Chennai—My City of the Six Senses
I am back in Chennai after being away for a fortnight plus.
The eyes are greeted first by the colours of Chennai—not insipid rainbow colours, but a
blast of the brightest shades of pink, red/vermilion, green, blue, black and purple. Even the political parties sport vibrant colours. The sparkling white of the veshtis, shirts, the bright splash of hoardings, processions, vehicles demands shades to filter the impact. The old, the forgotten and the glassy new exist in this panoramic spectrum. I love Chennai for its colours.
The smells of the city, in a bouquet of aromas with the sweet perfume of jasmine and pink roses, ripe mangoes and sweet limes, the salty tang of the afternoon sea breeze
rise above the stench of garbage and decomposing odours of the waterways. I
love Chennai for its smells.
The mouth smacks at the vast choice of food—from Muniyandi/Saiva samayal establishments to the chaat, noodles and bajji on handcarts; the bowls of fruits, idli and aapam lady, the takeaway kiosk and humble messes to the swanky five star buffets. Typical Tamizh food reigns supreme—I love Chennai for its taste of food.
The ears are accustomed to the sound of the traffic that hoots and horns away belligerently. Hush! The koel cries out to herald the rains. The owl hoots at night and the cawing crows and screeching parrots can still be heard in this metropolis along
with the dogs on heat and the cats on the prowl. Music—classical and pop, rap,
talkathons on radio—I love Chennai for its sounds.
The warmth of the people is not scorching like Chennai’s sun. Somebody smiles at you, gives directions and welcomes you into their heart. ‘Take, take’ are the words of this generous city. The clasp of the friendly folks—I love Chennai for its
touch of love and friendliness.