Saturday, April 20, 2013

A tale of three cities....

Accusations are swelling, friendships are threatened to be 'cut', and I am being asked to justify... After all it's about shifting loyalties!!!
Well, the issue here is my new found 'love' -Chennai!

I have lived my whole life in Karnataka, spending my life years in Mysore, Bangalore and shuttling between them! ;)

Spending 8 years in Bangalore, from my 1st std to 8th std, I was reluctant to go to Mysore after the family decided to shift there. After all, the 'making' of Lakshmi Krishnan had begun in Bangalore and it was a good beginning at that. But it may not have been humble. The exposure I got was tremendous. It opened up new avenues. I had tried my hand at many many things-dance, music, theatre,  prose, yoga, leadership...everything! I was at the peak of all this, when Mysore happened. Guess it was the teenager in me who picked up every reason to crib and compare Mysore to Bangalore in the initial four years of return. I kept stating every now and then that I will go back to Bangalore soon. I did that every vacation and on every occasion, what with my relatives and friends being there. As I was at it, I really don’t know when things changed and I fell in love with the 'village' as people tend to call it.

It was the traditional love story. Hatred turned love! :) :) I grew up from being the teenage girl to err, a lady amidst the innocence of Mysore. She is pristine, wonderful and is made up of all things simple and down to earth. Mysore humbled me. She taught me, nurtured me, but did not really punish me. She shielded me away from the wickedness of the world, and pampered me! But she did not spoil me. She stood by me and moulded me in to the person I am. She let me 'flow' and 'grow'.

As fate would have it, Bangalore happened again and trust me I was not really happy to go. But the 'want' to be away from the comfort of home was greater and off I went to Bangalore for doing my post grad. Reaching the 'garden city', I realised that the Bangalore I spent my growing years in had changed. Me being me, I was quite averse to changes. And while I tried sinking into being a quasi 'Bangalorean', (thanks to those initial 8 years), I realised how much I truly missed Mysore. I realised how much I truly love Mysore. Everything in Bangalore seemed so mechanical and everything about Mysore seemed so magical. And the love for Mysore while I was in Bangalore only grew, grew and grew.

I will call it destiny to land in Chennai. I had never in my weirdest dreams thought I would be in Chennai on long term basis. Why Chennai, whole of Tamil Nadu was ruled out! I had pictured my future in namma Mysore, listing out all things I love to do that I missed in 3 years or in pristine Coorg watching sun sets and listening to the birds chirping and feeling cold and cosy at the same time! But, instead I land in sweltering Chennai! All my fancy jackets and warm clothing sent to the deepest closet! Sigh..

I was so against Chennai that I cribbed and cribbed about it every day. And then, I realised I was actually trying hard to hate the place. I love the beach and am truly fascinated by the local train (the BIG train fan that I am!). It is not really similar to Mysore (the 2nd cleanest city in India!) but then, it is a strong contrast to Bangalore.
It still seemed to retain its culture despite its development.
It did not seem to sacrifice its heritage in the name of commercialisation.
Yes, the people sometimes are a bit rude and cranky. But then, don’t we find them elsewhere too?
Yes, my 'sampling' is not appropriate as the Chennai I talk about covers only 2 areas- I stay in the better part of Chennai with the beach next to me and work amidst the thick green cover and gentle beings. But then, such 'samples' exist elsewhere too!
Yes, Chennai 'sweats' and 'stinks' but that's the bargain I get for the beach! :)

I could go on and on about the three cities.., each one truly being an experience and shaping me into the person I now am and will be.
Each city deserves its due in teaching me everything I know and will know.
But, I think I will end it here with this sentence.
Bangalore was an early infatuation, Mysore, my first true love, and Chennai - a new crush! ;)

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