Chennai Diaries

The last month has been such a blur. Whirlwind of changes.

The new found freedom and the wings to fly into the unknown. It is all very exciting. Chennai, you have been kind to me! There is so much life in this city, so much diversity, so much life. There is so much to love. This post is dedicated for all the beautiful memories in Chennai.

Life in a blur

Life in a blur

I was so skeptical about taking up the job because I had to shift to Chennai. Everything I have heard about the place from people who have sworn not to return to Chennai kept ringing my head the minute I saw the reporting mail from Cognizant. I kept praying like a maniac! Even God was surprised, I’m sure!

MEPZ Tambaram, it said.

It was my worst nightmare! I DID NOT want to leave Bangalore. In the end, after mind numbing contemplation, I decided to go. I told myself that was going to be okay.

Evenings

A beautiful evening in Chennai. View outside ASV Suntech park.

The first few days were hard. Especially for someone who has been in Bangalore. The weather was a pain in the neck, sweating from every pore in my body. The thirst, the sweat.. I just wanted to run away. The only reason I didn’t was because I couldn’t. HAHAHA! Slowly things started working out. My body stopped being in shock from all the sweating. I stopped over thinking.

One thing I looked forward to was the beaches 🙂

One of the biggest pros of being in Chennai is its proximity to the coast line. My one true love. The beaches! You need to really get away from the mainstream beaches for you to continue being in love with them. Iconic beaches like Marina beach or Bessy beach are way too crowded. If you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with random people, then it may not be that bad after all.One beach that I have frequented with the family I lived with in Chennai is the Thiruvanmiyur beach. Perfect for an evening stroll. So much peace and so so beautiful. I may be a little biased here but who cares!!!!! There are stalls that sell snacks in the evening. Anything from raw mangoes with a smear of chilli powder to piping hot freshly fried Bhajjis! Let me tell you that these are things that will make you forgive and forget the heat. I DID!

Besant Nagar Beach

Bessy Beach.

When it comes to food I don’t think Bangalore even stands a chance of winning when you compare it to Chennai. Over the past two months, I have loved everything about the food and the enthusiasm with which food is perceived in Chennai. Iconic places that has so much history and the food is to die for. YUUUMMM!

At the top of my list is a hotel, in my opinion, that defines culture and also goes on to show dedication of the people involved to continuously strive to produce quality food. Ponnusamy Hotel, located at Royapettah started in the year 1954. So much has been said and heard about it. I’ll tell you why! THE FOOD!!

No gimmicks! No show! They just get right to the point and they mean business. The kind of food that you will always remember 🙂 I have been there twice and the amount of food I ate is sinful.

*hides in shame*

The mutton roast and the chicken roast are to die for! *drooolsss* I preferred the mutton over the chicken. It was cooked perfectly, the spices hitting all the right notes.

Another dish that I tried and loved(not as much as the much roast :P) is the kothu porotta. It comes in variants of chicken, egg and mutton. I tried the one with the egg in it.

So, what have they done to the humble porotta?? They’ve elevated the taste of the porotta by sauteing it with egg and a lot of yummilicous indgredients (I have no clue what was in it but the result was a happy tummy!)

AND BOOM! 

Mindblasting Egg kothu porotta!

It’s highly recommended if you ever go to Ponnusamy.

On another occasion I had the non-vegetarian meals with fish fry(neymeen-that’s what they call it in Malayalam). The meal was very elaborate with chicken, mutton and fish gravy to go with it. Plus along with it, there was sambar, rasam and all the shabang of a proper south Indian meal. Now, if that doesn’t satisfy the glutton in you, I don’t know what will.

Something else, that I have discovered is the beauty of an Andhra meal. Let me tell you this, the pappu, the poriyal(fried vegetables) and the podi, if this does not satisfy your insatiable hunger, maybe you don’t belong here. Anywhere you travel, apparently, there is always an Andhra mess serving you these meals. For 60 bucks a meal, you will leave with a high. I have absolutely loved every Andhra meal that I have had. The food keeps coming and you keep eating till you drop. Vegetarian meals have never excited me as much.

PERIOD.

What happens when all the things you love(well at least two :P) is all in in one place. I felt infinite that night. A wonderful view of the beach, good food and brilliant ambiance.

Is that what heaven feels like? I wonder.

This place is called The Beach club on Neelangare. We were seated at the table facing the beach. It was pretty late in the night, so the waves almost looked like white froth. I don’t think I’ll ever be eloquent enough to tell you why I felt infinite.

I don’t remember much about the food. It wasn’t bad. I’ve had better food. Good service. Great decor. Hits all the right notes. A little too pricey, but hey, that’s what the price you pay for feeling infinite.

This post will be incomplete without mentioning Vandalur Zoo. I was amazed at how well the place was maintained. Kudos to the Chennai government. When you compare it to the pathetic condition of the Bannergatta Zoo in Bangalore, this place is pretty amazing. The place is huge, with Amma stickers everywhere! So its pretty tiring to walk around the place owing to how humid Chennai is all the time. But, the day we ended up going there, the weather was pretty good. Yayyyy!

Another initiative that was amazing was that one could rent cycles at an hourly basis. How cool is that!?!

But, on a weekend, you have to be there early or you won’t get a cycle! Boy, the place was crowded. People everywhere. It was a memorable experience. My quota for the yearly zoo visit was met. I was as happy as a seal on the beach 🙂 They have a lot of animals. Lions, tigers, leopards..! It’s a long list. This is when its apt to use the word “etc”.

I would definitely go back there again.

Selfie with the baby elephant!

Selfie with the baby Elephant 🙂

I am not going to complain about Chennai. It’s just the crappy weather. Chennai holds a very special place in my heart- to all the new friends, countless movies, late night pub hopping, impromptu drives, the ‘Mahab’ experience, gluttony, and all the madness.

Thank you, Chennai.

Adios.

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Now what?

It has been quite some time since I have been wanting to blog in general. My laziness is a much greater driving force. With all the procrastination, here we are! So, it’s been about two years since my last post and I intend to finish this post!

What’s new on my end? I now hold a Masters degree in Engineering.

Guess what?! I hate engineering.

That does kind of make me stupid. Normally, people realize the fact that they absolutely do NOT see themselves in the engineering field once they are done with their bachelor’s degree. It took me another two years and a few extra lakhs to realize that this is not my ME! Haha! Such a cruel joke!

Anyway, I got placed in Cognizant last year in college. I was over the moon! Obviously! Things aren’t as rosy as I thought it was. Now, I have everyone telling me to either get married or find a new job.

Ahem.. And I’ll tell you why that is sooo not happening.

I’m not ready to be married. I’m not ready to take on any responsibility other than my own(why should I?). PERIOD.

As far as the job scene is concerned, it’s not as easy as my ignorant relatives think it is. I think my mum is solely to be blamed for all the sniggering that happens when my ignorant relatives see me. Argh. I mentally slap them all.

Random Aunt: “So, how sure are you that you are going to get your date of joining?”

Me: *mentally slapping her* “Very sure, Aunty!”

Random Aunt: “Why don’t you look for another job?”

Me: *controlling my temper and thinking to myself how insignificant their lives are* “It’s not as easy as you think it is.”

Random Aunt: Why don’t you get married?”

Me: *Confused how the conversation went from career to marriage* “I don’t want to get married right now.”

I just walk off, because I cannot tolerate shit.

My parents are no different. It’s pointless blaming relatives when your own blood belittles you. It is NOT funny anymore!

Dad: “I’ll help you start a business because working in a software company is difficult.”

Me: *I think to myself that I am really lucky to have parents who believe in me*

It is impossible to look for a silver lining that doesn’t exist.

I am someone who believes that everyone should be independent. I don’t want to be anybody’s plus one my whole life.That is not who I am. For all the men out there(including my Dad), a woman’s life is not about making yours more comfortable. At least, that’s is not how I will ever see it. For me financial independence is as important as breathing. Do you want to continue to exist or live life? The choice is yours. I choose the latter.

I am 24, that doesn’t mean that I am ready to be married and produce babies. I do not need a man to validate my existence. Actually, I do not blame my relatives for their thinking. It’s sad that their upbringing was primitive but to evolve is your choice. When you choose not to evolve, your head will forever remain in the gutter of your backward beliefs.

I may not have landed my dream job, but I do have a job. I fully intend to make the best use of it. The haters can continue to hate.

Cheers 🙂

This thing called life.

I am a few days away from turning 23. Jeez. I was a teenager just yesterday. Things change so fast and time flies faster leaving its mark on everything it touches. I remember my last birthday, I was a mess then. Getting from that frame of my mind to an almost sane person is what i am going to be thankful for this year. This year had a lot to offer me, at the end of it i walk out a more experienced person. So much has happened- VIT, new friends, newer enemies, old-new friends. All in all life has never failed to surprise me, and i am starting to love myself once again! The vicious circle of life! You fall down and you learn to get up! 

Exams happening now. Will be back with a longer post later.

Cheers!

 

Stuck

I was watching the video of my very first performance. There is a certain amount of nostalgia associated with that day. It gave me my first break. The high you get when you stand up on the stage in front of a million people, it is something that cannot be put into words. I can tell you this much, there was a hive full of bees in my stomach at that point. When i look back there are million things that comes to my mind, all at once. My music, college fests, endless hours at the coffee shop, endlessly ambling about the college and much much more. I did not think I was going to back and think about how much i miss all of it.I wish i could go back and do it all over again.

I hate growing up. There is very little that you can do be how you were then-naive. I feel like o cannot do any of those things again. Where is the time? Time is of the essence here, every second counts. It sets you apart from the rest and it matters because I don’t want to be lost in the crowd. I feel so stuck, I want to do something that excites me, something that makes me want to jump out of bed every morning. I hate being in this rut. I hate this phase. I have always believed that there is always a rainbow after a rain. It has being pouring cats and dogs for a while, and I am starting to lose faith in the very belief that makes me who I am. I want it to all to be okay again. I want to feel happy as a whole when i laugh. 

M tech.

It was always my dream to do my master degree once I finished my engineering. I thought that a Master degree at the end of my name would give me that extra edge. Let me tell you one thing, the extra edge I am talking about doesn’t come that easy. When i say it doesn’t come easy, it really doesn’t come easy! Right now, I am having second thoughts. The things is I’ll never be able to gather the courage and leave. There is just so much work all the time and every second of every minute I feel that I am being tested,one way or the other. Everyday there is this thought thought that weighs me down, that I am not good enough. I wish there was somebody who understood! I am not being lazy or just plain stubborn, there is a tremendous pressure. 

Right now, there are deadlines to be met. As a part of our curriculum we are required to publish a research paper. The work would’ve been easier if this were the only thing we had to do. There is so much to mug up apart from that, things that do not make sense. There are extra classes I attend so that i feel that I am putting an effort! The other day, after one of these extra classes I thought i was going to lose it because I couldn’t figure out what was happening! On most of the days my classes run as late as 8:30 in the night. Where is the time to research? I wish i had a few more hours in hand. 

There are times i want to space out and not think about being here at all. I do not have the time to do that! I do not have a moment to think or process the thoughts in my head. The only time i feel free is at night, by the time my head hits the pillow fatigue takes over and I am fast asleep. People talk about enjoying life, about living each day as if it were your last.. Right now all that i can concentrate on is meeting deadlines or understanding pointers. There is practically no room for error because back at home everyone is betting on me to do well. I cannot let them down, I cannot let myself down. There are dreams to be fulfilled. I hope i make the cut when the time comes.

Cheers for now!

Later.

Fatigue

I am tired. It is more mental exhaustion than physical. VIT.. I am already tired of this chapter! There is always work and more work. There is always someone or something testing you. All the time!! Gimme a break!! Today there was a lab test, as i said they keep testing us. So the whole of yest i slogged my ass off and woke up at around five in the morning to make sure i did not forget anything. My head is still buzzing from the lack of sleep. I go to the lab and I am as blank as blank can be! I walk out of the lab feeling stupider than ever and i was speechless cos i really really worked hard. It obviously means that I am not working hard enough. 

I cannot deal with this whole ‘all work and no play situation’. I wish i could just give it all up and start afresh. This was not what i expected, and i do not like being pressurized unnecessarily. The whole coding scene is new to me. I am still talking baby steps into the big picture and before i get my footing right I am being pushed head first! What do i do? The more i think about how my stay at VIT, the faster i want to run in the opposite direction. 

I just want to sit down and breathe it all in. I don’t want to be running every second of every day. Sit on the pavement and laugh with my friends! Is that too much to ask?! I want to sing in front of an audience, I want to do things that make me feel alive. I want to feel the exhilaration. I want to feel the high. 

Kites Everywhere!!

Happy Independence day!!! This is probably the happiest I have ever been on Independence Day, even though it has nothing to with India or it being free.. We had a day off, which brings a huge amount of relief to everyone here. As a part of the Independence day celebrations the students had organized a Kite flying event. I really did not think it was going to be fun when my friend dragged me to the field. Kites bring back old memories from my childhood, happy ones! When we came down to Bangalore for vacations, my cousins and I would make kites out of newspapers. But i don’t remember flying even one! It would never fly beyond the height of our terrace balcony! It seems so long ago.. It really does bring a smile to my face!

Back to the kite flying event.. Anyway, there were four of us there. Two of them bought a kite from the event organizers and tried flying it for a really long time! It just wouldn’t take off. It was such a funny sight. One person was holding the string and other was jumping up and down with the kite! Now you understand why it was hilarious! Anyway, my other friend(her name is Ramohna) and i decided to take a stroll around the campus. It is the first time after I came here that i have casually walked in the campus, usually everyone is usually running to or from class. The college is such a pretty place, so much greenery. As we were walking around the place we saw this kite stuck in some bushes calling out to us. So we decided to take the kite and go fly it! We had so much fun flying the kite, and it was the first time i am flying a kite. It was pretty awesome! Just as we were getting into the groove, a bunch of blind girls cut the string of our kite. This event was happening in the soccer field and beyond the field is almost like a jungle. And that is exactly where it fell. We had our small little adventure retrieving our lost kite. The sad part was that our kite was nowhere to be seen, but super exciting part was when we found two other kites 🙂 And just like that we emerged from the jungle with the spoils of our victory!
Thats me Flying a KITE!!!