Small Dreams

Better than even the marine drive

Chennai is not a ‘small town’ in the sense that I always meant when I imagined moving to such a place instead of leading a rat-race propelled life here in Mumbai. My friends and I spent long lunch breaks picturing such a place whenever we’d be frustrated with work pressure..which needless to say happens atleast once a week…

The place would have its own character…a cultural identity…There would be natural beauty I reckon…lovely early morning walks, quiet days and everything coming to a stand still at about 7.00 pm when everyone would be back home and spend the rest of the evening-night with friends, family etc laughing, chatting, reading or doing N things… I imagined that ‘small town’ people would find time for their hobbies… If I shifted there, I’d trek a lot, travel to nearby non-descript places, click some pictures, own a garden, listen to some local music and all that jazz…I thought I wouldnt care two hoots about being ‘in sync’ with the ever changing urban life… well, normally, this day-dreaming induced calm would last till some colleague would remind me of my  random weekend trip to Pune where shops dont open till 11.00 am ( can this be? dont the shops open at like 7.00 am ??), where ricksaw wallahs cheat you into paying double/triple the amount, where you dont find the latest in many things..where restaurants serve you Vada Pav/ Vada Sambar/Pav Bhaji that taste like anything but…where you cannot find even public transport at 11.00 pm that easily (and here this thought of not finding a public transport would not even occur to me… You find ricksaw wallahs even at 5.00 in the am!!) And then I am also reminded of the fact that I’d be ‘jobless’ in small town…nobody needs credit analysts at places like Ichalkaranji, Meerut, Pondicherry etc..I’d get paid abysmally low for whatever job I finally find myself… with this last thought my friends and I return to our work and to the rat race… the worst part of the rat race is that at the end of it all, whether you win or lose, you remain…a rat!!

Well, coming back to Chennai, before we got there, I did expect it to be a ‘small town’ in more than one sense, especially, the part involving people returning home early from work. I’d been to Chennai twice before, once as a tourist. I was quite small then and my impression was limited to the TTDC’s itinery, in which a very small part of Chennai was covered. The second time was training and our itinery was hotel-office-hotel for the entire duration…Well this third time was a pleasure trip. A friend’s wedding.  Must say, while it was of short duration, we moved around quite a bit..Its a vibrant city with distinct pride about its rich heritage. The city is still green, clean. All the street-walls have pictures of old mythology/ cultural influences on them…sea is close from all the sides of the city. People seem to love their own city (not like Mumbai, where everyone comes to earn bread, but nobody owns it and nobody cares to keep it clean). There were some ‘high streets’ where you found the latest in fashion/ technology and international cuisine…and then there were some areas full of hustle bustle, market places, large jewellery stores, saree shops…there were temples – all well maintained and clean… I dont know if this is really being followed everywhere in Chennai, but the temples we visited had people standing neatly in queues etc… Public gardens were well tended…Marina beach (of the ‘picture in this post’) was clean (though my friend who originally hails from Chennai informed us that it was relatively dirty as compared tto other beaches within the city!!

Among work related things, people reported to work early in the morning and left on time. The city seems modern and still has maintained its cultural identity. Suddenly, the ‘small town dreams’ flooded back…and we began checking for property rates in Chennai 🙂 they’re not as cheap as we thought they would be… Chennai too is in great demand and getting more and more cosmopolitan! I just hope it doesnt lose its cultural identity like Mumbai has in some ways…


About pradsword

My posts will reveal the most about my nature and my thoughts...all in all, this is an attempt to figure out my thoughts!

Posted on February 8, 2011, in Life, Mumbai, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. perpetualquandary

    I have had similar thoughts-living in a small town. I have never thought about the feasibility though!
    i visited Vizag some time back for work, and fell in love with it. I only saw a bit of the city, but I loved whatever I saw. Imagine people on the clean beach at 6.30 pm!
    Mumbai life seems so overrated in comparison. But well,I do not know better having lived here all my life.

  2. You’re right. Sometimes I feel that I can do without many things that I have the privilege of access to in Mumbai. But at the same time the ‘other me’ thinks that I feel that way because I dont live more than a week in small towns if at all I travel there…
    I fell in love with Chennai instantly because I saw that you could lead quality life there without missing the ‘City’-vibes… which I thought would never be possible, having lived my entire life in Mumbai…

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