A post i did not want to write
I have always considered myself as a brainy b@#$%^d, and my totally remarkable ability to come up with one line philosophies that were so awesome and cool, did not help tackle this problem.
once i started on the age old topic of my mom's and luxury's oil and water relationship. i gave a big lecture on how my mother was obstinately refusing to accept any form of luxury that money can buy for her and her fanatic drive to save. my mother asked me to be happy about the things we have that people poorer than us do not have. i came up with the classic, "Always count the people ahead of you"
When we moved to chennai from calcutta, we got a place in mylapore, undoubtedly one of the most popular neighborhoods in chennai. it is a place with a history that far outruns the age of chennai itself. today mylapore especially the part we used to live in, is a place of rapid development. we had everything in that area, malls, music academy, a majestic temple, a landmark road, book stores, eateries, this, that and everything. i loved mylapore. it was a classy area.
after my twelfth boards my mother decided to shift to our own house in ashok nagar, a locality very near to t nagar and in the south-central part of the city. i hated that area. ashok nagar too had its share of pizza places, large roads, eateries, etc, but the thing i hated most about this place was that it has no history. it was created in the 1960's and there was something about this place that does not click with me. i guess it is like comparing an original with a duplicate. everything about this area stuck me as artificial, loud, cheap, wannabe-ish.
this summer i have had plenty of time to let this resentment grow and explode into a deep hatred of this area. plus i went to places in chennai which have a history to speak of, places like mylapore, adyar, besant nagar etc. places which will come to mind when someone mentions chennai. and this resentment grew. soon i started finding faults with my home. i found it too dirty and un-planned. i found my tv too loud. my couch too hard. my bed too small. my clothes too silly. my fridge too empty. my car too old. my ps2 too stupid. my hair too foolish. my face too long. my body too thin. my voice too girlish. my phone too this. my books too that. i started finding fault with everything i had. i started fighting with my mother and sister everyday. people who know would think i am a very self-satisfied guy but actually i am not. i wanted a cleaner house, a new computer, a xbox 360, a new tv, a new car, a softer couch, a classy area etc. things went bad at home. my mother and sister were busy planning for my sister's wedding and they did not have any time for my lamenting. their patience grew thin and relations were strained. then i had the opportunity to chuck my mobile phone for a few days.
every day i caught a bus to some part of the city and i walked. i walked through roads i knew and roads i have never heard of. i saw homes, parks, eateries, restaurants, malls and everything that chennai has to offer to her residents. i saw the same things everywhere. the Reebok showroom in anna nagar or adyar is no different from the one behind my home. the same people buy the same things from nilgiris or spencer's daily, no different from the things we buy in the nilgiris or the spencer's next to our place. people drive flashier cars and live in flashier homes but they are all just the same. they are as dumb as the ones in the not-so-flashy homes and driving the not-so-flashy vehicles.
people who live in adyar, besant nagar and the surrounding localities have this chant about the beach being next door. initially i fell for the beach charm. i scolded my mother for having shifted from mylapore which is very close to the beach. one day i drove along the beach right from burma bazaar to tiruvanmiyur beach and i understood how dumb i was. true the beach may have nice places for an 18 year old to hang out but that does not make it anything great. it just presents a lot of opportunities to blow our parent's cash. all that beach air bull shit is farce. it is nice at the end of a hot day, but i would rather enjoy my ac in my room without being disturbed by scores of beggars, eunuchs and dirty kids. it is embarrassing. i have decided not to sit along the beach and chat with my friends. i do not know how they manage to take all that. one thing i have found out about ashok nagar in the year i have spent here is that there are no beggars in this area. i have seen a few near a temple that is some distance from my place. but apart from that there are no dirty kids and certainly there are no eunuchs around this area. people living in the above mentioned classy areas have this air around them, the air of living in so and so area.
recently i spoke with a school-friend of mine who shifted from adyar to a place quite close to my house. she said that after living in adyar this place seems like nothing and that she found this place to be ina different city. i must say i was hurt.
moreover the people living in these classy areas seem to have a deep ignorance about the less-classy areas of chennai. i have lived in chennai for only a few years of my life. but i seem to know more about this city than some who have lived here all their life and the funny part is that every time you mention something about your home they will all highlight their ignorance of my less-classy area. to most of them the only thing they know about my area is that A R Rahmann lives here. a pity. i guess they are too busy congratulating themselves on living in their classy areas to notice places like ashok nagar.
i realized how dumb i have been. i am what i am. i lost my father when i was eleven. probably with his financial support, today i might have been living in one of those classy areas, driving a flashy car and living in a flashy home. but i am not. so its cool. i have a nice place to live. i have a mom who is more charismatic than anyone i have known. a sister always willing to blow cash on her brother. a car that runs and responds to my every turn. a tv that shows what i want to see. a couch to sit on. i have everything that i need. i have been provided with everything by my mom. for a single earner that is more than i can ask. the classy things are absent and my views are very samathhu (my friends will vouch for that), but i do not have an option. thanks to my dad's death, i am a generation behind most people i know. it is my job to get the classy stuff, not my mom's.
being happy with the things i have is probably the only useful thing i have learnt this summer. things are already much better at home. i am now helping my mother with my sister's marriage preparations and i am enjoying it a lot. last night she told me that she has decided to buy a new car and a luxury one too. :)
so there i stand at the end of a 6 weeks of holidays.
this is a deeply personal blog where i have yielded to my thoughts. i am sorry if i have hurt any of my friends sentiments in this blog. i am not accusing anyone of anything. i have written down everything the way i saw it and the way i perceived it. sorry.