic is becoming almost just as bad though. The cinema is better there, music better. On a lighter vein, I might bump into Surya or Madhavan, the two cutest actors in the South!! LOL!

More than it all, the very idea of going to an unfamiliar place, starting a life again and discovering its streets, its hidden gems, getting to know the best restaurants, the hang outs, the history to its little corners, the newer stories there, newer people, newer memories to add to the bundle of the old ones that are now loosely tied together with fading faces, disappearing voices and closing once-familiar places: now that is the romantic idea that appeals the most, the reason why I would ever consider moving.

But then, I am not likely to do so. Madras is my land of memories. Apart from those, I am not sure there would be a life waiting there. As for now, well, Karnataka is home, I have my everything here, life, love, work, family, friends. I have me here. How can I move? Madras is far, far away.

There wasn’t really any point to this post, sorry! Just a morning fixation that kept my head working all day. I was really just repeating my thoughts of the day. Madras musings.

The fixation is still on. But I have dealt with it.

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