Three hundred and seventy four years ago, this day, The English East India Company bought a small strip of land from the Nayaks who were ruling the region then. Here they constructed what is possibly the most iconic building in Chennai today; the Fort St.George. Years later on the 22nd of August, 2004, the city celebrated its birthday for the first time, and has since evolved into a week long celebration of the ‘Chennai way of life’.
What set out to be the ‘city of chaos’ with is hot, humid climate, never ending traffic, rude auto wallahs; a city almost always on edge, somehow has inextricably morphed into what we’ve all grown to fondly calling ‘home’. Despite all its mayhem and madness Chennai somehow has remained true to its roots while at the same time making the best out of all the modernization, be it food or lifestyle Chennai certainly has come a long way in creating an eclectic blend of east meets west. It has grown into a city that caters to all your sensibilities be it in the form of a full blown carnatic recital or a rock show. So on this day we’d love to share with you a couple of things about Chennai that make it so special to us.
Image Credits: Prabhu B Doss
The beaches of Chennai are perhaps the most alluring aspects of the City. It is not merely the idea of staring at the waves that makes the beaches so special, it is the people you meet there, be it the little guy selling “sundal” of the lady selling flowers ever so eager to narrate her story, or the proud horse owners straddling across the sandy shores; that’s what makes the beach so special. As Akila Kannadasan says “The Marina took me into its folds and helped me adjust to life in Chennai.” The next best thing to the beaches in Chennai is her food. Chennai is finding new ways to repackage traditional classics to create a fascinatingly funky foodscape with its ‘Thayir Saadham Gelato’, ‘pickle martinis’ and ‘kaapiccino’. At the same time our craving for ‘paneer soda’, ‘degree kaapi’ and ‘molaga bajji’ still remains intact.
Image Credits: Rajagopalan Sarangapani
True to it’s nature of being able to absorb old and new Chennai is coming up with an ever evolving array of avenues for the modern day traditional Chennai-ite. This is what makes Chennai so special, a second home to us all. Tell us what makes Chennai special to you and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page.