Rants

Haters gonna hate – Why do so many North Indians hate Chennai?

I’ve had enough. I see a lot of North Indians making snide remarks about Chennai everywhere – work, Facebook, Twitter, food courts, shopping malls, trains. And today I will try to drill some sense into their heads. There is always a “Oh wait a minute, I forgot you live in Chennai!”. The next time I hear that, I will hunt that person down and kill him/her and set his/her house on fire.

I have a huge bunch of North Indian friends – many of them who live with me in Chennai, and have come to love the city. I have had countless hours of discussions with them; about why people hate us and our dear city so much. I will discuss everything they had to share – the good and the bad, here.

A wise man once said – “If you’re gonna whine about a problem, better have a solution for it!”

The weather is so hot!

Well, Geography is the problem here. The weather is just hot in Chennai — not much we can do about it!

Solution – If you can’t get used to the heat, move.

Nobody speaks Hindi!

That is because nobody knows Hindi! If you’re going to pull the “but Hindi is the national language” card, I will have to respectfully ask you to get your damn facts right. Hindi is NOT the national language; in fact, India does not have a national language – it has officially recognized 23 languages – and endorses the state governments to pick their official language.

Solution – Try communicating in English. Also, learning a few Tamil words for getting around certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Chennai isn’t a very happening place

Chennai is one of the most conservative cities in the country; however, that has considerably changed in the past few years. We have a good number of pubs and bars (though not as many as Bengaluru), and a lot of malls too. And to boot, we have lovely beaches!

Solution – You’ve heard wrong. Come over and check it out!

The food is horrible

Idlies, dosas, pongal & idiyappams – if you hate these, it is because you’re used to your naan, poori, aloo paratha & dal. Frankly, I love north Indian food – and a good number of my north Indian friends love sambhar & rasam. If you’re someone who loves experimenting with your food and trying out different food, you’d love it here!

Solution – Try our food at the right place, you might fall in love with it. If you still don’t like it – look for north Indian restaurants (there a great number of those all over the city), or even better, learn to cook!

People are so rude & uptight!

Wrong. Chennai is full of warm and loving people. Sure, people would often look at you disapprovingly if you walk around hand-in-hand with your girlfriend who’s wearing shorts a size smaller than your boxers. That is simply because most of us here, do not do that. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against girls in shorts. In fact, I’m all for it However, there’s such a thing as local customs. Nothing should stop you from doing that, but at the same time, it makes sense to keep the societal norms in mind. Another common complaint that I often hear is Tamilians at work are so introverted. This again is mostly a cultural thing. However, be nice and soon enough, your Chennai colleague will warm up to you.

Solution – Try to read the people a little bit more carefully. Most of the time, it might just be a cultural thing.

“Daaru achi nahi hai”

I feel you, brethren. Ever since the government took over the alcohol business, the availability of good quality (original) beverages has hit an all-time low. Also, it is extremely difficult to get your hands on draught beer. I, on behalf of all of Tamilnadu, am truly sorry for this grievous inconvenience.

Solution – Pondicherry is all but a hundred kilometres away from Chennai. Plan a weekend trip!

The girls aren’t good looking

I recently had an argument with a bunch of my friends about this point – some of them felt this is true for Chennai. I digress – given; the ratio of good-looking girls to the whole female population is much lesser than a lot of other major cities. However, if you know where to look, Chennai is heaven. Some north Indians I know also feel that the women here are of an ‘exotic’ variety – with their long hair and dusky complexion and demure mannerisms. WIN!

What makes Chennai special

If you’ve read all this and still whining, let me try telling you all the great things about Chennai.

  • Great connectivity – the entire city is extremely well connected by road and rail.
  • Beaches – we’ve got the spanking new Marina, Elliott’s (Besant Nagar) which is known for great-looking girls and tons of other small & less crowded beaches.
  • ECR – ’nuff said!
  • Multiplexes and malls – Gone are the days when Spencer’s was the only mall in the city. Now we have a great number of malls and multiplexes, with most of them within the city limits and all easily accessible.
  • Medical facilities & hospitals – Chennai has some of the best medical facilities in the world. Many of my friends bring their parents from all over India for treatment here – it’s good, and it’s cheap.
  • IT companies – After Bengaluru, Chennai has the most number of IT companies and tech parks. If you’re a north Indian in Chennai, you’d most probably be working in one of these
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