Chennai SUCKS..or does it?

After googling “Chennai sucks”, because apparently, I have nothing else to do, I found a wide variety of sites such as this one and this one that say a number of judgmental and biased things about my hometown.

Naturally, this did not please me.

Pictured : My reaction

Common complaints about Chennai are :

  • It’s too hot and humid.
  • Apart from Spencer Plaza and Citi Centre, its too boring.
  • It’s too dirty .
  • No one talks Hindi.
  • Even the actors are “not that hot”
  • The food sucks.
  • The city as such is unattractive to look at

And I will now proceed to rebut all this, one by one.

1. It’s too hot.

Unfortunately, that’s how it is. Chennai was not “set up” by DMK or anything but by the British and for a good reason : It’s flat and has some kind of a natural harbour that was subsequently deepened to make way for bigger ships. If the British did not notice Chennai’s oppressive heat, then I don’t see why you’re complaining unless you’re from Russia.

Hey look! It’s the SUN!! HOORAYY!!

Look at Chennai’s location in India’s map. We don’t even get rain during the normal Indian Monsoon (from July to September), but instead get rains during November. We’re an entirely different climate, and all this is beyond our control.

So yeah, if you want cooler weather, go to the Arctic or something. It’s not like non-hilly regions all over India are any better : during summer, Delhi can touch 45’C and higher, though the humidity is negligible. And Chennai is humid because its on the coast. You don’t like it, GTFO.

2. Apart from Spencer Plaza and Citi Centre, it’s too boring.

I have always raged after the fact that bigwigs like McDonalds and Subway and PVR did not turn up in Chennai until 2007. They had already established themselves in places like freaking Indore and Patna, but not Chennai. I have no idea why, but if I have to hazard a guess, I think it’s because they thought they would not get patrons.

That’s biased.

Agreeably and unarguably, Chennai is boring if you’re the type who likes to go out and get drunk (and presumably run over people in the pavement afterwards).

But that’s how it is, again.

People in Chennai just don’t pride themselves in being flamboyant. They’ll drink and all, secretly, but not openly. They won’t party and even if they do, it will be restrained. Because that’s how we’ve been hardwired right from the word “go” when we were zero years old : no showing off.

I don’t know why. I seriously don’t.

One advantage in that is Chennai keeps its identity while places like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi become generic Indian cities where we can party.

3. It’s too dirty.

That’s because its going through the stage which every Indian city is going through, and every developed city in any stage of development has gone through. Good that you noticed.

If you’re living in Chennai, do something about it.

If you’re not, shut up and do something about the mess in your city first.

For example, Mumbai is utterly filthy. On the Indian scale of dirtiness of 1-10 (as the good Lalit Bhanot inspired me to create), Mumbai is 10.

There’s filth every-fucking-where. Everywhere.


I thought the Cooum in Chennai was bad, but the Mithi no longer a river. You can walk on it. It’s full of trash. I saw dogs walking on it.

You see guys spitting pan everywhere, so trains that were originally white and purple are now white, and a reddish purple. They throw their paan packets on the tracks.You can find shoes, plastic, waterbottles, books, papers, and just about anything else on the railway tracks itself, which are not frequented by people.

And in places full of people, you walk on the trash and the smells are dead giveaways. Dadar smells like rotting vegetables. Sion smells like sewage (thank you, Mithi river). Colaba smells like dead fish.

It’s just mind-boggling, the scale of the trash here. Please, don’t talk about Chennai being dirty.

I pretty much hate to type this, but I feel Chennai detractors feel Chennai is dirty also because of the people in Chennai. You know, Tamilians. Because they’re dark skinned. Yes, that is preposterous and racist, but it’s also true.

Notice how he says “stupid tams”? That rounds it up : non-Tamilians are just…bigoted in utterly senseless ways. That’s the word : bigoted.

After he questioned Chennai’s “Metro” status (as if its a prize given to the most glamorous and gleaming concrete-and-glass cities), I stopped reading.

For all of you who think Chennai should not be a metro : Chennai is a metro because of its population of over 7 million. Population defines which city is a metro and which is not, not the type of architecture or people in it or whatever bullshit.

So yeah, coming back to the topic. Yes, Chennai is dirty – as dirty as Kolkata or Indore or Delhi or Pune. So if you live here, do your bit. If you don’t, please do something about your hometown first.

4. No one talks or understands Hindi.

Ok let’s get this straight. For all non-Chennaiites and non-Tamilians in Chennai, the most common complaint is language, specifically, no one talks Hindi.

As mine was when I came to Mumbai : everyone talks only Hindi.

Due to the Dravidian movement in the 40’s till the late 80’s, Hindi lost out as a language in Tamil Nadu, otherwise people all over the place were learning Hindi, Tamil AND English. Due to vote politics, certain parties started spreading mass paranoia about how the Hindi speaking Central Government was trying to kill Tamil and forcibly impose Hindi on them. This allegation may/not have been true.

The point is, Hindi was abolished as a language which kids learned in government school and therefore, most people in TN don’t know Hindi.

Because most people can’t afford private school where Hindi is an option.

Big deal. Hindi is not “Rastrabasha” officially, its just the language that has most number of patrons. India does not have an official language in the sense no one selected any national language. That was one of the reasons behind the anti-Hindi movement in Chennai back in the 50’s.  They were trying to, but they couldn’t. Hindi is not the national language, so quit whining and be a Roman in Rome and learn Tamil.

If there was a vote to select a national language, I’d totally go for Yiddish. Who’s with me?

And it’s not so bad. Tamil, Madras Tamil atleast, is peppered with words from English as well. If you talk broken English, you’ll do just fine. You don’t need to know Tamil to know your way around as most signboards of  shops have their addresses written in English and not Hindi (like glorious Mumbai) or Tamil. The buses have it in Tamil AND English (unlike Mumbai, again, where its just some Devanagiri script).

So seriously, shut up. Communication isn’t that hard. Get out of your shell and take your head out of your ass.

5. Even the movie stars are “not that hot”.

Seriously? You say Chennai sucks because even the movie stars aren’t that good? What does that imply? That Chennai people are unattractive? Wow.

What does that imply about YOU?

Let me correct my previous statement of non-Chennai-ites being bigoted : You’re superficial AND bigoted.

You’re the reason why there are so many fairness ads in India! Man, leave Chennai before people kick you out.

My general opinion of actors not being that “good looking” (??) is because people want to relate to the onscreen personality and looking normal enables that. But why fat women are popular and 50 year olds acting with young 21 year olds as husband and wife is regular, is beyond me, so you can have that.

But as such, the general audience wants to relate to the person onscreen always, and it wont help if you look like some stupid candyfloss chocolate hero.

Also, I come back to racism again. What the hell? In case you did not know, we’re all Indians so “racism” is fail. Also, that’s how people look in TN and its accepted that thats how the actors should look. We’re all dark and paunchy with mustaches – so our actors tend to look more like us than a Brad Pitt-Robert Pattinson duality.

This is very much unlike Hindi mega serials and movies, where the actor is a glamor bomb packing sixpacks, and woos a woman who looks like she fell out of heaven. None of those exist in real life. I’ve seen very few people who actually look that attractive, so I wonder why Chennai haters are living in denial.

Get a life, Chennai detractor.

As for the complaint that there are a lot of unattractive people in Chennai, especially girls, who the fuck are you to define who is attractive and who is not?

I can say for a fact that everyone who looks in the mirror every morning think they look attractive and good looking, in their own eyes. That’s how Chennai is. Everyone looks good. If you think Chennai is fugly, this says something about your attitude towards life.

Please take your head out of your ass if it isn’t already.

Or do you want Rajini Sir to do it for you?

6. The food sucks.

Chennai thrives on rice and rice-based food. That’s what makes India so heterogeneous, which is good sometimes and bad sometimes. That’s our staple food. That’s what we eat.

If you don’t like it, leave. This statement appears to have pissed of people but it’s true. A Chennai hater will not go outside his circle and do anything to adapt. He will keep whining and bitching about Chennai. So fine, get the hell out. Seems pretty logical, right? Don’t expect to be spoon-fed everything. Either do something or leave.

So if you’re complaining you don’t get enough aloogobimutter or whatever, then STFU already. Cook it yourself, or if you desperately want to spend money and contribute to India’s GDP, then go to some good hotel and have at it.

Chennai has enough good hotels.

7. The city as such is unattractive to look at.

Why? Do big buildings like the ones in Dubai make it “attractive”? Do you seriously want it to be a generic capitalist city with a CBD and big buildings and suburbs surrounding it?

Though China seems to have caught on. Communism indeed.

I don’t exactly revel in Chennai’s urban sprawl-chaos, but heck, its a whole lot better than Mumbai (which is the only other city I’ve been to and lived in).

In Mumbai, its all big buildings and narrow as hell roads and flyovers all over. All the buildings look like fucking matchboxes if you look at it from the air. Where there are no big buildings, you have slums. Seriously, that’s it.

As seen here

It’s haphazard as hell in Mumbai and it is completely not pleasing on the eye. If it was like Manhattan, for example, and organized, Mumbai would have looked badass. But it’s not.

So yeah, Chennai may look stupid and dirty and disorganized, but there are places that are far, far worse. The people who hate Chennai are basically idiots who don’t understand any “shizzle” about this place.

I’m not saying Chennai is the worlds most awesome city, and neither am I saying Chennai is better than every city in India (it’s not).

What I’m saying is : every city in India is not better than Chennai. All are on par and have similar issues : infrastructure and population and governance.

Every city has its own charms and features that are being ignored in the stupid desire to look “cool” and “high-funda”.

Seriously, in 2060, some of you will be looking at old pictures of 2010 Chennai/Mumbai/Delhi/Bangalore/*enter city* and wondering where all that went.

So quit nitpicking about my hometown and do something about yours. If you’re not IN your homeplace then GO THE FUCK BACK THERE instead of complaining like a little baby.

You shall obey.

Chennai is much better in certain ways, than other places in India :

  1. It values education A WHOLE LOT MORE. Sometimes this just fucking sucks, but if you look at it in the long run, this is actually good.
  2. It’s basic infrastructure isn’t terrible and is relatively better than what exists elsewhere. This is particularly due to the DMK-ADMK rivalry and the anti-incumbency thing which means CM’s are changed every 5 years.
  3. Women are safe here. Guys will stare at women, but that’s about it. They won’t touch, leer and definitely not rape or molest.
  4. People in Chennai are safe from communalism and terrorism. Seriously. *touchwood*

If you disagree with me or want to say why else Chennai rocks, then comment below.

Owner of this blog : Sorry if this post seems a little rude to people who are from Mumbai/not from Chennai. This is how wisetongue19 is – hot tempered retard. Peace out, people.

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Posted on May 16, 2011, in Personal Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 92 Comments.

  1. well….i disagree to this page as a whole…d negative points stated abv …though some of them r true…but wen u post such a page u shd try disproving them rather than being like…”i dont giv a damn,if u dont like then f*** off”.Its not that i am not fond of chennai but every place has its pros n cons.
    Netx ur facts r wrong.Though hindi is not rashtrabasha…but it is official language.
    The 2 r hindi and english.
    Everyone knws wht n how mumbai rather than repenting abt ur own place and being a sadist,a better example to portray this website wud hav been comparing the statistics of d past n present and to mention the progress rate compared to others!!

    • wisetongue19

      1) nope hindi is not an “official’ language in the sense which u mean it, its just a language that people can choose to use in places like parliament or the assembly “IF THEY WANT”, on par with english or tamil or even tulu. its also the language which 40% of the population speaks (or so I am led to believe by my political science books). i study PS so i think i know what im on about.
      2) everyone looks at the glamor side of mumbai and ignores the utter nonsense here. when you land in the airport, you land in the airport that happens to be in the middle of the slum. sorry, bollywood and big buildings just doesnt cut it for me.
      3) chennai is progressing pretty fast – and statistics bore people. this is more emotive that 100% factual. where have i claimed that i am going to logically and practically support my hometown?
      4) yeah every place has its pros and cons, but when pages like lonely planet and focus only on the cons, i have all the damn rights in the world to focus only on the pros and ask people to leave if they don’t like it.

      • wisetongue19

        but hey im glad to see you don’t agree with my post. this is good for me, so maybe next time ill be better at this.

  2. Prasanna Venkatesh CB

    Full stars. Totally agree. Dare Chennai!!!

  3. hey guys,
    first of all v should fell bad to say chennai *****,
    we shuld nt b complaning rather we shuld b questioning !!!
    wats our part in this!! we c many ppl spitting on road , bt do v get out of our cars n correct them? no!!!!
    there should b change in the quality of ppl

    • Ranjith Kumar

      Please understand, this in not complain, its an answer to many questions. Can any one say in Delhi/Mumbai/Ahmedabad/Kolkata they don’t split on the road?? Its obviously no!!
      And How do you want the change of quality of people, In keeping the city clean alone or in color of their skin also?????????????

  4. Agreed.
    One can’t make too many changes to Chennai without corrupting whats left of Tamil culture.
    And thats another thing. There was once something called Tamil culture where ppl were decent and respectable and trustworthy. Its sitting somewhere in the cooum now.
    Tamil movies are BAD though. Thanks to crap bags like red giant movies.
    So is the so called popular music these days. NON OF IT is original. Its just sad. Thank you Yuvan Shankar Raja.
    For everything else. Its us who need to stand up and make an effort.

    • I appreciate your self criticality, its the way to go. But don’t bring in a culture jingoism into it.

      can you tell me what exactly would corrupt the tamil culture, are you using these words because your high school teacher taught you to ?. Seriously what the heck is so different and better about tamil culture that you are so scared that a bit of modernization would corrupt it ? I think tamils should introspect,

      Chennai needs to be Cleaner, greener,and more friendlier. Simple. Clean,Green and Friendly. We dont have to have pubs and discos ( although they are easier to have and will do what the clean green and friendly will do that is win over visitors)


      • Ranjith Kumar

        Vilander sir, let me know which haven are you from?? there you wont find a job.
        there are cleaner, greener and more friendlier places like ooty, kodaikanal, many places in kerala, why din’t you choose them for your stay.\

        Please give me an example for a cleaner, greener and friendly city in India!
        If not possible, give me an example for a cleaner, greener and friendly city in the world!

        Cities will be like this only, they’ll lack in something the another one has, but they all in common has high population, people from many places, heavy pollution, dirty places/or the city itself is dirty, local food as main served in hotels, lots more..

        The writers point is not to offend, its just the flow of emotion to defend people saying “chennai sucks”.

      • Lot of things,junk food/alcohol/meat eating everyday etc etc.all those were largely absent in chennai until 2004.

    • absolutely,ever since the cinema culture grew here the old culture is totally gone.Is total trash now and the cream of the city/state have moved away elsewhere.

  5. Siddharth Krishnan

    I completely agree. I keep telling my friends here about the place that it’s “chennai”and not freaking “Madras” . Oh and btw there’s a spice mix called madras here not to mention madras curry powder – only god knows what that means. And manchester is the “curry capital “of the UK we even have a “curry mile” :|. I also tell them how good chennai is but despite how good a movie a slum dog millionaire was ( i didn’t watch it myself) it completely screwed India’s reputation across the globe. Well aren’t we indians great- we hate our country 😐 I was like that once but now I’ve changed- going abroad really makes you more patriotic I don’t know why but it definitely does

    • For me Madras sounds a more modern name, chennai is like chee naye..probably its just me.

    • Slum dog millionaire is bad for us, but good for our kids :). It made us and the whole world realise that India that we have is shyt, and Indians need to change it to better.

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