“Chennai is a city, Madras is an emotion”
Chennai- the beaches, the buildings, the very old colleges, the heat, the lights, the traffic; one of the cities that never sleeps. Its a city that has evolved from a small fishing village to a metropolitan city today that is not only economically an important city but also a city that gives people a reason to keep pushing forward in life and also teach its citizens that its not about getting hit in life, rather it’s all about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Its a cultural hub where people from multiple states and even countries live together and make a living. May be that’s the reason why Chennai is so beautiful, like a multi coloured garland of flowers. But it doesn’t matter where are you from or what language you speak, Chennai will become your hometown in just 10 days and when you leave this city you will leave with a heavy heart.
Port of Madras
To start off with, lets go back to the good old 1950’s when Chennai…Oops!! Sorry, Madras was starting to kick off as a major city in a new blooming independent India. It had everything. It had the right people, resources and what not. The port of Madras provided the necessary economic advantages to make the city an important point of overseas trade for India.is the second largest container port of India, behind the Nhava Sheva Port, and the largest port in the Bay of Bengal. It is the third oldest port among the 12 major ports of India with official port operations beginning in 1881, although maritime trade started much earlier in 1639 on the undeveloped shore. It is an artificial and all-weather port with wet docks. Once a major travel port, it become a major container port in the post-Independence era. The port remains a primary reason for the economic growth of Tamil Nadu, especially for the manufacturing boom in South India, and has contributed greatly to the development of the city. It is due of the existence of the port that the city of Chennai eventually became known as the Gateway of South India.To meet the demand in container handling, the port is added with the second container terminal with a capacity to handle 1.5 million TEUs. The port is also planning a mega container terminal, capable of handling 4 million TEUs per annum expected to be operational from 2013, when the first phase of the project will be completed. The full project will be completed by 2017.When the city of Madras was renamed as Chennai in 1996, the Madras Port Trust followed suit and was renamed as Chennai Port Trust. In 2000, the port began to handle pure-car-carrier shipments of automobiles. In 2003, the 200 m naval berth was given for 30-year lease.
Tamil Nadu holds the pride of having the second largest beach in the world, the Marina Beach. Chennai’s sea coast line have a vast area of settlement developed in and around the beach area. It is a natural urban beach in the city of Chennai, India, along the Bay of Bengal.The beach runs from near Fort St. George in the north to Foreshore Estate in the south, a distance of 6.5 km (4.0 mi), making it the longest natural urban beach in the country and the world’s first longest natural urban beach. Before the Madras Harbour was built, the beach was just a strip of mud, teeming with mudskippers. The beach washed up close to the present day road for a long time until the harbour was built in 1881. Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff, the governor of Madras from 1881 to 1886, who was captivated by the beach on an earlier visit to the city in the late 1870s, conceived and built the promenade along the beach in 1884 by extensively modifying and layering with soft sand. He also christened it the Madras Marina in the same year. Since the early 19th century, a number of public buildings were constructed fronting the beach. The beach is famous for its crowd and one will not wish to miss the famous Thengai Maangai Pattani Sundal. Even if you are not going to Marina Beach or if you are going to any other near by beach, you can make this at home and take it with you. A healthy snack too in a totally different taste.
Cinema and Pop Culture
Among South India’s movie moguls, A. V. Meiyappan is a far-sighted entrepreneur and filmmaker with dash and dynamism, he had a finger on the pulse of the moviegoer. Entering the world of movies soon after it was introduced in India in the year 1931, for nearly half a century he worked incessantly, producing pictures of many kinds in many languages. At the same time Gemini Studios was an Indian film studio based in Chennai. It was launched when film producer S.S. Vasan bought a film distribution concern at an auction and renamed it.
At the same time Gemini Studios was an Indian film studio based in Chennai. It was launched when film producer S.S. Vasan bought a film distribution concern at an auction and renamed it.The name was chosen because Mr. S.S. Vasan was also involved in horse racing and owned a successful race horse named Gemini. Gemini Studios served as a breeding ground for innumerable artists and technicians for the south Indian Film Industry. The Gemini Twins became a household symbol and the Gemini flyover was named after the original studio at that junction.
Rise of stars like Shivaji Ganeshan (Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Kappalottiya Thamizhan, Pasamalar, Vasantha Maligai, Thangapathakam, Patikkada Pattanama, Navarathri, Vietnam Veedu, Muthal Mariyathai) and M.G. Ramachandran or MGR Malaikkallan, Nadodi Mannan, Ayirathil Oruvan, Rikshawkaran) meant emergence of cult figures who were liberally worshipped by the people (MGR later became chief minister of Tamil Nadu). The two actors ruled the Tamil film industry through the 1950s and the 1960s. Gemini Ganesan was prominent in romantic melodramas. Important directors of the time included Krishnan Panju, Sreedhar, P. Madhavan, P. Neelakantan, A.P. Nagarajan, A.C. Trilockchander, K.S. Gopalakrishnan and C.V. Rajendran.K. Balachander was a prominent director who became famous for his bold themes in his films: Edir Neechal, Arangetram, Apoorva Ragangal, Achamillai Achamillai, Bhama Vijayam, Aval Oru Thodar Kathai, Thanneer Thanneer, Varumayin Niram Sigappu,Maro Charitra. Anjali Devi, Savithri, P. Bhanumathi, Pushpalatha, Sowkar Janaki, Padmini, B. Saroja Devi, K.R. Vijaya, Vanisree, Kanchana and J. Jayalalitha (who also became chief minister of Tamil Nadu later) were the noted heroines of the time. M.N. Nambiar, P.S. Veerappa, T.S. Balaiah, Asokan, R.S. Manohar, Major Sundara Rajan, Nagesh, Sivakumar, Muthuraman, Balaji, Vijayakumar, Jaishankar were the prominent actors.The 1970s saw the rise of film-makers like Bharathi Raja (16 Vayathinile, Puthiya Varppuka, Sigappu Rojak-kal, Kizhakke Pokum Rail, Vedam Puttithu, and Mudhal Mamriyathe) who experimented with visual techniques, had realistic settings and had his heroes look quite unglamorous.This was the new wave trend carried forward by Balu Mahendru (Azhiyatha Kolangal, Moondram Pirai, Moodu Pani, Veedu) whose films had much visual appeal, a brilliant characterisation and emotions.Films of writer-actor-director K. Bhagyaraj (Suvar Illathe Chitrangal, Mundani Mudichu, etc.) showed simple humanity and had down-to-earth humour that appealed to the common people.Since the 1980s, Rajnikant and Kamal Haasan have become popular and risen to the status of superstars. Among the prominent actors are Vijayakant, Sathyaraj, Prabhu, Sarat Kumar, Prasanath, Karthik, Arjun, Ajit, Vijay, Murali, Parthipan, Abbas, Dhanush and Bharat. In the 1990s, actors like Arvind Swamy, Vijay, Ajit and Prabhu Deva entered the Tamil film scene.
Thyagaraya Nagar, popularly known by its abbreviated form T. Nagar, is a neighbourhood in the city of Chennai, India. T. Nagar was constructed between 1923 and 1925 by the Madras Presidency government of the Raja of Panagal as a part of town planning activities initiated according to the Madras Town Planning Act of 1920.The neighbourhood is considered the biggest shopping district in India by revenue. Though conceived as a residential locality, it is now one of the principal shopping districts of the city. It is mostly famous for its plethora of Saree and gold retailers. Thyagaraya Nagar is one of the busiest shopping districts of Chennai. The neighbourhood is considered to be the biggest shopping district in India by revenue. There are a number of apparel, jewellery and utensil stores based in Thiyagaraya Nagar. By some estimates, the shops in the neighbourhood together accounts for revenues of nearly ₹ 200,000 million annually. Ranganathan Street is one of the most crowded roads for pedestrian traffic during day time. The road is full of big name establishments side-by-side smaller and petty shops that sell all sorts of household goods and garments.It also houses one of the oldest private lending libraries in the city, ‘Raviraj Lending Library’ on Usman Road.
On a final note…
If the people of Chennai want to take pride in anything, it must be in their civility and simplicity. You see millionaires taking public transport and people in respectable and powerful positions dressed so simply. A businessman in Chennai who may control the lives of many might be dressed in a dhoti and be indistinguishable from a common man. Compared to cities up north where aggressiveness is a way of life, Chennai is a far more passive city. Sure, there are a lot of incidents in public spaces in Chennai where people tend to show dissatisfaction in an unpleasant way, it doesn’t go to the extent that you get sick of stepping into these common spaces. Chennai is a place where you would find a good amount of people scaling great heights not at the cost of courtesy or culture.