Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lookup to be a Better Person

Chennai is one the oldest cities in our country. The city's walls are seeped in history and culture. Chennai Fort, Connemara Library, Anna Salai, Kapaleeshwar Temple, RK Math in Mylapore, Elliot's Beach, Dakshina Chitra - these are some iconic spots which are the landmark of this ancient in terms of age, but modern in terms of thoughts - city.

When I first decided to come to Chennai to pursue my higher studies, most people on receiving the news expressed their unhappiness. Their unhappiness stemmed from my choice of city. Chennai they told me was hot, humid, and sultry, and this is all they had to tell to me everytime this topic came up for discussion.

Having received a similar response from most of the audience, I was apprehensive of the move. I tried hard not to get influenced by all the feedback, as my bags were all packed, and tickets booked to take us down south to Chennai. Honestly speaking, I was in a state of doubt even when I boarded the train. It was one of my weakest moments in life as I was not sure if my decision would ruin my career plans. In fact, I was not even sure if I would fit in! And then I realized I don't even know the state language - Tamil! 

I was afraid of leaving behind the familiar roads, comfort of the known, and spending the next few years in a metropolis all by myself. Tears welled up in my eyes. Fear had just balled up in my chest, unwilling to leave. 

This was my state when I reached Chennai, after that everything was a rushed affair. Interview at the department, paying the admission fees, hunting for a habitable hostel, moving into my room with two suitcases and a mattress - it was all just a haze.

My parents left for Jamshedpur not much later. I had moved into a hostel not far from the college I was going to attend, and I shared my room with five other girls. Four of them had come from Manipur and one was from Salem, Tamil Nadu. Our language of communication was English. It was clearly understood that all of us had a common grievance, all of us missed our families and were hundreds of kilometers away from the place called home. That moment I learnt an important lesson. In times of sadness, one does not need any language and speech skills to help, and we all became good friends in the course of time.

Due to the nature of my subject of study, I had to frequent the public library where I discovered a treasure hoard of books. For a bibliophile, nothing is as beautiful and breath taking as the sight of a room full of books! It was my Alice in Wonderland moment. That was Connemara Library, one of the oldest public libraries in our country. The library has the distinction of housing all books that have been published in India. Every day as I walked down to the library, I used to thank my lucky stars for getting me to this city.

And for the people who could describe Chennai only by the words hot, humid, and sultry - I feel they need to come and experience Chennai. Come here not for a vacation, not for a flying visit, stay and experience the glory of this old metropolis, understand its culture, enjoy the rhythm of life bustling in its streets, and then lets hear what you have to say!

Chennai transformed me from a timid, unsure eighteen year old to a confident, independent girl. In my mind the city is a beacon of optimism, moving ahead with its glory fighting against the common perception. It showed me to #lookup and discover the wonders around me.

Do check Housing who envision a world full of positivity and possibilities.

1 comment:

  1. I did find Chennai interesting but at the same time it is true that the city is very hot and humid. I had to have bath four times a day!!!