There are different sides to the story of Chennai (aka Madras). Still, compared to Mumbai (aka Bombay), it houses about one sixth of the states populations.
This is the only place on earth, where the land real estate brokers call, a place Thirukalukundram which is 75 Kms away, as outskirts of City.
Language is not a problem here, English suits well. Thamizh is the lcal language, adn Telugu and Malayalam are common. Urdu and Hindi to an extent can be used. The famous Madras Basai Tamizh laden with telugu and Hindi slangs, is the best. The Gana songs are the best.
Thanks to the torrential rain during last October 2005, there is plenty of water, and we dont buy water at Rs 800 per tanker of 1200 Liters. No Amma did this, but Varuna Bhagawan. The rents inside city are moving upwards, while on the OMR (lousy stinky place when it rains) it is skyrocketing - Velachery/Perungudi onwards.
There is a place called Kannagi nagar, named is changed I think, which waas shown in one Rajesh's movie 2 years ago, where peopel used to live on the Old Veeranam scheme pipes.
This is a strange city where the Kannagi statue is moved out of the pedestal, as one Keralite Jyotish, said, an angry widow, pointing to the ruling place. Now that jyotish, is scouting for peopel to visit him, advertising in Deccan Chronicle That is another story.
This is a holy place for the Cinema - Kollywood, where all forms of stars are born and brought up. Heroes and politicians are made. And they end up ruling, irrespective of the part affiliations. For the people, by the people.
Food is very good here. Saravana Bhavan, sort of charges five star rates. Ther eis one good joint called Raj Bhavan near Royapettah Police Station, cheap and best. Ofcourse, Ponnusamy is great fornon veg food. For sweets, visit Sri Krishna Sweets (but they should have clean waiters and waitresses working). For shopping ther eis Pondy Bazaar.
The college crowd is gifted with lots of Ice Cream Parlours. Recently I visited one MW parlour opposite to Ethiraj college, which gives 50% of your total weight as discount, provided you are a menber, this is valid till end of May 2006.
The ECR (East Coast Road) which leads to Mahanbalipuram and Pondicherry (to be changed to Pudhucherry soon) has drive in theatres and best food joints. There are there parks like VGP and MGM located. Crocodile park and the Dolhin city is also there.
Chennai has the best Zoo at Vandaloor, after the Airport.
Auto drivers do fleece people, but they are very helpful. City buses are crowded.
Last but not the least, the worlds second longest beach - Merina (there is a proposal to change its name to Kannagi beach soon), is one beautiful sight. You get good bajjis, cooked in front of you. Also the Sundal and Verkadalai is the best. Beggars menace is also there. The Police are very friendly and helpful. You can see big stars and VIPs on the side walks doing ther evening walks.