My City

A FEW PAS­SION­ATE CHEN­NAI­ITES TALK ABOUT THE CITY THEY CALL HOME

India Today - - SIMPLY CHENNAI - Com­piled by Saranya Chakra­pani

Afew pas­sion­ate Chen­nai­ites talk about the city

ERIC MILLER, Di­rec­tor, World Sto­ry­telling In­sti­tute

I love Chen­nai be­cause it is a city be­side the sea, fac­ing the won­ders of the ris­ing sun and the Far East. And be­cause it is a gate­way to the rest of Tamil Nadu, a land of an­cient lit­er­a­ture and open hearts. Also, the peo­ple here are very warm and kind. Chen­nai is a city of ed­u­ca­tion, the arts, and com­merce — but it has also main­tained its orig­i­nal iden­tity as a vil­lage be­side the sea: it is hoped that the com­ing de­vel­op­ment, from the Light­house to Srini­vas­a­pu­ram, en­ables this to continue

PALOMA RAO, TV host

Chen­nai has a great per­form­ing arts scene; it’s a fact that you don’t see as much mu­si­cal the­atre in any other part of the coun­try as in Chen­nai. Some of my fond­est mem­o­ries of the city since child­hood have been at the Mu­seum The­atre and Mu­sic Academy— where I have been to watch nu­mer­ous shows

SIKKIL GU­RUCHA­RAN, Clas­si­cal vo­cal­ist

No mat­ter where I go, the mo­ment I land at the Madras Cen­tral Sta­tion or the air­port, the jostling of passers- by, fren­zied calls from the taxi / auto driv­ers, mo­torists zoom­ing past my ve­hi­cle, loud air- horns rent­ing the air, sweat beads trick­ling down my fore­head — all of these give me a strange sense of re­lief. I feel I am home! As a mu­si­cian, I have al­ways felt blessed to be a Chen­nai­ite. The cul­tural mi­lieu here al­lows you to be ac­tive at all times and grow as an artist

AJAI, RJ, Ra­dio Mirchi

Chen­nai for me trans­lates to ' Home'. I am more a Madrasi than a Chen­naivaasi, as I find my­self closer to the old town than the New ‘ Sin­gara Chen­nai’. For some rea­son, I as­so­ciate the colour yel­low with Chen­nai, it re­minds me of hap­pi­ness and sun­shine. I love the ex­treme mix of cul­tures, the tol­er­ance lev­els of peo­ple, their re­cep­tive­ness and even as­pects that are gen­er­ally con­sid­ered down­sides— the bad traf­fic, the dirty Cooum river and the pil­ing garbage on streets. I feel this chaos makes life so much ex­cit­ing and makes this city what it is. ' Madras Nalla Madras' is where I was planted and where I bloom

PREETHI ATHREYA

Con­tem­po­rary dancer

The fact that we have the sea in Chen­nai makes a big dif­fer­ence to me. The rhythm of the sea stays in our sub­con­scious mind and hav­ing trav­elled to places that don’t have the ocean or the moun­tains, I value this city for its dose of na­ture. What I also like about this city is that it's good at call­ing a spade a spade. The peo­ple here are very down- to- earth and don't try to be some­thing they are not

HK RA­JASHEKHAR / www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

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