Yesterday, just as I started typing a post for Madras Day, there was a power cut. When it came back within 10 minutes, I started again when the current went off again! When the same thing happened for a third time ( πŸ™ ), my Dad said, β€˜Power cuts, bad roads, traffic jam, crappy β€˜Hindu’ newspaper, Cooum River. This is Madras. You might as well write a post on that.’ But, I said, β€˜There are two sides to every coin. πŸ˜› ’

A walk down the Boat Club Road, Greenways Road, IIT Campus or along the sea shore in Marina Beach, Elliots Beach. Watching the waves, getting drenched on the salty sea water in the beach. Driving in Kotturpuram Road during non-peak hours. Kapaleeswarar Kovil, Parthasarathy Swami Kovil, VaLLeeswarar, Marundheeswarar, Virupaaksheeswarar, Agastiyar Kovil, Kesava PerumaL, Madhava PerumaL temples (the list is endless). The ubiquitous Ganesha β€˜temples’ at every other street in the city. The Gulmohar, pink-coloured flowers in Thoongumoonji maram (don’t know the English name), and the yellow flowers (again, don’t know the name) in full bloom in many parts of the city during Spring or whatever the season is.

Shopping at Nalli, Kumaran, RMKV, Pothys, Chennai Silks, Naidu Hall, Krishna Collections or Roshanlals, Her Choice, Moksha or Saravana Stores, Jeyachandran Textiles or the platform shops in Pondy Bazar or one of the many small shops in the ever-crowded Ranganathan Street. Eating out at Saravana Bhavan, Sangeetha, Woodlands, Mathura, Palimar, Eden, Gangotri. Ice creams at Freeze Zone, Snofield, Milky World. πŸ˜€ Sweets at Grand Sweets, Shree Mitai, Surya Sweets, Sri Krishna Sweets, Adyar Ananda Bhavan. Food World/Spencers Daily, Nilgiris. Flowers, fruits, vegetables in abundance at the Koyambedu market.

The fruits/vegetables/flowers vendors who take the money from you with a smile when you happen to be their first customer of the day. Fighting with Auto drivers and feeling triumphant when he agrees to the fare that you say. During concerts, hearing Mylapore Maamis boast about their son/daughter settled in US or discuss about what’s happening in Mega Serials. The bus conductor who refuses to give you 50 paisa change. The poor people missing bus after bus at the bus stop, hoping that at least the next bus doesn’t turn out to be a Super Deluxe or an Express bus. The shopkeepers in the platform shops with whom you can bargain endlessly though still he gets to win in the end most of the times. The road-side Romeos who stare and shamelessly sing loudly whenever a girl passes by. 😐 The traffic police who is never present when there’s a traffic jam.

The December Music Season. Kutcheris at Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Asthika Samajam, etc. Movies at Satyam, Udhayam, Melody, Mayajal, Devi. Travelling by PTC bus with friends, while bunking college, chatting with them and at the same time, having an eye on your purse lest it gets stolen. Hunting for projects, during college, in all the shops in Ritchie Street. Roaming around aimlessly at Spencers or Citi Centre with friends. Trains at Egmore, Central, Tambaram, Mambalam stations. School excursions to Guindy Park, Snake Park, Planetarium, Vandalur Zoo, Museum, VGP, Mahabalipuram.
And above all, my home sweet home! πŸ™‚

This is Madras for me and I love this city very much. Sorgame endraalum adhu nammoora poala varumaa? πŸ˜‰

Wishing all the Chennaiites a belated Happy Madras Day and a very Happy Madras Week! πŸ™‚

45 thoughts on “Madras

  1. Sangs

    Agreed on the food part.absolutely heavenly to eat masala dosa without red chutney and non sweet sambar πŸ™‚ .Btw,you forgot the thing I miss most about this city – Madras Tamizh !!! Majaavaana baashai πŸ˜‰

  2. Sami

    Very Nice post !
    I never new that these many temples in Madras ! Never visited the temples in Madras except for Muppathamman kovil.
    and Yes shopping is ‘ONE OF THE BEST’ of madras
    //Fighting with Auto drivers and feeling triumphant when he agrees to the fare that you say// Yes πŸ™‚
    Autos/Buses – for me worst things in madras and ofcourse the water problem.
    Heat & Sweat – Chalta hai BOSS ! πŸ™‚
    But ennava irundhalum madra-a vittu kodukka mudiyathu πŸ™‚

  3. Mahesh

    West Mambalam / Mylapore is an experience. Hearing a concert at Ayodhya Mandapam with the PRC making all sorts of noise.

    Marina Beach, the sundal there, and then a leisure walk to the or Sastri Hall to listen to a concert. Bliss. Marina Beach is the *best* beach in the world. I have seen a few, nothing is even close to the atmosphere generated by Madrasites!!! And to see a full moon whilst wetting your feet is theraputic.

    That big road Usman Road[?] with all them shops GRT [my mum spends more time there than at home I think], Saravana Stores [that big 7 storied one, where my Dad spends most of his time], I prefer all the fresh [god knows whether it is, but there ya go] food shops outside. Every time I spoil my stomach but worth it. Oh, I love Ranganathan Street!!

    My mouth waters now thinking of Milagai Bajji πŸ™‚

    Good ole Madras. Any idea how *old* the city is?

  4. Sathej

    Coming to the Kutcheri venues, two absolutely great venues you have missed – Musiri Chambers and Thyagaraja Vidwat Samajam(sitting down), Infact, they are two of my favourite venues.
    And yes, a nice encapsulation of all that’s Madras.

  5. Ranjhith

    πŸ™‚ Super desc. Looks like, you have been in the flow. Actually, I’m little new to Madras. Hope you can be my travel guide. πŸ˜€

    > crappy β€˜Hindu’ newspaper
    Ho! Hindu joins TOI? Too bad. Or is it just the Madras edition? πŸ˜›

    > yellow flowers
    I guess, some posts earlier, you found a name for it. Didn’t u?

    > Romeos who stare and shamelessly sing loudly whenever a girl passes by.
    Shudn’t this be like, Romeos who generously consider every girl who passes by as Juliets? πŸ˜€

    Anyways, Madras ???? Madras!

  6. Adiya


    thats the way to go ahead with life..
    what about electric train journey, stuffy seasonal items and so on so forth. I started my carrier rather searched job for two weeks in chennai after that somehow chennai didn;t like me :))

    ?????? ????????? ?????? ????????? !!!!

  7. sangs

    but chennai can do without the roadside romeos.everytime i see one,i feel like going and stuffing their ogling mouth with dozens of spicy green chillies.

  8. Naren

    Wow..I still can remember guys calling me.”Evan Madras Paiyan” here at my current location..I always carry the pride in being Madras and Thiruvallikeni area…
    It’s need some disaster in me to remove the Sambhar smell of “Ratna Cafe”, sound of Marina waves, busy Zam Bazaar market, Beach side cricket, blessings from Parthasarathy, Thiruvateeswarar, Ragavendra temples..I would create another post about Triplicane..
    First time to this blog..made a memorable one..

  9. Bharath

    My first non-Maniratnam non-ARR comment on your blog πŸ˜€

    Im a Bangalorean – Been away from Bangalore for a couple of years and been in Chennai only for the past one and a half years… I love the place – I think its the second best city in India (catch a Bangalorean saying any city is better than Bangalore ha ha)… My favourite things about the city are the fantastic roads (Kotturpuram Main road, OMR, Mount Road and of course ECR being the top roads), semi-organized traffic, well organized flyovers/infrastructure… I think the traffic police do a great job – not exactly operationally but in their planning – the recent changes at Saidapet/Sardar Patel Road being case in point…

    Satyam, Saravana Bhavan food (the best Saravanas is on RK Salai – his coffee and Pongal are divine), Drives on ECR including to Mayajaal… Marina Beach on a cloudless day with waters rivalling Bali and Phuket… All the hep maamis at Music Academy πŸ™‚

    And the fact that its a 3 and a half hour drive to Bangalore πŸ˜€

  10. Aparna

    Thank you. I have crossed over to the other side only very few times πŸ˜‰

    Thanks πŸ™‚ Madras Tamizh is one of the many things that I missed out in this post. Oru postla Madras patthi cover paNNa mudiyuma? πŸ˜‰

    Thank you!
    :O I thought I had not even listed 1% of the temples in Madras! I think I can actually come up with a post on temples here since I have visited quite a few.

    There’s so much to write on Mylapore and Mambalam, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰
    Btw, Madras is 368 yrs old.

    Thanks. The etc. is supposed to cover all other venues πŸ˜‰

    Thanks πŸ™‚ Aug 22nd is Madras Day

  11. Aparna

    Thanks. Sure πŸ˜‰
    Well, Hindu hasn’t been a favourite of many for a long time now.
    I am not talking about those yellow flowers here. This is different. And yeah, I missed out mentioning those yellow flowers (konrai) here!
    //Shudn’t this be like, Romeos who generously consider every girl who passes by as Juliets?// LOL. Actually, I should have written it as Road-side rowdies 😐

    Has been a long time since I travelled by Electric trains.
    Btw, hope you liked Chennai even though the city didn’t like you πŸ˜‰

    Yup. I too feel the same!

    Check this out:
    Btw, how come ur initial is missing? πŸ˜›


    I missed that place since I haven’t gone there yet!

  12. Aparna

    Welcome to my blog! Thanks πŸ™‚
    Waiting for your post on Triplicane!

    Yes πŸ™‚
    //catch a Bangalorean saying any city is better than Bangalore//
    same holds true for the people of every other city πŸ˜‰
    //fantastic roads (Kotturpuram Main road, OMR//
    From when did OMR become a fantastic road?? :O
    Btw, I guess the last reason is the most important one for you liking this city πŸ˜›


  13. Sami

    Yeah pls write about temples of madras !
    Though am a born chennaite, i dont know much about city except for west mambalam & t.nagar area. πŸ™

    This post had tempted me to write about Trichy, will come up with that soon… πŸ™‚ But i have to dig up to early cholas to find the birthday of Tiruchi

  14. Adiya

    i like places. i am geographically neutral person. i love places and its nusicances, gourments .. etc etc.. additionally chennai is our mother land also how can i say no. mm.. πŸ™‚ appuram enga akka vera anga erukagina.. so its all related. πŸ™‚

  15. Aparna

    Yup I am not

    Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ Hmmm

    Sure. Please do write about Trichy. I have been to Trichy just once


    Habits die hard πŸ˜› Yeah

  16. Vincent D Souza

    Good to see so many blogs on Madras Day/Week.

    As the motivators behind this community event we are really happy with the amazing response to this unique city celebration.

    We hope it becomes bigger and bigger.

    Do visit our web site – – there are pictures, blogs, notes and the Chennai 2007 T shirt on sale ( we welcome bulk orders from clubs, corporates, assns. because the first lot will sell out in a fortnight and we plan to order 300 more.

    I am at

  17. Ravi

    ..100 % i agree with U … ” A …. A” … (am more fascinated by names startin and ending with A … ) .. i luv chennai as much as u do … as its where am defined .. happy chennai da .. though belated ..

  18. Aparna

    Mr. D Souza,
    Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ It really feels great to have a day like this to celebrate our city!

    Thanks. I can’t imagine Madras to have been like what you have written in your post! πŸ™‚

    Welcome to my blog

  19. Saravana

    new entrant to this blog community. i cannt rightly predict wat made me to have a repeated glance at ur blogs. might be u r maniratnam’s fan or u english might be good.
    anyway, go ahead.

  20. Saravana

    chennai – to hav a nice complacent life i wanna to settle in this capital.
    wat to do. hav born to be mingled into the cursed pool of s/w engineers. as time passes, expectations really grow higher. so challenges r rocketing to sky-levels. today settling for some government job( might hav been valued as something big in the past, but now it has become upside down) in chennai n to hav a calm life njoying all those music kutcheris u often speak abt in ur scraps has become highly unlikely. v hav to compromise on any 1 side. whether u hav to be ready to settle for lesser paying job n hav a happier life or u wanna have a lumpsum of salary doing all s/w coding jobs without adding any other essence to ur life.

  21. Saravana

    so, tell me aparna. i always reckon tat i am a die-hard fan of mani n watch everyone of his movies attentively so as nt even a single thing tat mani wants to be conveyed though presentedin a very subtle manner has been missed out. but from ur blogs, u speak as if u hav been always there with him.
    wat do u think is the best part of mani’s film.
    is it his presentation or
    presenting 2n half an hour movie(in fact the story can be summed up in atmost 4 sentences) in a superb way or
    vat else.

    if u ask me ,
    i ll go for his concise dialogues. after all, u perceive a lot when u see thing than putting it in words. isnt it.

  22. remo

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  23. Pingback: Aparna’s Blog » Happy Birthday Madras!

  24. Nonu

    Hey .. excursion le .. gandhi mandapam vittute .. all the promise and planning to guindy park on a tuesday (when it used to be closed) and taking you to gandhi mandampam instead … jai hind but still … i like to see some monkey action when i was 6 rather than gandhi thatha ! ..

  25. Pingback: Aparna’s Blog » In love with Madras

  26. Sumitha

    Hi Aparna,Nice write up on madras…for a person like me who never stayed in chennai for long except for the past 2 yrs..i got to know a lot abt the wonders of this place.

    You have mentioned a temple in thiruvateeswar in Triplicane…Can you please give me the address of this temple? I was told that visiting this temple is as good as visiting Kalahasthi temple.


  27. Meera

    This Shiva temple (Thiruvateeswarar) is located near Star Theatre. The street name is Sannathi street and it is perpendicular to Pillayar Koil street. You can ask for Mayor Chittibabu street and you’ll be able to find it. The shivalingam in this temple has a cut in the forehead, hence the name Vetteeswarar. You are correct. This god is very powerful and it is very peaceful when you visit this temple. God bless.


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