I was born in a family which saw 3 generations of defense services. My great grand dad, grand dad, dad & uncles took pride in their Khakis. After having shuttled between countries, cities & towns, one fine day my dad just snapped out of the nomadic life and settle down in Chennai ( Ok! Tambaram!) A decision that seemed logical, given that my grand parents did the same. Their first choice, Bangalore, was then seen as a city permanently under the pollen attack! Rejected! ….So began my affair with Chennai.
For the last 32 years, I’ve cursed it – loved it, disowned it – defended it, but never questioned life in Chennai. My bro left, all my ‘ best’ friends from school, college, & early workdays moved…not just out of Chennai, but out of India; I still thought its a nice place to live. But of late, I cant help but feel the disconnect. Is it just the city or is it me? I dont know. Politics over economics, conservatism over cosmopolitan-ism, riches but no class, plans but just failed promises, from a metro to a small town, Chennai has just lost its charm and failed to keep pace.
I guess more than just economics, politics, or lifestyle, what is driving many like me to stay back is our family ecosystem! We choose to be old fashioned; grandparents over nannies, living under one roof (close by) over ‘remote support’ to the ageing. Living abroad never appealed to me looking at the way Indians get treated outside. Tough call, career limiting may be, there isn’t a right or wrong answer here. At the end of the day, it all drives down to one aspect – what’s the closest to our hearts!
Chennai may be sagging, dying or losing its shine, but I chose to stand by my choices & commitments. My heart lies here, so Chennai, it will be, for now.