Saturday, September 19, 2009


For me Bombay has always been home. If anyone asks me “favourate city” I say Bombay in a heartbeat. There are several reasons I am attached to the city, apart from the fact that it always spells out home. So recently I was myself stumped (discombobulated, googly-ed, startled senseless out of my wits) when someone asked my what’s my favourate city and I said “Chennai”.

There was silence, the kind associated with a patriarch revealing incestuous facts of a family. Friends opened mouths and forgot to close them, others looked at me and wondered if the flu hit my brain and as for myself I sat in a quiet daze of shock still ruffled at the alacrity and the gall of my response. Later that night I took in a deep breath and came out of the proverbial closet. To myself first, then to family and friends. It was true I liked Chennai, ok loved. Yes I had always had these aberrant desires. No it wasn’t my parent’s fault I assured them. It must be the trauma of a scarring childhood experience my wise counselors sighed and concluded. Maybe it is.

Vacation for me always meant gallivanting off to the south by whatever means of transport available. And vacations were never complete without Chennai. The city played host to me several time a year, lulled me to sleep on lazy summer days, fed my appetites on breezy evenings and watched me grow with a matronly eye. As a kid, and a Bombayite I hated Chennai. I wanted to Gestapo the auto-karans, outlaw Saravana Bhavan and revamp the Marina into a mega-mall. No one travelled by trains, buses ahd alphabets and no one spoke indhi. And yet I unfailingly visited the city, my visits held together by a gaggle of endearing relatives and affectionate grandparents.

Very much like the prodigal son coming home, slow realization dawned on me. Like the first soft rays of dawn that broke over the Bay of Bengal, like the subtle aroma of coffee assaulting nostrils, like the gentle whiff of malli on a hot summer’s day. Every time I visited the city I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and a realization of returning to something inherently comfortable. Chennai did not have Bombay’s sense of acceptance or Bombay’s kill to get to the top attitude, but Chennai felt different, felt like home.

Childhood remembrances are important clues to personality traits my psychiatric friend says. If ever mine was analyzed there would be an entire kaleidoscope of images. Of Mylapore in the mornings, T. Nagar in the evenings. Of going up and down the 1A with cousins, running on the endless expanse of sand on Marina and a thousand other inconspicuous, innocuous memories all of which climax into a giant snowball of emotions leading to lumpy throats and misted visions.

So there. I’m coming out on my blog now. I love Chennai, I think it rocks and I’m proud of it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There and back again

Dedication to writing is one thing I admittedly lack, as evidenced by the gaps in my blog archives. I would rather it have at least four posts every month and be a neat 48 to close a year but then life rarely moves in symmetrical progressions. Nastiness abounds in various forms and blogging is the first casualty too often. I admire some who keep managing to spew words out week after week irrespective of what offerings they chew in life. A recent blogging behavior of mine has been to trash almost everything I write as un-blogworthy. As a result of this incessant trashing I lost focus of what was blogworthy and gave up writing altogether rather than face complex theological conundrums.

I blog because I write. And when writing itself is stilted, blogging automatically stops. Why then , I thought to myself in a rare moment of self introspection did I not write anymore? Writing is impulsive stemming from a momentous inspiration I reflected. Images, people, words, music and all of the aspects that go on to making our daily life are reflected in one bright nanosecond of a realization that writers expound in words.

Or writing springs from a carefully collected repository of ideas. Ideas that have been examined for fallacies and stored. Ideas that are to be written about because of their very fallaciousness, ideas that are hilarious and ideas that are profoundly interesting. But this would involve a certain degree of discarding time since reflections are rarely pertinent to the current real world. These I like to write and there is a certain degree of comfort that comes from dipping into ones thoughts and not having to worry about how those fit in with the times.

The cynic in me then pops his head to say that I write merely for an audience. I shamelessly concur. What art is not driven by the thought of praise or of moving the masses? Although it will take a lot more than my pedestrian prose to move masses I yearn to see my words in print, with my name bolded. So the lack of a discerning audience is the real reason for my intermittent hiatuses. There is a part of me that still thinks that writing that is for fame’s sake must be shallow and will cause the well of ideas to dry up as a vengeful curse, very indicative of my minds medieval weirdness. A small conscience wanted to write for humanity when the cynic replies that words do not fill stomachs.

So I a fit of cognitive blogging I write about writing thus metablogging and also pushing another of my digressive ramblings into blog archives. Here’s to hoping the metaphorical well never has to dry up again!