I have been in Chennai for the past seven months. Chennai, one of the four metropolitan cities of India is a place which welcomes the people of many parts of India especially villagers like me.
I had to write an entrance examination with three rounds which were tough to enter into Chennai. The one who wants to step into Chennai with a good status must come over many obstacles like Group Discussion, two or three interviews.
I too registered my citizenship in Chennai with great dreams like many other villagers of south Tamil Nadu. I wondered about the big buildings, electric trains, fast moving noiseless vehicles. Now I have become a part & parcel of the things about which I wondered. I am working in a eight storied building, traveling everyday in the electric train, going home from office by a cab- a fast moving, noiseless vehicle. Funny, my friends in Madurai call me ‘Madraskaran’I am able to see auto drivers with butler English and camera cell phones, bus conductors with automatic ticket machines, repeatedly blocking traffic signals, fast moving vehicles and busy men concentrating on their own business who are so much concerned about their material life.
When I had been informed that Madraskararkal(Madras Men) lead a mechanical life, pay for pure water, terrific traffic problems, I thought ”oh! It’s not our problem! I am going to settle in somewhere in south Tamil Nadu, why should we worry about that?!” But the fate has sent me to live a life of Madraskaran!
I thought that Chennai would be yet another place like Cudaloor, Vellore, Sivagangai, Madurai and Paramakudi where I lived in the past which made little changes in my life. But Chennai has registered a great transformation in my life. To become a real citizen of Chennai, I am required to change myself in many aspects to fit in. Some of them are walking fast, inserting my shirt, well shaven face, lifting a suit case, introduce more English words in Tamil conversations, often browse, scrap in Orkut, probing cell phone, eat sandwich, use ATM cum debit card, book tickets by net banking and many more.
When I go to my hometown- Rameswaram, I may miss ATMs, browsing centers, 10 radio stations and cell phone towers but I find my mother with adai dosai, sparrows entering into kitchen, peace giving temple, homely girls and wave less sea. In spite of missing all these things, I have come to Chennai for the reason that I cannot get a job with a good salary, a modern cafeteria, cushion chair to sit, an A/C Hall to work, a cab to pick up & drop, colleagues calling by first name and english speaking environment there in my hometown.
In a way, I am lucky because I am able to enjoy both the city life and village life where as most of the people are able to enjoy only one kind of life.