My take on Chennaiism !!??!!

When I was moving from Hyderabad to Chennai, many of my friends warned me – Chennai is a very conservative place.  Take Care !!!!

Yeah, I knew about this, being a Chennaiite, myself.  I was prepared for this too, mentally.  But when I got a sample of it, I laughed out loud (obviously, at home), while writing the following comparison…

When you move into a flat :  (This flat is one of the 300 odd flats in that apartment)

Hyderabad – When you meet ppl in a lift, they smile at you. This is very important as you feel welcome here.  They (ppl already staying there) ask you, “Hv you shifted here recently ??? You seem to be quite new, here  !!!! Which flat have you moved into ?????”

Chennai – When ppl meet you in the lift, they do a half-smile at you in a hurry – indirectly telling you that dont even think of starting a conversation, I am very busy. 


When you meet the native speaking aunties in the apartment temple :

Hyderabad – Even though there was no temple in the apartment, the elderly took an interest in knowing the youngsters.  One hundred questions will follow the smile and they’ll know your family history in a matter of time. All these elders are native Chennaiites.

Chennai : There is a lovely Ganesh temple. And yeah, puja happens every morning and evening.  But alas, nobody takes note of the new entrant in that place, which is me.  I keep smiling at everybody, but they hastily move away.  Is something wrong with me ?????? 🙄


When you meet a group of ladies, chit chatting and one of them knows you :

Hyderabad : You’ll be introduced to everyone in the group and from one friend, you make lot of friends in a small meeting.

Chennai : The person who knows you, takes you away from the group and talks to you in a whisper and then moves back to her group. What am I ?????? 🙄


The mothers of my daughters’ friends :

Hyderabad : Are my good friends, too. The rapport is good. And we have excellent conversations. Few of them of fellow Tamilians.

Chennai : They say a hurried Hi and get going.  Conversations – a big no no !!!! 🙄


The evening time :

Hyderabad : Children have a gala time, playing together and making new friends.  The mothers follow suit, in making new friends.

Chennai : Kids are always studying – there is no play time.  It happens occasionally once in a week or so.  The ladies too are confined to their house. Why ? Why ??? Why ?????


When you pass by a new face in the block :

Hyderabad : First you are greeted by a smile. Then introductions and so on.

Chennai : OMG !!! I just passed by a human being.  Thank God, I am staying in a place full of faceless ppl. 🙄


There are many more incidents like these.  So, even though I’ve moved to my native place, I feel out-of-place.  It’s not only the ppl of Chennai.  Those ppl who are natives of other states and have made Chennai their native, too, have become like this. 

The comparison with Hyderabad came naturally to me, as my home in Hyderabad was situated in a similar environment and with a mixed cosmo crowd.

For a Chennaiite, who had stayed out of Chennai for some years, this CHENNAIISM is just shocking and the culture mind-boggling.  It will take a lot of time, for me and my daughters to get some friends, here, and to feel one among the crowd.  Just hoping that I dont become part of the other crowd.

I think that Chennaiites, who stay out of Chennai, are more sociable than ppl staying here.

Whats your take on this ???????

13 Replies to “My take on Chennaiism !!??!!”

  1. Hmmmmm…..I’d suggest, give it some time.
    For all u know they might thinking “Oh she looks so hep, maybe she’d snub me if I go start the conversation first” 😀

    So dont be in a hurry, give them a chance to get used to seeing u. Then slowly start reaching out 🙂

    Me : That’s what I am doing, Nancy – Giving some time. Thanks for the thot.


  2. Well, its gonna take some more time before people will start accepting you as one of them.

    And ofcourse, Hyderabad is far better than Chennai!!! 😉

    *coming from a fellow hyderabadi*

    Me : Certainly yes, from a fellow Hyderabadi (born in Chennai) !!!! I know it’ll take time, but these are the stark differences found in the last 3 weeks. 🙂


  3. Ohh 😦 Hugs dear! I know it wud be diff … I always felt u r so social and easy-going 🙂
    lets wait for some time .. might be there is someone like u who hs moved in recently too waiting for a friend and it wil click from the word Go 😉
    Wish u write another post abt such a thing soon 🙂 Gud luck 🙂

    Me : Thanks Swaram. Anxiously looking out for that friend to come by. 🙂 Sure, I know, its a passing phase, but the difference is so obvious. 🙂


  4. well, that must be hard! I can understand what u are going through as I too felt that way when I settled in Chennai for some yrs! Mumbai is also very impersonal but people do greet new comers ,as far as I remember! Chennai you do expect some basic interaction,worst thing is when someone does finally interact they are sooo nosey and ask such personal things that u are bugged by them!I have very limited fondness for Chennai even tho it was in my home state,espy due to the diff attitudes, the power/water cuts and sickness! But,I guess it is home!I hope u will find good friends soon!

    Me : Indy, I know that part too – when they become overly nosey and peepy….My God, these extremeties in attitude of ppl sucks. But, what to do, Chennai is home.


  5. how strange!!
    especially for a person as outgoing, warm hearted like you, it must have felt out of place!!


    Hope things get better soon and you do make new friends 🙂

    It’s the same in Bangalore in some of the localities as well!
    The old Bangalore is slightly more friendlier than the IT-Section… this is what I feel (could be wrong though… )

    Me : This trend is there in Blore too…. OMG !!!!
    The hugs surely made me feel better…surely will go and search for new frnds, thanks to the encouragement from my blogofrnds !!! 🙂


  6. This is a topic very close to my heart!

    I must warn you though that I may have biased opinion for one, that you probably know Tamil very well… I was a North Indian in Chennai without any knowledge of the language! Secondly, I had joined a college… College people tend to be friendlier than the rest of the crowd!

    The whole of first week I wud cry everyday! I used to freak out every time I heard a Rajinikanth song and people dancing to it like mad. I felt like an alien in my own country! And then, some angels (Chennaiites themselves) came in my life and made it beautiful! 🙂 Very soon, I felt at home in Chennai and u cud spot me grooving to “Appudi pode pode” 🙂

    I am sure very soon, u will have angels in ur life as well 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Me : Many thanks to you, Nova. I can surely understand, the effects of a Tamil song to a newcomer to the state. Even I feel like that sometimes.
    Thanks to all your support that I am waiting for those angels !!!!
    In the mean time, come on, join hands with me for the wonderful folkish chennaish song and lets do the dance together ….. 😆


  7. Ah!!! its too bad.. 😦 😦 I always believed Chennaiities are really good in receiving friends… but your experience proves wrong… it maybe because of these flat cultures, I guess… everybody likes to confine to their home… never trusts anybody much….

    Me : Actually flats are a great place for different cultures to meet and become frnds, hai na ???? Let me wait and see !!!


  8. MY experiences in chennai have been different!!!!

    the people are warm and friendly! you just need to break the ice!!!

    thankfully, chennai is still retains that small town feeling even though it is big!

    I will always love it 😛 😛

    hopefully, your experiences will improve with time!!!!

    Time, is the answer!

    Me : Yes, OG, time is the answer and I am ready to wait !!! Its not that I hate Chennai or the whole place is awful, OK !!!! Its just the differences between the cities being so obvious, this blog happened. Arre, yeh mera bhi native hai yaar !!!! 🙂


  9. No wayyyy !!! the only reason Im staying back in chennai is because of the people here !! Most of my best friends are tamilians and I cant even express how well Im treated when I got to their homes. Cant believe you are experiencing all these !!! I second OG, time is the answer ! and for me, Chennai is always the best ! 😀 😀 😀

    Me : Vimmuuu, for once one serious comment 😆
    Yes, I am waiting for time to find me frnds and make me more comfortable. Yes, tamilians are basically very warm ppl !!!
    Swargame endralum, adhu namma oora pola varuma ?????


  10. First of all hugs to you. Like many previous comments, I also feel like it is just that you are a newbie to others. When I moved 4 years back I had similar feelings. Now there are so many who are close to me. Now looking at other newcomers to our town, I can sense this feeling in them, the same I had few years back. You will be fine soon 😉

    Me : Lakshmi, thanks a ton. I know, I’ll be fine soon, with ppl around me sounding so optimistic and wishing me well. 🙂


  11. Umi, whatever u do, don’t slip to the other side. We need u to b the way u are when u get back! Promise me!

    Also, Bake a few cakes and call a few of those ppl over. Go the gandhigiri way! Be in their face, umi, U gotta crack the code! 😀

    Me : That’s exactly what I am planning to do – Bake a cake and have a tea party !!!! 🙂
    I am what I am and know what, after I wrote this post, I found there is a recreation club in this apartment and went and registered promptly. Met a few like-minded ladies !!!! Will meet more of them on sunday, during the children’s day celebrations, here !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


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