This post is dedicated to good friend Muski’s memory. Recently he had to undergo an inhuman job transfer from Bangalore back to Chennai. He has been incommunicado since and none of his well-wishers are aware of how or whether he has coped up with the drastic change.
I am getting tired of shooting people in the face whenever they ask me which city is better for people like us with lives- Chennai or Bangalore. Getting rid of bodies is no longer as easy as it used to be. So I have listed a few irrefutable reasons below. The whole thing may look more like a diatribe against Chennai than anything for Bangalore. But let’s dispense with the standard forms of debate and comparison in this one instance.
The weather: Bangalore has one. Chennai doesn’t.
The autowallahs: Anybody who has lived in Chennai long enough often fantasize about raiding the auto wallah’s village on horseback in the middle of the night and razing it to the ground. Let me declare unequivocally that the auto-drivers of Bangalore are no saints but at least they won’t start whining ‘twenty rupees more saar’ as soon as we are two miles within our destination.
Language issues: I am all for a parochial approach to the enforcement of the local language as long as it postponed to a future date on a regular basis (like in Bangalore). If you want to call yourself a metro, you need to speak English & Hindi as properly as Tamil. It’s not a question of pride but of pragmatism.
Buses: Either have buses which move fast like in Delhi or have more Volvos like in Bangalore so that while you are stuck in a jam, its seems a wee bit more comfortable. Being in rickety tin boxes packed like sardines while in a traffic jam. Not good.
Alcohol Policy & Pubs: While I have been told that the draconian and Tughlakish alcohol policy of Chennai which stifled most brands out of the market, has been repealed after dire legal threats from WTO and people no longer have to be exposed to the radioactive MGM (orange flavoured, mind you), it isn’t enough. Pubbing in Chennai is like sea-food restaurants in Darjeeling. Non-existent. Either I have to go to one of those Residency series of hotels where I need to take out a personal loan from SBI so as to afford a mojito or I have go to places like Black Pearl where one is advised to carry a bucket so that you have something to puke in because of the stench and filth around.
Multiplexes: The puritans will scoff at me for including this point but my elitist days are long gone. Now I am a man of the masses and will not hesitate to assert that no self-respecting city with over ten million people should have fewer multiplexes less than my home town, which incidentally can be seen only with maximum magnification in Google Earth. It’s unheard off and people should just migrate in protest.
Cinema hall commercials: Don’t we love the trailers before the movie? Usually they are better than the movie that follows. Just like the course description in Meta electives usually read better than what the course ultimately delivered. So when I realize that the lavishly mounted video was not the teaser for the next blockbuster but a surreptitiously directed effort at making me buy hyper-expensive saris or worse, diamond jewellery, I have very good reasons to get pissed.
Culture: Whatever your taste in culture may be, you can indulge in it as long as it is Carnatic music.
Shopping: Why does the dosa shop, towel shop, jewellery shop and everything else in the world shop have to be a variant of the hydra headed Sarvanna store?
Newspaper: What’s with the gravitas in the daily editorials of the Hindu? We are Indians. We don’t care much for balanced editorials, foreign news reports, incisive columns which are not about Kim Kardashian or Rakhi Sawant. ToI rocks baby. And it’s cheaper.
Weather: At the risk of sounding repetitive, I must strongly re-emphasize that Bangalore has one. Chennai doesn’t.
But there is one aspect where Chennai scores in a big way over Bangalore. Did you know that the greatest most awsomest brilliantest place on earth, IIT Madras is actually in Chennai? Surprising but true. (Don’t you love blatant pandering to your biggest readership constituency?)
If IIT had been in Bangalore, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would still be trying to graduate.
Ten years since IIT and all that - In Dec last year, I attended the tenth year reunion at IIT. Technically it will be this year that I will be completing my ten years since graduation but ...