Monday, July 02, 2012

My Immortal Chennai

I am more than just surprised at myself, for the sense of disconnection towards blogville that I have gotten into. It is hard to believe that I could stay away from blogging for so long, and in such dispassionate manner. 

I cannot say if marriage has been the reason, but I will not dwell on it any more than I already have, for being here is more important and enjoyable than being explicatory about the reason for absence. 

Anyhow, after a long pause, which perhaps may not immediately be remedied, I wanted to visit here and make a mention of some events that have, once again, brought about a change into my life. 

I've been calling Chennai home since September of 2010, and it has been a very different category of experience in this hearty Tamilian hinterland. The city, its people, its culture, most certainly intertwined with temples, movies, colours, dosas, music and vermillion, to mention a few that is, have actually been very deeply connected to the process of my growing up and growing well. The beach on the East Coast Road, with its close-to-arid, yet quiet, expanses, has practically been my courtyard for what now seems to be the most memorably happy part of my life. 

Away from the complex orchestration of collective human routines of commute in quest for destination, and supposed purpose, N and I found comfort in the tiny green oasis where little neem trees swathed in the evening breeze and echoed the calls of cuckoos while people residing in vicinity were returning home after a hard day's labour. Dusk's arrival was signalled by a mellow grey overhanging curtain of dim light accompanied the toll of a distant temple bell, with which followed a long chorus of classical hymns belted out from a creaky cassette player that was perhaps as old as its owner. Now, these scenes are forever frozen in my mind, with the ability to be recalled at ease, hopefully, well into the future. 

To some, Chennai is expressive of true warmth draped in 'absolute' conservativeness which cannot be categorized in any relative term of equivalence. It is an amalgamative state of culture, aspirations, values, youth, exuberance, co-existence, and a laid back attitude and yet home to people who fervently live of unending hedonistic delight, in the most positive sense. 

In a sense its core has changed little with time and perhaps will remain benign and irreversible despite the onslaught of the new age revolution seeking to intersperse the old and the new, the modern and the classic, the concept and the conceiver!

On 5th June, I bid a tearful adieu to this remarkable institution of my life that had so sympathetically and patiently taught me love and compassion. The sun had set as I began my journey of departure, and the roads were crammed with automobiles ferrying many a weary traveller back home. A not so dark sky heralded growing clusters of dazzling lights that illuminated surroundings and minds alike. Musky incense spreads through the air, marking a change of time and the beginning of dutiful rituals in reverence of the divine creator. 

The clamour of the evening hardly distracts my thoughts as I leave. Pausing on occasion, I notice a lull, and return to the chatter of people and the noise of the surrounding. A cascade of strong memories envelope me and I realize I am not departing, after all. A great deal of Chennai is within me in the form of experiences and memories and a good part of me remains through the eyes and spirit of all the wonderful people that I will be connected with forever. 

In truth, this is not the end where there are goodbyes and apprehensions of parting, for this is just another beginning, a mere extension of time and place, deeply interconnecting the future with the past, being played out in the present.


Sometime in the evening of Tuesday, 03 July, 2012, I received an email from a webmaster of Blogadda, a popular Indian blog directory service stating that this post "has been selected as one of the top posts for this week's 'Tangy Tuesday Picks'. We loved reading the post."

I wanted to scribe a few words of gratitude for Team Blogadda for having found this post worthy of such distinction. 

No comments:

Post a Comment