Dear Lonely Planet

Written in


Update before you read this: Lonely Planet seems to be in the process of editing their piece on Madras since this post. Some of inaccurate references are now gone, but the opening paragraph is still nasty and compared to Delhi, still a turn off. But all the same, thank you LP, for your quick response. I am hoping that the editorial team actually does some real research this time before finalizing the article.

Another Update: After a couple of days of random edits, looks like the article is back to its original craptasticity. No change in tone, still sounds like it was written by a poorly informed, close minded writer with a serious grudge against the city.

Dear Lonely Planet

I came across your entry for Chennai (Madras), and like a responsible citizen coming across a crumpled, empty packet of Lays chips on the street, I feel it is my responsibility to move it to the dustbin. But that would be rude of me, and Madras tradition demands that I invite you for a cup of filter coffee and a have a healthy discussion instead on the subject of urban cleanliness. As the person who originally pointed me to your article said, the problem with your piece is that it is about as far away from objective reality as Ramesh Powar is from Mutthiah Muralidharan’s world record. You romanticize the problems of other Indian cities while at the same time unzipping your fly and letting loose at Madras.

But wait a second. So I have a problem with one magazine’s portrayal of my city and I choose to rant about it online, eh? Too commonplace, and frankly, that’s not Madras’ style really. See, even in Tamil movies, when a hero is not given a chair to sit on, he does not immediately beat the shit out of everyone in the scene, but instead, fashions a seat for himself by the creative use of an angavastram.  I mean, I could take each one of your claims, and comment on them rather critically. Like for example

Chennai has neither the cosmopolitan, prosperous air of Mumbai (Bombay)

So, the 24/7 crowds at Saravana Stores in T Nagar do not represent prosperity because it’s the prosperity of the lower middle class, while swanky malls that sell cups of sweet corn for Rs 40 and theater tickets that cost more than a bypass surgery represent prosperity elsewhere? To paraphrase Rajini, rich-getting-richer and poor-getting-poorer is not prosperity, but slightly-poor-getting-slightly-rich all around is. And then we have

the optimistic buzz of Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Um, with no disrespect to Bangalore, a city I have lived in and loved, the only buzz I hear is the rumble of a million cars stalled in back-to-back traffic, and the pessimistic buzz of travelers waiting to get inside the city from its new airport that is practically light years away

difficult to get around

O really? You mean, more difficult than Bangalore? The public transportation system in Madras is far more comprehensive than Bangalore or Hyderabad. And to top off your first paragraph, we have this gem

Even the movie stars are, as one Chennaiker put it, ‘not that hot’.

Once I read that, I felt like a Mylaporean complaining about the quality of Idli in Darjeeling, like Michael Schumacher complaining about the lack of acceleration in an Ambassador. For starters, who the haemoglobin leaking four letter profanity  is a “Chennaikar”? An obscure opening batsman for the Mumbai Ranji team I did not know about? The only thing remotely resembling a “Chennaikar” is a Hyundai Santro. It’s Delhiite, Banglorean, Hyderabadi, Chennaiite (if you have to),  Calcuttan (or simply Dada) and finally Mumbaikar. I mean, who wrote this piece? A random amit who did not like the chapathi at Saravana Bhavan? Or somebody whose company forcibly transferred him to Madras? And I’m not even going to get the part about thermodynamically challenged movie stars.

Deep breath. Ok. Sorry. I had to get that out of the way. I suppose it’s because I lived in Delhi and Bombay before I settled down in Madras, so getting confrontational about trivialities is a bad habit I’m trying hard to shake off. So now, let’s get down to the Madras way to dealing with this. Let’s assume we are at Mylai Karpagambal mess (which you do not mention in your article) eating Keerai Vadai (which you do not recommend in your article) sipping on filter coffee (which you mention… dont, bloody amit) and I make the following observations

  • Hey, people who love the cities they live in love them very much. They will romanticize their every weakness (like you do for Mumbai and Delhi). So Delhi, while being filled with glittering gems and captivating ancient monuments, to quote your article, warrants no mention of its scary crime rate, while Mumbai has an “inebriating mix” of grinding poverty and swanky restaurants. How can grinding poverty be an ingredient in your inebriating cocktail?
  • People who hate the cities they pass through, like amits who work in the IT industry, will always ignore everything that is good about a city (like the beaches, sea food, ancient temples and cultural heritage in Madras just for starters)

So I propose to you that you cannot be fair and balanced if you only romanticize or severely criticize. So since you present an amit view of Madras, how about a Bihari view of Mumbai? Your article says

Measure out: one part Hollywood; six parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; stir in half a dozen colonial relics (use big ones); pour in six heaped cups of poverty; add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants (don’t skimp on quality here for best results); equal parts of mayhem and order; as many ancient bazaars as you have lying around; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; fold in your mixture with equal parts India; throw it all in a blender on high (adding generous helpings of pollution to taste) and presto: Mumbai.

How about we Biharize or Jharkandize that paragraph like this?

Measure out: one part plagiarized Hollywood, six parts car driving assholes who would like nothing more than to run us over, a bunch of feudal power-moguls, stir in half a dozen hate mongering Maratha morons like Raj Thackeray, pour in six heaped cups of grinding poverty that comes to Mumbai in the vain hope of a better life, add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants that employ us as cleaners and exploits us all the time, a handful of saffronized Hinduism out to slaughter the poor muslims among us, a dash of radical Islam out to terrorize the innocent, fold in your uncomfortable mixture with equal parts a callous India that couldnt care less for the labourers from my state, throw it all in a blender, spit in chewed pan, and add generous helpings of smug feelings of superiority, and presto: Mumbai

By itself, it would be rather unfair right? How about this view of Delhi, as seen through the eyes of a Madrasi?

Delhi, that festering pit of immorality, that hellhole of rape, corruption and violence, is a city that glorifies showines and materialistic consumption. But that apart, a good idli will set you back by Rs 70, which is ridiculous really. It’s also a bit like the US, in the sense that Delhiites rarely know that there is this rather large place called “The Rest of India” that surrounds the city in all directions. For example, they call Bangloreans Madrasis, which sort of pisses them off. Also, every guy in the city is named amit for some reason

You get my drift? Your piece on Madras looks like it was written by someone who hates the city. So how about you get a real person from Madras to write your piece (just like the ones that wrote for the other cities) and do my city the justice it deserves.

Thank you

PS: If you introduce me to the person who wrote this, I will gladly treat him to keerai vadai at Mylapore and then over coffee, we can discuss some of the nicer aspects of Madras he so unfairly ignores.

PS 2: If you believe Madras does deserve a better travelogue, the feedback link is here

PS 3: Don’t forget to follow @the_amit

PS4: For a more reasoned rebuttal of the Lonely Planet piece, read this

PS5: And for a real guide to the city, no one does it better than maami

PS6: It also turns out that Sharanya wrote about this almost 10 months ago, and Ravages pointed out pretty much most of what I did (and more). So there.

PS7:  More research here on Dilip’s blog

506 responses to “Dear Lonely Planet”

  1. Aadisht Avatar

    Come, come this is very unfair. You can get a very good idli in Delhi for *40* rupees.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      40 Delhi rupees you mean. It’s still 70 Madras rupees.

      1. Subbu Avatar

        A good idly should not cost more than Rs 5 and the best ones not more than Rs 2. Follow the lane along Kapaleeswarar temple.

        1. Sue Avatar

          I agree. It kills me to eat dosa here in Cal for Rs. 25. Without masala!

          Of course, the street stalls will sell me one for Rs 10 or so, which is sort of reasonable.

      2. vicky Avatar

        40 Delhi rupees you mean. It’s still 70 Madras rupees.


        Madras is the most underrated city. IMHO its the most reasonable cosmopolitan taking culture, education, hang outs, crime rate into picture..

      3. maami Avatar

        Why no one listens to Maami on such matters? Tsk!(retires hurt into kitchen to make idlis)

    2. vimal Avatar

      Dear Krish – you may not belive this. I am fighting with lonely planet on the same issue & I’ve got some cold replies from them. I’ve roped in Deccan chronicle to do a story on their cold attitude towards chennai. Great job! I got a really cold reply from this guy called Dan ( from their melbourne office. I infact I do remember telling them that I won’t be surprised if this piece was in deed written by an Indian – (Read as North Indian)

      All credit to your the mail you sent them while I was probably not very objective in my notes to them. You won’t belive how elated I am to that you actually made them change their stand. I think we should continue the fight till they get a good guide done on chennai.

      Would love to join hands with you in this effort. There is sub-editor from Deccan – Bijoy who is working on this story and do let me know I can introduce you to him.

      Once again… really happy to see this dude….!

      Ps: let me know if you are ok to share your email id..

      warm regards

  2. apu Avatar

    Sooooo well said! I always thought they were bluddy unfair to our city.

    “So how about you get a real person from Madras to write your piece (just like the ones that wrote for the other cities) and do my city the justice it deserves.” hear hear. you would do a better job, no?

    btw, I somehow don’t think it’s a Delhiite or Mumbaikar who wrote that either…much LP stuff always sounds to me like a random white person who’s been visiting India (and carefully sticking to the white tourist haunts…)

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Ofcourse it is. Who else would call us “Chennaikar”?

  3. Usha Avatar

    Nice blog.

    However I dont see why you HAD to take a pick on other cities to defend yours?

    1. krishashok Avatar

      I didnt. The point was to say that if people wanted to only look at negative aspects, one could easily do so.

  4. K Avatar

    I didn’t find his post too negative other than the first paragraph and it certainly doesn’t sound like an Amit-writeup. Amits will have hatred for Madras where as this writer has lack of information, probably a guy who has been in Chennai for half a day or less.

  5. Anand Ramachandran Avatar
    Anand Ramachandran

    That Amit article was one of the most spectacular turds in the history of turds. But then, you can’t really expect low-IQ barbarians to appreciate Bach, can you?

    1. krishashok Avatar

      I dont. I just want them to get a good Mylapore homey to pimp up that piece

      1. Marc Avatar

        You mean maami of course.

    2. shrik314 Avatar

      ..or donkeys to appreciate the aroma of camphor..

  6. Dips Avatar

    *Sigh* the biased view of cities. If a Madrasi reviews Chennai, its bound to be prejudiced because s/he will love the city. If a Delhi-ite reviews – itll be prejudiced because s/he thinks any city apart from Delhi is scum. And so on.
    The city wars will keep waging till we have diverse populace and many cities.

    The post however, was hilarious! 🙂

    1. Nish Avatar

      Umm..not really. I am a Chennaiite, but if I was not from Chennai, I would not consider living there.

      It is not a very hospitable place for outsiders (this from the various comments my friends make when they come to visit from other cities). They get short-changed by auto-drivers, leered at by roadside romeos, struggle with the extreme heat and sultriness, and get bored with the lack of entertainment options.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love Chennai, but I can also understand that it takes time to love the place,

      1. viswajithkn Avatar

        No offense meant. But lack of entertainment options? Thats some statement you make…I was a Chennaiite for some 10-12 years and at no point did I feel that the city was boring. And I just wonder how the other metropolitans improve on the entertainment option! Chennai has its share of malls, pubs, multiplexes, beaches etc etc…The basic idea that I get atleast is may be you have not explored the city much!

      2. Sue Avatar

        As an outsider who’s been popping into Madras at regular intervals for the last 6 years, I’ll beg to disagree. And yes, I’m a Bong who calls AP home so those are two ‘good’ reasons for me to dislike Madras. 😉

        1. Sue Avatar

          Disagree with Nish, I mean.

  7. Nandhini Avatar

    I couldn’t help cheering your article on line after line till the last word. Somebody’s gotta set the record right and I’m glad it was you with this resounding article! 🙂
    *Raises filter kaapi in silent toast*

  8. Ajay Bharathi Avatar


    That was the awesomest reply anyone could put to an article disregarding Chennai . Kudos man !!!

  9. Nash Avatar

    my attention was turned to this article by Nadhini who has decided to statcast it (put ur link up on her status msg exhorting on its virtues)…Awesome post…considering I was stuck in mum for 3 weeks (ask Geetha for more abt that place :P) though I have fond family connections (Mom grew up there, granny aunts and cousins live there, etc) I still dont wanna end up in that place living with 12 guys in a two bedroom place (a place with two rooms called bedrooms!!!) and call my place spacious :(… and Ashok, the muzhagai bajjis with tea are not so bad either 😀 (in my case with a kings :D)

  10. Inbavalli Avatar

    Great piece. Me thinks we should let loose some Rediff commenters on Amit. That would teach him 😀

    1. krishashok Avatar

      But Inba, rediff commenters are mostly amits.

      1. Vadakkoodan Avatar

        LOL.. now you are insulting both of them

  11. Bachcha Avatar

    Well the article speaks it clear . This place sucks big time. Everything from people, facilities(Travel sometime in the City bus), nonsense rates of the autowals, no respect for the National language . Being 4 years here for education and unluckily got a job also here, I can tell that I am still alien to this hostile place.

    Talking about the culture, if you have been to North India you must have seen how we celebrate festival there. These people have no sense of celebrating at all, any arbit day they will start burning crackers and make noise.Sometimes it looks they celebrate Karunanidhi’s passing by the road more than their festivals.

    Let’s come to the night life and the quality of Drinks we can purchase from these Tasmac shops. Dude you always mock upon Bihari’s even small shops there serve better quality drinks than what we get here.

    You may boast that Chennai people are hard working people, dude they are very hard working , i can see thousands of them on roads near these wine shops.

    Overall i say that the article speaks right, though this may appear as a critical review but this place sucks except for the Dirty Marina beach .

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Is your name amit? Anyway, Yek Chennai gao me yek intolerant laduka raghu thatha..
      Have a nice day, and I wish you best of luck in finding a job in a city you can tolerate 🙂

      1. Gradwolf Avatar

        National language!!? Aiyaiyo, KA, this is 24 karat agmark Amit!

        1. Manoj Avatar

          That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the “national language”!!

          1. Shekhar Avatar

            So you think ‘Hindi’ is not India’s national language?

            1. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar

              No, does that answer the question? 😀

            2. Vignesh S Avatar
              Vignesh S

              There is no such thing as India’s National language.
              Fly, you fools!!!

      2. Sreeram Avatar

        sad man. sometimes its better to shut up.

      3. Ranganathan Avatar

        AArambichuttangayya, “National language” dialogue’a! This is ISI stamped Amit_123 !

      4. Elithraniel Avatar

        hahahaha rotfl 😛 best comment yet

      5. ART Avatar

        I think this person has not visited Juhu beach…he will know then what crappy beaches are like!

      6. njan Avatar

        Hindi is NOT “THE” national language of India.

        read here:

        and The government page here :

        – Njan.

    2. Nash Avatar


      To add…if Im correct the Rashtrya Bhasha is not followed in calcutta either. I speak from experience monsieur Amit_123 or in ur case Amit_9 and btw…if u knew any english u can survive here…the autowallahs know that atleast…and ur chances of getting killed for 3000 Rs or for policemen to show u as an ‘encounter’ are much less in chennai…oh btw if u didnt knw the beach exists from marina to Pondy(ECR? heard abt it?) and as for booze…dude get a life a place called burma bazzaar exists where u get Absolut/ JD/ etc else drive down to pondy once in a while and stock up…we prefer indoor pleasure instead of outdoor sleaze…and hence we dont have our version of salman khan or industrialist bulldozing ppl sleeping on pavements incidents…cheers…and get a life

      1. Sue Avatar

        Oi, of course we speak Hindi in Cal. We just have our own version and it’s not our fault if nobody else can follow it. We know what we are saying.

    3. ajith Avatar

      u must have real mental problems if you dont have a small amount of compassion to the city which gave u education and job..

    4. vishvak saen Avatar

      and wtf?? national language?? ignorane.. go check the indian constitution.. there is no national language defined.. two official languages for inda.. english and hindhi.. so fuck anyone who says hindhi is r national

    5. Nash Avatar


      Blog Tip 1: Reply to comment else its difficult to figure out the thread of thought.
      Blog Tip 2: If u dont have data to substantiate ur remarks, refrain from comment (STFU for short). P.S. Holds good for life’s golden moments as well

      1. Nash Avatar

        small observation. Considering that u attended marriages ‘here’ that too ‘twice’ Im assuming ur social circle has been restricted to marriages. And ur version of fun is far different from ours(lets leave it at that) . Therefore commenting on a culture with a direct comparison to yours without taking into account the nuanced differences and innate beauty of subtle events should be taken with a pinch of salt. A person from here going to Mumbai will definitely take some time to adjust, but he will. BTW atleast u dont get beaten up here because ur not from here. thats true inclusiveness

        Ashok : Nash. Chill. Relax. Holster your weapon and laugh at them instead 🙂

        1. Nash Avatar

          @krish sorry sir…no practicing UT for ages…and I was not abt to comment till bachcha boy triggered me…now in kiki mode…

    6. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      Baccha, thum abhi thak maa ka doodh pee rahe ho. Thume kudh se ek gaon ka ek kisaan banna padega. Hamare chennai managaramme thumare jaise laundye ke liya milking opportunities kam hain. Laloo Prasad jee se mil lo. Thumhare liye ek naya gai khareed layenge. Besht of luck.

    7. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar

      Go find a job in bangalore call center run by bihari’s. Probably convergys or something. You would rather eat the rotten and stale moong dhal and suffer from stomach cramps compared to eating simply idly & chutney and have a peaceful life not being scared to death of your everyday 6 hour ride back home from office amidst the traffic.

      1. Nash Avatar

        @Dil ROFL 😛

    8. govind Avatar

      National language? Is he talking about English?

    9. curdriceaurora Avatar

      Bacche ko chod ( leave ) do.

      1. Naveen Avatar


    10. somebody Avatar

      that’s brilliant. hehe. flawless.

    11. vicky Avatar

      Mr. Bachcha, let me ask you what “quality” you expect from an alcoholic drink? Its the same wherever you buy it from.

      And dirty marina beach? have u tried besant nagar beach?

      do u know why u are tryin to make a career here, of all the other cities in India?…

      Im not saying the city is flawless, but think twice before making unfair judgements…

      P.S: im a big fan of the way north indians celebrate festivals…got too many friends from up north 🙂

      1. Naveen Avatar

        “Mr. Bachcha, let me ask you what “quality” you expect from an alcoholic drink? Its the same wherever you buy it from”

        Vicky, I think he is whining about the unavailability of certain brands.

    12. somebody Avatar

      oh my god! he’s a real amit! i thought bachcha was spoofing amit_123s !
      sorry bachche. lay off him’s not fair
      now i’m actually sorry this amit_123 became so popular.
      It’s not becoming to be intolerant of intolerance, you know! There is sense and wisdom in absolute silence..these things usually become clear to amits in Time. i feel guity for all the smart ass comments; we have too much of one kind of ammunition and they have too much of another. We’ll never hit each other.
      Maybe we should try hitting ON each other and make lurrve not war as they say.
      God, am i feeling like a goddamm ocean of compassion or what after all that mysorepak and marinddhu that i’ve eaten all day
      heh heh
      happy deepawali/diwali peeps!

    13. LikeThatOnly Avatar

      Who else thinks this is meant to be ironic?

    14. Pappuraja Avatar

      bacchha is being himself really…typical non chennaiite trait of cussing and putting others down. Obviously he will find it hard to blend into apositive environment. I feel sorry for him that he is not able to realise that chennai is the only place that offered him a job and he is not even thankful for that courtsey afforded to him. I wish God blesses him with a job elsewhere soon so we can make chennai a little cleaner.

      1. jujubi Avatar

        What makes u say hindi alone is national lang of india, can u quote anything supporting ur claim from indian constitution?
        And when majority forces their choice on to others its considerd vulgur by enitre cultured human race, when u guys going to realise this,(P.S -STILL NON HINDI NATIVE SPEAKERS R MAJORITY IN INDIA)

    15. Amrita R Avatar

      You talked about the national language, culture, and buses, and transportation here?
      You also talked about beaches.

      Let’s discuss 🙂
      What, according to you, is the National language of India? Hindi? Did you learn in Hindi – “‘ Hindi hamaari rashtrabhaasha hai?” Well, they mean official then. Along with English. It’s so irritating to see people talk in Hindi, when they know there are others who don’t understand, just because they are so full of themselves they don’t know facts. Like, for example, Hindi is not the national language. There’s no national language for a diverse country like India 🙂 🙂 Though the North Indian (Hindi speaking) politicians tried a lot, they didn’t succeed.

      My parents have been born and brought up in Bihar (now Jharkhand). (I love the Bihari people in common, they are very simple people, I will talk about whom I don’t really like soon). I know about the bihari -bhang Holi ‘culture’. And some ‘gundas’ on a train, burnt a part of an uncle’s body since he wore some expensive rings, and refused to part with them. The gundas were traveling ticket-less, of course. Such things don’t happen in the South (I’m from Hyderabad by the way, but I’d like to take a stand on what I know).
      I am not complaining about Bihar or things which happen everywhere, btw… this is just to get back at you. Not to mention the summers, which were so extreme.

      And if you say the quality of drinks here is bad, what were you doing outside the wine shop? 🙂 Why don’t you quit your job and go back to where you came from? Is it because there are no jobs there? 🙂 Also, instead of being thankful for your education, you should have remained illiterate and spoke our ‘national’ language (none).

      I understand that people in Chennai talk Tamil a lot, but have you tried talking to them in English, rather than talking in Hindi in a state that doesn’t care about it (you do know English right?) I can understand why they are still hostile to YOU, after 4 years.

      I have also been to Delhi, just love the city for its historical monuments. Hate the place for its people (yes, these are the people I don’t like too much), who think everything else and everyone else is utter shit. Like they say, “Ignorance is bliss” 🙂 It’s just plain annoying though. Delhi taxi drivers are no different than the ones in TN. They are the same everywhere, it’s their job. Atleast, do you, with an education, which I’m sure got you the job, have to comment about them here?
      By the way, Delhi has extreme climate as well, both summer and winter. So much for your love of climate 🙂

      Mumbai has some of the worst beaches and worser traffic. Not to mention, the pathetic living standards of a majority of poor people, with a few rich living on posh bungalows just nearby. And the cost of living.

      By the way, its not ‘arbit day’ , it’s ‘arbitrary’ 🙂 As for the festivals, yes, we don’t celebrate each festival partying all night, drinking and dancing with unknown people. 🙂 🙂 Yes, that’s not our culture 🙂
      And if you know Hindi, its ‘autowallah’, not ‘autowals’ ..
      And ‘sense of celebration’, not ‘sense of celebrating’.
      Wow, looks like I’m correcting English in addition to correcting your wrong facts 🙂
      And dirty Marina beach? What about the beach in Mumbai?
      Just which part of the world do you come from, who experts the entire world to be perfect, when you, of course aren’t?

      I don’t like cribbing about other cities, but since you just had to be so negative, I had to be. I respect the diversity of each and every city in India, I am not a big fan of Chennai either, but atleast I don’t crib about a place which makes my life better and gives me a living.
      You know, the problem is not with the cities, it’s with you 🙂

      By the way, thank you for your compliments about our hard work and dedication. 🙂

      1. shiraaz Avatar

        Ha!!! Tried to survive South India with watever little english I knew…. didnt help…. madrasi english is a language of its own.. mutilated grammar and the mashallah pronounciation….
        U guyz shud start madrasi english coaching centres…. wud be a lot of help….

        1. Naveen Avatar

          “Tried to survive South India with watever little english I knew”

          Maybe that is the problem. Your English isn’t that good.

          “madrasi english is a language of its own”

          Whaaat toooo doooooooo yaaaaaaaaaaar? 😛

          1. anju Avatar

            BRILLIANT 😀

        2. Yeah so. Avatar
          Yeah so.

          Learn Tamil. We learn your language when/if we come to your states. Try and reciprocate the favor with whatever inkling of work ethic you have by learning our language. Simply put: Don’t be a douche, aka an amit.

    16. Naveen Avatar


      “This place sucks big time”

      Your loss. Couldn’t care less.

      “Everything from people, facilities(Travel sometime in the City bus), nonsense rates of the autowals, no respect for the National language. Being 4 years here for education and unluckily got a job also here, I can tell that I am still alien to this hostile place”

      With this attitude and poor knowledge of facts regarding our own country, you have to thank your lucky stars that you have luckily got a job.
      If you have any notion that Hindi is our national language, then you are wrong. Get your facts right bachhe, there is no national language. And we respect all languages unlike you. There are in fact languages other than Hindi which are spoken in India.

      “I can tell that I am still alien to this hostile place”

      No surprise. You feel that you are an alien any place outside the cow-belt.

      “Talking about the culture, if you have been to North India you must have seen how we celebrate festival there”

      Yes, I’ve seen how you celebrate Onam, Pongal and Vishu. These festivals sound new to you? Of course, I am not expecting you to celebrate our festivals but don’t you fking dare say that we don’t have culture! You are broad minded!! Kudos!! (Sarcasm intended bachhe, don’t throw a party!!)

      “Let’s come to the night life and the quality of Drinks we can purchase from these Tasmac shops”

      There is not much night life here, that is because we have culture. Gotcha!!

      “Dude you always mock upon Bihari’s even small shops there serve better quality drinks than what we get here”

      Better English please!!

      “You may boast that Chennai people are hard working people, dude they are very hard working , i can see thousands of them on roads near these wine shops.”

      That includes you as well dumbass. Bachhe, you are still a bachha to figure out that some people who work hard drink too.

      “Overall i say that the article speaks right, though this may appear as a critical review but this place sucks except for the Dirty Marina beach”

      I’ll eat my hat if you can prove to me that Juhu beach is cleaner than Marina. As far as your feedback is concerned it is light years away from a review, let alone a critical review.

      I’d like to sign off by saying quoting a popular saying in Tamil : “Kazhuthake theriyuma karpoora vasanai?”


  12. nrajesh Avatar

    Got me pissed off first thing in a morning !!
    Written to the editors on this. Hope they take a note of this article now, if not my email at least!

  13. Dips Avatar

    *Sigh* the biased view of cities. If a Madrasi reviews Chennai, its bound to be prejudiced because s/he will love the city. If a Delhi-ite reviews – itll be prejudiced because s/he thinks any city apart from Delhi is scum. And so on.
    The city wars will keep waging till we have diverse populace and many cities.

    The post however, was hilarious! 🙂

  14. vishvak saen Avatar

    me a madavidhi guy..and what a worst the article is.. clearly someone who doesnt know a fuck about chennai wrote it..nathari varavangalum kedukaran..initially reading it..kovam thaan

  15. Bachcha Avatar

    @ Nash : Dude this is not just my personal view everyone cribs about Chennai because it deserves so. Regarding Pondi: Much civilized and autowalas understand Hindi there.
    Meanwhile had twice the opportunity to attend marriages here, seems like it is more of a condolence event.

    1. Vig Avatar

      Oh please grow up! Learn to tolerate but hindi too! Vadivelu sollara maadiri “chinna pulla thanama illa irukku” (puriyaliyaa? ask someone who knows the language to translate it for you)
      And like all the other million people who’ve already asked you to, get a life! 🙂

      1. InnocentGuy Avatar

        Like he also says, “Naan kutthu madhippa ethachu sonna Hindi pesaren ngaraanga!” 🙂

    2. Vadakkoodan Avatar

      did u mean to say “much civilized because they understand Hindi”?

    3. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar

      I’ve been working in North India (delhi to be precise) for a project and im going back for another month now. People dont believe im a south indian (madarasi) because i speak good hindi and my skin tones are very light and im not dark. That says lot about amit_123’s dont it? I get called a fool for trying to fool other ppl that im a south indian. wow! racism is everywhere and it works the same the other way around too. dont just come around and brag some shit to instill hatred on peoples minds. get a life, grow up. if u ever visited the endless number of beautiful temples and ecr drive’s u would not complain so much about chennai.

    4. Nash Avatar

      oh being a recent visitor to pondy…do u knw the minimum fare there is Rs 30? much higher than chennai…and btw u will find junta speaking hindi in mahabs as well…thats because they are places called tourist spots…u need to knw multiple languages to survive.

    5. viswajithkn Avatar

      @ Bachaa: Saare…Ongaluku Ghindi paesara Auto waala chahiyevaa? Lets be practical here…Not all the auto waalas are literate or rich enuf to go to a private convent like u Angrej saaheb..They are the ones who make a living based on what they have! IF those guys dont speak hindi y dont u spare time and learn some Tamizh? Might help you in bargaining with those fellas better…:P

    6. Pappuraja Avatar

      Learn from history for God’s sake….Tamil is a dravidian language which has no roots from Sanskrit. Infact Tamil is the only language which is sans sanskrit and the dravidians are the original natives of the palce you call your own today. We have let go, and have blended in very well. Infact the biggest monetary donations to and the most number of people who died in the kargil war was from Chennai. When we are in other parts of the country for most part we do not shy away from learning hindi or any other language of that state – we may not be the best at it but definitely we do not crib and cry that no one else speaks our language or hindi, we accept the state language as prime and respect it unlike the hindi speakers who come to Tamilnadu and cry no one speaks Hindi……..Please get real. Grow up.

    7. Pappuraja Avatar

      Much the same way I felt at first about marriages in Delhi where it feels like a few drunkards dancing to obscene cinema tunes behind a famished horse on which the bridegroom is placed in colorful clothes before the slaughter – very tribal experience – but I didn’t complain, instead appreciated that it was different culture and I learned to enjoy it and be part of them and made them feel good. My tamil culture does not allow me to bash other cultures just beacuse I didnt grow up doing what they did or speak what they spoke.

      Again for your information the constituition of India clearly states there are 2 official languages of the Central Govt. of India – English and Hindi. No national language.

      The only reason I even write this is to let people like you know that even if you don’t like something have a more dignified, sophisticated, a more cultured and more civilized in your response. Rather than being quick to call an auto walla uncivilized and base your opinion of a whole city based on your interactions witha few auto wallas who ripped you off or based on the fact that someone did not talk to you in Hindi, think how you can be more civilized in your own responses….atleast a little better than the average auto walla !

    8. Naveen Avatar

      Bachha, I believe you are racist too. Its no wonder that people like you piss off Aussies down under.

    9. Naveen Avatar

      Hard to believe such a tard is an alumnus of IIT-M!

    10. Faizu Avatar

      @Baccha or Bachchu or wateverrr…
      Your problem if you can’t open your fly and learn to pee…
      Don’t expect to someone open your fly and help you..
      Get my point ya hindi mein samjhaun??
      Not at all “civilised” man…

    11. Anamika Anyone Avatar

      Oh please, give me a break!
      Your comments remind me of the trip I’d taken last year to Kolkata with my parents. There I was, waiting for the lunch hour in delicious anticipation, imagining gorging on full Kolkatan fare, when my parents stubbornly insisted on eating at the local Southie restaurant! Heavens! After the meal, my Mom had the temerity to say, ‘The food was not as good as in Bangalore’. KMN!

      Oh, what fools we mortals be!

      I’m from Bangalore and I get super pissed off when I hear my Northie friends saying ‘Autowale yaha sab Kannad mein baat karte hain yaar’.
      Number 1, its Kannada, not ‘Kannad’. And 2, it’s a gross exaggeration; Many rick drivers do understand Hindi/English, but they speak ‘Kannad’, because they love it and since YOU are living in THEIR city they expect you to know it a little bit. You’ve a problem with that?
      It’s the same in every city.

      Here’s a tip: When you’re going to visit/live in a place, learn some of their language. It’s respectful, people warm up to you faster when they hear you speaking their tongue, and when that happens you’ll start liking the place. That should solve your problem. When in Rome, my friend.

  16. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
    Karthik (Galeejnus)

    Machan there is a much better word for amits. Abeys. From their habit of exclaiming abey for everything from a wedding to a flashy new sherwani.
    I know that Amit has a solid theory backing it: it is the most common name in North India, as the most common culture there is agriculture. But still, I strongly recommend the use of abey, as I like to classify species by their mating calls.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      A similar case could be made for “yaar” as well, so I propose abeyaar as a hybrid solution. I further propose that we merge our nomenclatures and declare a new species Amitus Abeyaarus

      1. Nash Avatar

        Genus Shittarius

      2. Vig Avatar

        Amitus abeyaarus. Riotous! 😀
        And it would be very nice if you can increase the number of allowed nested comments. 3 is sort-of breaking conversations.

      3. ABVan Avatar

        *chuckles* I see this theory heading towards the ” hence proved that Avvaiyaar is a Northie” direction.

        1. SN Avatar

          There is another suggestion for a name for them.. CHOMs.. Read: Chapatthi Oriented monkeys! They always go.. “Kya yaar.. Yahan humara roti subzi, Aloo paratha, Gobhi paratha, blah blah nahin miltha ” tch tch.. all the time! My answer, Hullo choms, there is nothing stopping you from going to ur UP/bihar and getting ur CHOM food.. Please go.. If you are still here after all this, there has to be a reason, which is not there in your under civilized societies…. Understand that! For god’s sake, stop complaining!

          1. Pappuraja Avatar

            Please do not loose it for this bacchaa…lets keep our cool…he is trying to make us like him…please do not get trapped.

      4. shiraaz Avatar

        dude… I think u guyz shud get a life instead of this bachcha guy…. For all u know, he might just be another foreign anti-Indian element who gets cheap thrill out of seeing Indians fight among themselves….
        He could well be one of ur thambi trying to heat up the blogosphere (for want of anything better to do)….

        Look at how much hatred u are filled with , U Tamil ppl…. one lil comment and all u shanthis, sujathas and Amiths are ready to launch a full blown anti-north Indian/anti-hindi attack….

        Hail Karunanidhi!

    2. Sreeram Avatar

      i take strong objection here. Lets not denigrade a noble occupation like agriculture to amits.

  17. Bachcha Avatar

    @Kris: Thanks for the wishes, already tolerated it for 5 years man but this village has not changed a bit , it sucks big time.

    1. ABVan Avatar


      Well! its just like your…uh…. opinion, man.

      1. Nash Avatar

        oh btw…just because he has a “H” in his name doesnt mean its a spello 😛 u guys are H challenged or what??? it says Krish pretty clearly..

    2. jujubi Avatar

      Pls note Im pasting my own posting from another forum
      “chennai city sucks to u( people from north) is bcos mainly of this attitude of not respecting other language and culture in India other than theirs they think they are THE Indian only their language is The indian thing rest r auxiallry units connected to show their”broad mind”, so if a guy come to chennai for job first thing one will get is(FOR ANY PERSON WHO VISIT DIFFERENT PLACE) kind of home sick for the first 6 months will hate that place like anything as its new and not the same as their home place or the places where they where before at this juncture ur attitude makes the rest of the thing like here they dont speak ur language nor appreciates what u say about movies stars(bcos they don’t follow) so ur home sick kind of emotions makes u wear the mask of hatred and every thing looks bad sucks, its bcos ur attitude sucks, if u see through hatred n non acceptance u will see every thing sucks bcos u sucks( HERE U MEANS NOT U IN PARTICULAR MR.Unknown) .
      If you are with true indian feel as one very elaborately advice others then first thing you wont considered chennai as different place the moment u live in chennai ur the chennai guy , you wont lamely ask others to change things in city which u thing wrong so that u can come n enjoy its ur city(as india doesn’t have dual state citizenship, yes according to the same Constitution from which many of u wrongly quote hindi is only national lang, if u respect indian consitituion they u should consider the city is urs not others ) frankly speaking to me the most irritating problem with chennai is those heartless greedy auto rickshaw guys, they charge 2-4 times the charge when compared to rest of india), they wont move their ass to find return safari and ask u to pay that also and their attitude suks and irritate all including locals not just u ) apart from it ur complains r biased, either those problem exsist in all places or ur attitude is closed mind. SO DONT HIT ON A WALL AND SAY WALLS HITS U “

  18. Rex Avatar

    @Bachcha- There’s got to be something that’s keeping you there, isn’t it?
    I’m not a big fan of Bangalore where I stay after growing up in Delhi- but at least I acknowledge the city for its plus points.

    And what, you seriously can’t speak a word of English? If you’re so rigid about your cultural prejudices, and cannot find a single good thing to say about the city you live in, why stay there at all?

    Old proverbs about Romans and Rome come to mind.

  19. Bachcha Avatar

    @Nash : Good dude you all enjoy indoor games , lot’ of FU…..around haain “

    1. Sreeram Avatar

      @bacha..amit.. u hate the place and yet u cant find a job in your kingdom of heaven..what does that say about that place.. or maybe its just u..

  20. Kk Avatar

    Great article, too bad I can’t view YouTube at the moment, that angavastram trick is something I’d love to learn.

    And I’ve always thought it’s Chennaiite, Chennaikar is just weird.

  21. Bachcha Avatar

    @ Rex: Ya dude some of my good friends are still studying here man and by the end of next semester it will be done yaar.

    1. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      can’t you say anything without abey, and yaar, abeyaar? Seriously , yaar? Can’t you watch your english and stop sounding like such an expletive deleted? You dare call chennai a village when your own command over grammar could be matched by a offensive similie?

      1. NorthIndian Avatar

        Looking at the pride the Chennai guys shower on Chennai, I feel that if there were no VISA for USA, the entire of Tamil Nadu would be sitting in America the following day! And of course half of North Indians too ;), but definitely the entire of TN. Sorry for my bad English – I denied an offer at NYC’s largest IB to live in India 😛

        1. anonymous Avatar

          Hi North Indian, this discussion started and ended two years ago. Some of us have grown up. You haven’t.

          Good you rejected your offer. Please do make sure to mention it in every thread you can, relevant or not.

  22. Vinay Avatar

    Superb! Absolutely

    And Baccha you north indian expletive deleted….there is no national language in this Country…and Vishwak….English and HIndi are official languages of the central government not of the country of India…..’national language’ someone napalm north india for me….pleeeeease

    All the amits come here and complain about people not speaking Hindi. I have not gone to North India and complained about auto drviers not speaking Tamil (although I had a surreal experience of a tamil speaking jat taxi driver who had spent some years in Chennai).

    I agree the auto drivers are the worst in the country, and the weather is not great (better than delhi though), but otherwise Madras is a lovely city. I am from Kerala, I’ve lived in Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi and now in Madras, and Madras is easily my second-favourite city after Bangalore, and my No.1 city for live-ability.

  23. fckingblog Avatar

    I’d like to point out that Vivek Wagle is a PIO and is understandably biased about India. I’d guess he’s a marathi fellow so the Chennai mistrust is even more clear when compared to the other cities.

    Found a Linked In profile:

    1. Vig Avatar

      Annan Austrailiyavula ukkandundu Chennaiya pathi ezhudararama?! Arpudam arpudam!

  24. Bachcha Avatar

    @Kris : The Iron Maiden’s will never come to Chennai man because of the F…ing
    AmitH’s here , between seems that you people have a habit of inserting H in your names na ?

    1. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      yes, bachcha, we have a habit of inserting an H because we happen to understand english spelling better. When you realise that the letter ‘T’ has never been pronounced with an aspiration (thats the H for a expletive deleted like you) you realise that u need to add an H where you aspirate it.
      Of course, I understand that your insult deleted won’t understand what an aspiration is. Except a cow’s moos.
      Moo. Thats an aspiration too. the snort, thats also an aspiration.
      Go read Godaan.

      1. Perakath Avatar

        @Karthik (Galeejnus)– Thank you so much da. It took me years of living in Delhi to figure out that the Abeysaales have their pronounciation/transcription fundas konjum ulta to ours! I came dangerously close to renouncing the PoV you’ve put down here… Anyway, teek hai…

      2. Arjun Avatar

        Let me guess, let me guess. The first expletive is ‘expletive guess deleted and the second is yet another expletive guess deleted Right? Did I get it right? Or was it scatalogical reference deleted somewhere? Expletive (Damn)!

        Godan was written by Munsi Premcand, right? Was it that slow book? I slipped into my second coma while trying to read it in school. The first was during “PaDosan” and the last was during “What’s your raash-e-e-yet-aNother-e?” whence I am yet to emerge.

      3. Rahul Avatar

        Hi Karthik,

        I too, like this baccha character, am from IIT Madras and graduated over 5 years ago and have seen more than my share of whining northies complain (both while in college and now at work in my hometown of Hyderabad) about the South. Most learn to adjust within a couple of years but I guess he’s the rare persistent idiot who nurtures prejudices long after they’ve outlived their homesickness-alleviating, ego-massaging utility.

        I guess I’ve sobered with age so I just ignore them or subtly counter-condescend to them when they least expect it.

        I’m all for ribbing these baccha types till they go crying back home to whichever village 300 km from Delhi they’re from. But, as a bit of a pedant, I must insist, that if you have to drag phonetics into the process, you do not drop terms without fully understanding them yourself.

        The conventional Roman transliteration for various phonemes varies quite significantly from one language to the other in India. At best, all languages are equally idiosyncratic in their conventions of choice.

        I guess you’re familiar with the pancham varga, or the 5 rows in which the consonants are traditionally grouped. Each row groups consonants based on place of articulation (velar, palatal, retroflex, alveolar and labial). In each row, the first two consonants are unvoiced (e.g. ka, kha), the next two are voiced (e.g. ga, gha), and the last is nasal (e.g. nga). Of the five, only the second and fourth are aspirated (e.g. kha, gha).

        Since the Tamil script does not have any aspirated consonants, and only one voiced consonant (ja, added as the grantha character), the overloading of d and t that happens in other languages more directly derived from Sanskrit does not occur. That leaves t for the hard retroflex Ta and th for the soft alveolar ta.

        In using t for both ta and Ta and th for tha and Tha, the convention prevalent in Hindi-English transliteration is actually truer to the h-for-aspiration principle that you erroneously invoked.

        Telugu tends to be rather inconsistent in its use of h, sometimes using an h even for the soft unaspirated alveolar consonants. I’ve observed, though, that it’s more common to use th for ta than dh for da.

        I’m guessing Kannada’s convention is somewhat similar. Malayalam is quite complicated, with t and d being interchangeable in some cases, use of h being inconsistent between the alveolars and retroflexes, and using doubling of t or d to represent the hard retroflex consonants.

        Make no mistake, I’m on your side of the argument. Baccha and whoever is defending him are idiots and deserve everything they’re getting.

        Where you can regain your credibility in this argument is in gracefully admitting that your rebuttal was based on an entirely flawed notion and then returning to ripping these idiots to shreds.


        1. anonymous Avatar

          Hey Rahul, thanks for the excellent explanation. I looked at my own post, and knowing myself, I think I was making stuff up that Amits usually are at sea with. This was two years ago too! 🙂

          I can’t quite understand your argument, could you explain with stuff like tha (as in Karthik), i mean provide examples?

          Th transliterations seem equally pointless to me in both Hindi and Tamil. Hindi speakers use Th to indicate an aspirated alveolar T (as in Tea! said by a brit), Tamils use it to indicate the th in Karthik. However, the th in Karthik is arguably aspirated, it has to be, because of the rhotic r that forces a stop in the airflow. Besides, r is voiced, and so is the vowel after th, again forcing a slight aspiration. Given that, it makes sense to have an ‘h’.

          Not trying to justify my earlier stance. Obviously, moo is not an aspiration! 🙂 . Just trying to get under their skin with just enough erudition to pass muster (i thought) but you have proved me wrong, thanks.

          Would you like to collaborate with me on a weird project: creating a universal transliteration system that is human readable unlike the horrid diacritics used for Sanskrit transliterations? Let me know !

    2. Vinay Avatar

      Iron Maidens????? You expletive deleted you. It’s Iron Maiden. It’s not enough that you insult Madras you want to insult one of the finest British heavy metal bands also? Get a life….go back to offensive reference to home.

    3. cryptonyte Avatar

      By “between” do you mean BTW (By The Way)?

    4. Pappuraja Avatar

      Seems like there is 1 too many h’s in your nick name?
      By the way try to say these h less tamil names correctly for practice:


      Get a real job my friend. Grow up for heavens sake and for the betterment of your percieved civilized state of birth. God!

  25. anon Avatar

    hi man.. its the original anon.. great response! just a small point.. devanahalli (bangalore airport location) is on the opposite side of tamil nadu border from bangalore.. must get facts right for perfect kalais..

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Ah. Thanks. Fixed now 🙂

  26. Vinay Avatar

    And you expletive deleted, you don’t attend a ‘marriage’, you attend a wedding. In order to ‘attend’ a marriage you’d probably have to sort of hover around a married couple for years observing their activities and commenting on their sex life and so on.

    How the hell did anyone give you a job when you are expletive deleted

  27. Bachcha Avatar

    @Vinay : Seems your vocab is too good , you South Indian expletive deleted

    1. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      One’s vocab cannot be too good. It can be exceptional. and it is hard to be a moron with an exceptional vocabulary.
      Whats the betting that this baccha is just krishashok messing with us? This baccha seems too good to be true.

      1. krishashok Avatar

        No dude. I am not that vetti. Also, he has a full fledged blog, you notice

      2. Vig Avatar

        Nope. Bachcha is link to profile deleted Sorry for ratting you out dude. You might wanna exclaim “vada poche!” 😀

      3. Idling in Top Gear Avatar

        Come on, KA! Admit it, you are posting as Bachcha! This guy can not be for real! If he is, then he deserves a “Stereotype of the Year” award!

        1. Vig Avatar

          No kidding. It isn’t Krish. Presenting link to profile deleted. Sorry about the previous link (not that much of a tech geek you see).

        2. krishashok Avatar

          Dear 5th gear,

          While I do have a reputation for fake online personalities, this is not one of them. The guy has a full blog, and vetti as I am, that much background creation even I cannot manage.

          By the way, have you seen this –

          1. Idling in Top Gear Avatar

            Oops. Sorry for the accusation. 🙂

          2. Arjun Avatar

            Is this Twitter character for real? Or is it one of us (South Indians) being hiply ironic or something?

    2. Nandini Vishwanath Avatar

      Please don’t waste your precious time here, Bachcha. If you need any support, you should contact Raj Thackeray He will surely support you. Mebbe even invite you to Mumbai – the land of parties and drinking and wide roads and small houses. Go ahead. We know you can do it!

  28. krishashok Avatar

    Everyone 🙂 Please. No name calling. Please feel free to fling around opinions and facts, but not names. Ok.

    Thank you

  29. Vinay Avatar

    damn…..apologies……. i was enjoying the name calling. But I put it to you that “amit” is far more insulting than the words i’ve used.

  30. Bachcha Avatar

    @Vinay : Dude You seem to be an English expert man , Open a coaching yaar may be I will teach you some hindi there .

    1. Vinay Avatar

      No No Amit, You confuse literacy with ‘expertise’. And thank you for the offer, but I think I’ll take a raincheck on attending your ‘coaching’. Btw tell me, if I were to open a ‘coaching’, wouldn’t I be doing the teaching? How do you imagine I would let an “expletive deleted” like you teach at my “coaching” ? You could however teach Hindi to my cat. But I don’t have a cat. Now I’ve gone and confused your amit brain haven’t I?

    2. Nash Avatar

      the yaar goes on….yaarn…yawn…oh btw monsieur Bachcha u still haven’t come out of ur self inflated egoish cocoon containing remnants of the place u wanna be in…oh I forgot! that place is no good and didnt have any colleges so you came here to make a living…you know its ppl like u who make Raj Whackerays be happy ur here criticizing chennai instead of criticizing say a nagpur? or Pune? or Mumbai? if u did u would probably have a few saffroned mercenaries beating the living daylights outta you…we at chennai are peaceful…we prefer damaging a person’s reputation so that his comments carry no value…btw did u mistake this blog for rediff? I have seen many amusing comments of ppl of your mentality(notice the non regional reference here). and seriously WHAT AN AWESOME NAME!! abe yaar tu “bachcha” hai…yeh sab tu nahin samjega.

  31. Vinay Avatar

    Now I noticed you removed “north Indian” while replacing it with “expletive deleted”….. THAT is satisfying 🙂

  32. Vadakkoodan Avatar

    The first thing I did when I landed in Bangalore (from Kerala) was to learn how to ask for cigarettes in Kannada. I thought it’d be better for me to learn their language than for all of them to learn my language. As they say, when in Rome…

  33. Bachcha Avatar

    @ Vinay : I come from a college where Kris has conducted many blogging workshops in Saarang

    1. Vinay Avatar

      Ooh we’re into “reference to genitalia removed”-waving is it? You went to IIT? Congratulations man. I am so proud of you. I half considered doing some “reference to genitalia removed”-waving as well, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do it without coming across as an obnoxious “expletive removed.” But feel free to e-mail me and I’ll tell you where I graduated from 🙂

      1. Arun Avatar

        Great reply Vinay!

    2. fckingblog Avatar

      Your blog says that. The standards have lowered. Amits remain Amits.

    3. Appu Avatar

      Paraphrasing a popular phrase with uncertain origin “are you really a retard, or just acting retarded” *gentle smile*

      Or maybe you are just a bot after all! *gentler smile* . The whole process of you conversing with others have an uncanny similarity to how A.L.I.C.E [1] bot spits out its (or is it her?) answers ?

      Any one game for ‘Amit bot’ ? The major task will include populating the AIML entries [2].


  34. grumpyIITian Avatar

    Baccha!!! dint realized u r so fucked up with IIT life that u will rant it out in a such way………there is a story in insti about u getting violently offensive verb deleted by tam junta in ur freshie year personal data deleted

    anyways heard that you are working somewhere on the IT corridor with your flat on OMR road… you unfair reference to personal weaknesses removed

    waise in hindi there is a saying “jis thaali mai khaatien hain, usmai chhed nahin karte”

  35. M Avatar

    Dude, hilarious article! When I was a kid I used to love visitng Chennai just to get that awesome dosa, and those dancers at the beach! No Indian city has that stuff.
    If you compare Chennai to any other city that would not be a decent article about the city in the first place would it? Can any city in India compare with bangalore over weather, but that does’nt make it better or worse does it?
    People like bachcha would never understand that not every place should be like home, otherwise whats the point of home to begin with?

    Although in Chennai humidity is a bitch! Worse than Bombay 😀

  36. Chandra Shekhar Balachandran Avatar


    a job superbly well-done. You really told off nicely — cut one, pieces two.

    It is really annoying to have these half-assed lonely planet drivel articles as ‘guides’ to a city. Why can’t they just to data and not try to write all this crap of how to make a Mumbai? Why would anyone want to MAKE a Mumbai??

    More than the lonely planet yobbos, our northern Indian brethren need the education about southern India (not south India — that could border on separatism), especially when they migrate and live here.

    Interesting site of cultural resistance. At the Brahmins’ Coffee Bar in southern Bangalore, at breakfast one morning, a northie chap came to the counter and peremptorily ordered “doh wadaa.” Personnel behind the counter literally slammed a plate with a vaday on it, poured some chutney on it, and snapped, “Wadaa illa, vaday idhey!” and shoved it at the offender.

    The cheek! I mean to say!

  37. grumpyIITian Avatar

    @KA….your english is Gawd (God in insti lingo) ….also sense of humour…no1 else cud hv edited it so well…….studaax mama

  38. Roshni Avatar

    i LOVED reading this! I too have lived in many cities in India and abroad but Chennai is where my heart is. Kudos to you and to our Chennai! I’m glad to see so many people defending singaara chennai!

    1. Pappuraja Avatar

      Exactly Roshini:
      No matter what anyone says anybody with a half a noodle in his brain and an open heart will love the people of chennai and singara chennai. I personally studied and lived in Bangalore for 4 years, lived in Trichur, Trivandrum and Thiruvalla, lived in Delhi, and Mumabi, Lived in Toronto, Montreal, and Washington DC Metro area but no place like singara chennai….nevertheless I only take home great experiences from each of the palces I lived in and only gave the best of me and my culture to each of these wonderful places and people of these places.
      One jerky bacchha doesnt change this equation a wee bit.
      It’s the multi cultural, multi racial, multi lingual and multi religious aspect of India that works in harmony that makes India so great. Trying to impose ones singular beliefs is what will worsen it and it is people like Bachha who the Chinese and the Pakistanis are looking for to make us loose this very essence of Indianness and eventually make us a weak nation. So let us be wiser and keep away from name calling and infighting.
      Jai Hind. Jai Bharat! Long Live India!

  39. suvarnasundar Avatar

    “And I’m not even going to get the part about thermodynamically challenged movie stars.”

    Funniest Line!!!
    Kudos 🙂

  40. Revs Avatar

    LOL!! That was ruthless, merciless, audacious AND thoroughly enjoyable!! 😀 😀
    I love Madras a whole lot and it always irks me when people go “yaaar, khana bakwaas hai, ladkiyan acchi nahi hai, kitni garmi hai”.
    Sheeeesh!! If food, girls and weather had to certify the quality of living in a place all these “yaaars” should probably go to Brazil and settle down!! Bah!! 😐
    Loved reading this. Off to read it again!! 🙂

  41. Nandan Avatar

    As a resident of a region just south of the Vindhyas, and a speaker of the same language as the guy who wrote the actual article, I am really enjoying this.
    It’s enjoyable to see sweeping generalizations about ‘the other’ err…sweeping through the comments. Hey, isn’t there anyone yet exhorting everybody to ‘give up our regional differences’ in the name of ‘National Integration’?

    Also, it’s funny that when Raj Thackeray insists on using Marathi, people get upset and talk of how Mumbai is cosmopolitan etc., but it’s OK when people from Chennai get irritated about Hindi usage. ‘Hate mongering Maratha moron’ indeed. (OK, I really, really don’t support Raj T’s methods, but perhaps nor do I see him come up with political solutions, all I’m saying is that I see some double standards here)

    1. krishashok Avatar


      Dont get me wrong. Hating a language is ridiculous, but expecting locals to speak one’s language is equally so. As for Raj T, there are guys like him in the south as well, regional satraps with no vision beyond narrow identity politics, but at the moment, there’s not much exhorting-the-masses-to-violence-against-outsiders kind of nonsense.

      1. Nandan Avatar

        The common ground is that many people from a certain region/community face bias or discrimination. In Mumbai, many Maharashtrians (including myself) have faced/do face it. Which is funny, because Mumbai, (to many people’s surprise, I’m sure) is actually the capital of Maharashtra. And quite often, I find perpetrators to be from North of Vindhyas. And till the time this discrimination remains, regional satraps with narrow identity politics like Raj T will emerge, and what’s more, will become popular as well.
        That said, the BIMARU states face a huge issue and migration will continue (both unskilled and skilled) to greener pastures down South. Which will lead to more identity politics. The problem, perhaps looking at it in another way, is that amits cannot become engineers/call center experts etc. and stay in the north, because there aren’t enough opportunities. The moot point is, will amits be able to appreciate the culture of their ‘adopted’ land?
        The other question is: Why is there a really weird monster next to my name? 🙂

    2. Nash Avatar

      Aah..this is a person I can debate with…far removed from the bachcha tirades….see we dont get irritated with asking ppl to speak hindi. In fact there is a debate in the central government about asking all schools across India to learn hindi which is great. Over the years politicos have made it as a point to exhort their devotion to the language than the people thereby depriving most of us here of an opportunity to learn the language. In fact nowadays in schools, etc an emphasis is being placed on learning hindi(private ones atleast) however to classify a city as unlivable for frivolous reasons like, “I dont get booze”, “autowallahs dont know hindi”, “Its hot”, “Chappatis here suck”, etc are unreasonable. When you describe about a city in a well read and trusted guide like LP we expect some amount of equanimity to be shown. Hence the tirade. Frankly I’ve grown sick of ppl complaining abt a place they hardly know about! And giving up our regional differences is kinda far fetched. At most we can do is promote regional harmony and acceptance of cultures. After all, India is Unity in Diversity with a few bachchas thrown in unfortunately 😛

      1. Sharath Avatar

        @Nash: i realize i’m 3 yrs too late for a reply, but after reading all the MINDLESS n fanatic RANT typed out by our BACCHA&co and equally mindless n Fanatic replies by my south indian brethren. i find this reply of yours is the only one which can be termed as EDUCATED n DIGNIFIED. I am a Kannadiga and I have tried explaining the same to my fellow Tamil friends that knowing HINDI aint like surrendering to NORTH INDIAN supremacy, it’s a middle ground u can take as most of the other INDIANs are already familiar with the laguage, so take a step forward. If u can learn ENGLISH (a foreign language) and not feel like u’v surrendered to west supremacy them why the feeling towards hindi?

        All the other points abt food/ rickshaw/ Raja babu/ heat etc are not discussion worthy if one is worth his salt as an INDIAN.

    3. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      I disagree. Actually I should be sitting on the fence for this one, because I live in Mumbai, have relatives in Chennai and study in Singapore (where I might add that north – south bhedbhav and hindi-tamil separation is very strict), so I have seen provincialism of even the globalised kind. The main thing here is about how Chennai is still considered some kind of long regressed ghetto, like the Corsicans in France.
      I think Raj T is worse than any politician in Chennai, but Mumbai is still considered cosmopolitan. This is becuse of the stereotypes still in people’s mind about Chennai. So what if they don’t want to speak a language whose people consistently disregard them as some sort of inferior race? South Indian racism, still unforgivable, is always reactive. In singapore a fair Indian (read north indian) is more likely to get a job because he looks posh and groomed. the racism here is cheap even by the standards of racist discourse.

      1. shiraaz Avatar

        if only fair skin got u jobs!!!! be fair mr kartik, maybe the ones getting jobs are better qualified too.

  42. Nandan Avatar

    err…last line to be read as “OK, I really, really don’t support Raj T’s methods, nor do I see him come up with political solutions, all I’m saying is that I see some double standards here

  43. dagalti Avatar

    Amit all this, I see you managed to besmirch the ‘Man’ of ‘What a’ fame:
    //To paraphrase Rajini// lol

    Regarding Hindi though, we need to remember that apart from ‘thrusting’ there were homegrown efforts to reach out. Just that they fizzled out due to expected poor response

    Goundamani singing in Kovil kALai
    GM: (soft) mErE thErE dhujjukO diyA (high pitch)mErE thErE dhujjukO diyA
    S: ennaNNE idhu ?
    GM: indhi dA
    S: ippidi ellAm paadunaa vara mAttaanga

    1. hari.seldon Avatar

      Haha. Goundamani is hajaar gawd maama.

      As for reference to our cine industry:
      Yes, we turn out crap. Law of large numbers. Much like evolution.
      We have the best actor in the country (by some distance. the khans and AB can come kiss his ass), the best director in the country, the greatest music makers in the history of the nation, the best comedy there is ever to be had, the best cinematography.

      We will not deny you “hawtness”, you prudes. Is that your claim to fame?

    2. Karthik Avatar

      How abt Gounder’s another classic kavidhai in Hindi

      “Ek Vishwanathan, do Vishwanathan, ek do Vishwanathan.
      “Theen Vishwanathan, Chaar Vishwanathan, Ek Do Theen Char Vishwanathan”
      “MS Vishwanathan”

  44. rahul Avatar

    I met a Delhiite on a train once – who then nonchalantly proceeded to ask me if Madras was in Trivandrum
    I rest my case. 🙂

    1. munimma Avatar

      And someone else wanted to know if we speak Telugu in ‘Tamil’Nadu!!! Go figure!

      1. Maru Avatar

        I was just reading this post aloud to my friends. One person from Mumbai asked me if Chennai was the capital of Karanataka.

  45. msnarain Avatar

    I thought every other Delhiite was named Bunti. No?

  46. thennavan Avatar

    There is just one correction to this whole piece and I don’t expect anyone to know it – it is not Chennai-ite but Chennai-vasi (how else can the Thamizh “thaniththanmai” be shown? :)) (It’s Delhiite, Banglorean, Hyderabadi, Chennaiite (if you have to), Calcuttan (or simply Dada) and finally Mumbaikar.)”

    1. Nash Avatar

      lol that makes it Delhiwala 😛 makes it sound like dabbawala =))

    2. Navin Avatar

      Wow! Nice to see the great Thennavan here….always enjoyed your posts at Chennaicentral and Chennai Metblogs.

  47. Manish Krishnan Avatar

    Quoting you ,”The point was to say that if people wanted to only look at negative aspects, one could easily do so” – and you are doing exactly the same about the article – This is what I was about to say before reading the lonely planet article.

    Now that I’ve read the article I’d say “WTF”. The whole act seems like the writer owns some tourist company that has operations only in Mumbai , Delhi and Calcutta. Either that or it was that time of the month when he wrote about Chennai and Bangalore.

    PS : The Bangalore Airport is to the North of Bangalore and hence in no way closer to TN than Bangalore itself.

  48. The Pseudonym Avatar

    Very funny… This Amit Baai is so Super Funny that all my friends are reading this blogpost and also his tweets and ROTFL… Thanks for letting us laugh at you Amit. You need to grow up…MENTALLY!!!

  49. M Avatar

    @rahul is’nt that like saying all americans are dumb.
    Once I met an autowaala in Chennai who told me to get out of his country, so I did get out of his auto!

    1. Pappuraja Avatar


  50. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
    Karthik (Galeejnus)

    Is it just my imagination or has baccha succeeded in the impossible? actually increase visitors to this already superpopular blog?

    1. shiraaz Avatar

      well It just shows… u south Indians are so full of hate that one (most probably) fake person’s comment/blog can get u all together and spew venom all over the place.

      1. Naveen Avatar

        May I ask, what exactly are you doing here?

  51. Nash Avatar

    @Karthik I guess all he did was make the visitors comment 🙂 and recomment 😉

  52. vineetha Avatar

    Excellent writeup.Loved reading this!

  53. Sushmitha Avatar

    Hi, I came across this post because a friend sent me the link and I must say … this is THE BEST review I have ever read about Madras! As a Madarasi myself, I love everything you have covered about the city! Thank you 😉

  54. Pearls Avatar

    In retaliation to some know it all who whined about your city you chose to whine about other cities……

    1. Pappuraja Avatar

      Missing the point pearls ….read my posts please you will see what the people of chennai are getting at. We love India as a whole but we are just highlighting how any body could write any crap about any city leave alone Indian cities……but the fact of the matter is Chennai has taken a brunt of this from hindi speaking brothers and we only want them to pen thier eyes to how it would feel if they looked at reality from a different perspective..

  55. Indian Only Avatar
    Indian Only

    1st of all..

    1)I have been following your blog since long as I like your style of writing.
    2)I am neither from northen part nor from southern part of India.

    But this blogpost and the following discussion has made me really sad. we all love our place. And we all become defensive when somebodysays something negetive abt it. But to do that we need not put others down. cos then there wont be any difference btn us and the other person. Right!

    Sure , the comment section became a stage of chakravyuha for poor Bachha with fifteen replies to his single comment. All fine! It was his choice!

    But when people started digging about his facebook profile and his address(was it a threat??), I think they have taken it too far and too personal. You continued to delete expletives but you remained silent on that (profile and address)comment.

    Was that right on your part??

    Please think abt it.
    You are a very respected and much-followed blogger.

    1. Vig Avatar

      Since I managed to dig out his facebook profile (not much digging actually, poor bachcha shares his email ID on his blog, and hasn’t bothered checking his privacy settings on facebook – anyone with access to the internet and a profile in facebook can see his complete details), I would like to clarify: it was not a threat (pardon my being naive, but I didn’t even think from that perspective).
      Plus, I’d interpret that as a way of revealing how vulnerable one is online – I got a whole bunch of friends who refrain from using social networking sites to protect their privacy. Anyhow, if it does offend you, I apologise.

  56. munimma Avatar

    I second that filter coffee toast. Not sure the kudos is for the article or the comments though.

    Peeps who cannot handle a second language are those who complain the most. How many chennai-ites here know more than 2 languages? And they don’t even share a common root! I bet very few hands will not rise up.

    celebrate the differences, makes life spicier (not too good!!)
    bachchoo – ye teri akal ki baat nahin re, rehne do.

  57. Indian Only Avatar
    Indian Only

    Hi Vig ..

    Pls look at the comment by “grumpyIITian” where he is mentioning location of Bachha’s residence.

    Look at the tone of that entire comment. Isn’t it personal and offensive?

    I hope such comments are deleted by Krish in true spirit of Blogosphere.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Ive edited out most of the expletives, but I normally dont indulge in heavy handed censorship. As for facebook/linkedin details, they are public information available on the comment authors blog, so I see no particular violation of privacy there, but I agree with you on the fact that the exhortation to go after him is wrong.

      I agree on the hostel details. Ive edited them out.

  58. krishashok Avatar

    Indian only, munimma

    There must be an Indian version of Godwin’s law about online conversations, where most things tend to descend into North-south bashing, or hindu-muslim at some point.

    Here is why I wrote this. Lonely Planet is a reasonably well respected guide for travelers, and Ive often seen foreign tourists carry their guides around. Now, you read their piece on Chennai. Did it seem even half accurate? Did it not seem woefully one-sided? All I wanted to do was to set the record straight on the fact while Madras has problems, a lonely planet guide that is purely negative is unfair. This is not about why Madras is better than other cities in India. It was unfortunate that the comments went in that direction. My point is that their review of other cities seems to have been written by someone who loves that city while still being able to mention the negative aspects. The Chennai piece is a north indian caricature of Chennai, and that is unfair to the city. Heck, most north indians here would disagree with most of those things. That’s why

    ps: Also, the seemingly negative opinions of other cities are purely intended to drive home that point to Lonely planet. I mention that taking a purely negative view is unfair to any city

    1. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
      Karthik (Galeejnus)

      this is interesting to say the least. I can’t believe the Indian Godwin will be for something so lame as Naarth Saouth fighting. It has to be something more edgy. We should probably create a blog analysing blog comments. A blog about metablogging. Extreme.

    2. Purni Avatar

      @Krish.. well said. It is quite obvious from your post in response to Lonely planet, to learn more about a city and then articulate the pros and cons that will be helpful for a tourist. It is unfortunate that the comments section went in a tangent and became quite distasteful.

      Still laughing over your “Anyway, Yek Chennai gao me yek intolerant laduka raghu thatha..” 🙂

  59. Chittaranjan Avatar

    Nice Post.

    But IMHO it should have just stuck to the fact that LP has given some inaccurate statements about Chennai and those should be corrected. Period.

    Most of the commenters (or should it be commentators?) seem to take it upon themselves to sort out the South Vs. North debate once and for all! In some ways KA himself has exhorted that in a minuscule manner when he says that Mumbai and Delhi’s writeups are better than Chennai’s!

    When comparing two things, should one show the secondary as inferior in order to prove the superiority of the first? I mean there was no need to point out the fallacies (obvious or otherwise) in those cities to show that your city is better in those aspects.

    Chennai is one the greatest cities of India and is among the 6 metros of the country. LP should have extolled the positives and negatives within the city itself without resorting to comparing with other cities’ similar cultures and traits.

    A travel guide is supposed to be neutral and unbiased. I’m sure you will agree if they call a spade a spade and not coat it with honey etc! e.g.: The Wikitravel page of Chennai :

    Now how many Chennaiites will come forward and say that that too is too scathing a description of our city?

    1. anon Avatar

      the wiki page u posted seems a neutral enough.. the lonely planet post on the other hand, has a hint of derision even.. maybe chennai does not have much to see.. but chennai surely has as much as other indian cities.. that much for sure.. i don’t think any indian metro itself qualifies as a tourist spot unlike some other cities in the world.. having said that, we are indians and may not see the world around us the same way as foreigners… anyway, the least they could do is seek out opinions from unbiased travelers visiting the city and highlight their experiences..

  60. Vee Cee Avatar
    Vee Cee

    Hey, come on, KrishAshok!
    If you really want to do justice to your post, take some of the choicest chennai swear words (heck, take them all), unleash your creativity and let it rip at lonelyplanetamit.

  61. The Vikku Avatar

    This is the first time I’m commenting on your blog, Mr. Krish…
    I am a HUGE fan of your blog, been reading it since the beginning of last year. I was really looking forward to meeting you at my school cultural fest, but I was unable to make it. Ironically, I had only suggested your name hoping that if you came I could meet you 😀 Please do come next year as well 😀

    Moving on to the post…
    I am a die hard Madrasi (Chennaiite, Chennaikaars are all too new). Even though I’m just eighteen, it seems like I’ve lived in Madras for fifty years. I’ve lived in Mandaveli before and presently living in Adyar, and I’ve come across so many things in Chennai that just shaped my life and give your post a two thumbs up!

    The best thing about Chennai is that however many Amits try to invade it and infest it with Hindi culture, not one single true Madrasi will ever ever try to learn the language Hindi 😀

    All hail Raghu’s grandfather! 😀

  62. rishi Avatar


    This is a Lonelyplanet article. It talks about Chennai from the perspective of a tourist, specifically a foreign tourist.

    Keeping that in mind, what have you said to contradict that?

    1. krishashok Avatar


      Actually no. The piece on chennai was written by Vivek Wagle, who is an editor with Lonely Planet. If he wrote the ones on Mumbai and Delhi, then all I urge him to do is take that same tone – praise the good stuff and romanticize the bad stuff.

      1. rishi Avatar

        It doesn’t matter who wrote the article. The lonelyplanet guide is for tourists and should be read as such.

        A more balanced reading of the article also shows many good points.
        1. locals are friendlier
        2. streets are wider
        3. Mentions booming outsourcing and auto and other industries
        4. laid back, conservative
        and a few other points.

        As to the negative points,
        1. muggy, polluted, hot as hell and difficult to get around. – is definitely true.

        2. neither the cosmopolitan, prosperous air of Mumbai (Bombay), the optimistic buzz of Bengaluru (Bangalore) or the historical drama of Delhi – Well, did not object to the Delhi and Mumbai comparisons, as they are obviously true. Bangalore is “optimistic” because it is the hub of India’s IT industry and one cannot really argue with that.

        3. Even the movie stars are, as one Chennaiker put it, ‘not that hot’ – If you have a problem with this, you will have to show pictures, so we can decide for ourselves.

        1. krishashok Avatar

          1. It’s not Chennaiker, and residents of the city do not judge their movie stars by an arbitrary Bollywood defined standard of ‘hotness’.
          2. It has a history going back 2000 years, if one bothers to look for it
          3. The prosperity of Madras is far more wide-spectrum.

          This is not about a comparison between Indian cities, although Lonely planet unfortunately tries to make it so. Compared to the pieces on the other cities, the Madras article is about as fair and balanced as Fox news.

          If a foreign tourist reads their piece, the obvious reaction is going to be – ‘sounds like a place I must avoid like the plague’. That is my problem.

          1. rishi Avatar

            The aim of a Lonelyplanet article is not to romanticise a place, but to give a true picture of it. The customer of a lonelyplanet guide is a foreign tourist trying to understand a new country or city and lonelyplanet would loose that customer if it did not give a true picture of any city. First of all you should understand this.

            Given this, what in this article is untrue? You have pointed out only the “Chennaikar” term and I give you that. Strictly speaking it should be Chennaiite.

            1. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar


              Wow, you sure you got the true picture from that article? How about not mentioning Chennai being the hub of cultural significance. Mylapore temples alone would be a great thing to mention as a one liner. Secondly the friendly nature of people who would socialize compared to other places in India. Take camera and point at any random fellow on the road in Chennai. Do the same in other cities, perhaps you would know what im talking about. Dusty chennai? How about gurgaon for starters? How about Kolkatta? How about bombay slums? The article speaks as if chennai is the dirtiest of all places in india which is untrue. Paint the town read is what i see in the north, no not that type of fun. I mean with pan paraag + gutkha kind of paint the town red.

              Having no auto’s in gurgaon is worse, compared to auto’s that fleece. I agree its a problem but which city has honest public transport that bills by the meter. But then look at the extensive set of bus & train services in chennai. Compare that with bangalore, you shall know what im talking about.

              Talk about less crime and chennai being close to mahabalipuram and kanchipuram which are frequent weekend getaways for many of us chennaivasi’s.

              Marina beach, Valluvar kottam, War memorials, Cricket Stadiums, Asia’s largest bus terminus in Koyambedu, One of Asia’s largest perishable goods market in Koyambedu, Growing IT industry, Major Automobile production Hub in india… the list goes on.

              What night life is the article complaining about? All Chennai’ites know what times dublin and pasha are open and which liqour shop sells what stuff and where to buy them.

              “With only a handful of tourist sights, Chennai doesn’t demand too much of your time. “

              Whoever wrote that is an idiot, plain and simple. I agree we dont have the taj mahal but we have our valluvar kottam and marina beach and MAC stadiums. Now tell me what other cities have that chennai lacks and i will tell you just like an Agmark chennaivasi who has lived here for 28 years where you can find that in chennai.

            2. krishashok Avatar

              Dude, you make me repeat myself 🙂 But let me be brief and precise this time
              1. Article claims Chennai has no history – Chennai has a phenomenal amount of historical drama, as much of it as Bombay and Bangalore do. It has the damn East India company, the Naickers, the Pallavas in Mahabalipuram and St Thomas for Christ-sakes 🙂
              2. Article claims Chennai does not have the prosperous air of Bombay – Clearly, the author has never been to T Nagar.
              3. Difficult to get around – Are you kidding me? How many cities have the bus network Madras does, the suburban trains and share autos (and im not even talking about autos). It’s better than most cities in India

              And yeah, muggy, hot as hell and polluted are true. All big cities are polluted, so that leaves us muggy and hot as hell.

              So, 1 out of 4 claims. Do I need to make this any clearer?

            3. krishashok Avatar

              Also, FYI, please see Matthew Cashmore’s comment below:
              I rest my case

  63. Ranga Avatar

    very good post once again. the Padayappa reference was too good!

    if one focuses on the better things that a city has to offer, jaaliya irikkalaam, but naah, thats not how most ppl are configured.

    and thank god, we dont have some loosu person who will now demand that the post be edited to change madras to chennai (imagine edit – replace all functionality demanded by some random ass like ‘Rajath Akkarai’ mama). otherwise KA, your avasthai will become like karan johar. Wake up Amits!!! Chill out.

  64. maxdavinci Avatar

    I am feeling bad for Bachha, paavam he’s a lone crusader.

    oh mere thiruvizhaa ke bichde hue bhai, I am with you.

    These bloody madarasis and their obese heroines, kitne gandey hain yaar.

    heroine ho toh apni rani jaisi, and bloody apne ladkiyon ko khila pilake heroines banate hain.

    1. Chennaiyaa Delhi-aa? Avatar
      Chennaiyaa Delhi-aa?

      Aiyo, I’m with you as far as obese heroines go. Someone please kill Namita.
      Oh but looks like the ultimate Sleaze Queen (Mumtaz of Mala Mala Marudha Mala fame) has shed a LOT of weight…
      Madam trying for six-packs, looks like. Orey the competition for the three Khans.:D

  65. munimma Avatar

    I’m with you there KA. I implied the opposite of what you thought I meant 🙂 What gets my goat (no I don’t own any) is such people who dismiss a city because they have seen one side of it. Can I equate Mumbai to Dharavi? Or Delhi to chandni chowk (where any person of the female ilk aged between 10 and 50 gets a feel-up or 2, guaranteed)? So, you don’t like a place. Big deal. Move out or stuff it. No one’s forcing you to stay. Just don’t whine.

    If you are going to write about a place as a tourist destination, keep personal prejudices out of it. If you are going to write up about your personal experiences, that is a different ball game altogether and you are entitled to your opinions, albeit faulty.

    This post and comments have been quite entertaining! Catch my point?

  66. Nandini Vishwanath Avatar

    I also wanted to say I miss Rachna in this conversation. Thanks.

  67. Chennaiyaa Delhi-aa? Avatar
    Chennaiyaa Delhi-aa?

    @Krish – LOVED the post! Especially the Raguthatha bit.:D
    I study in Delhi and have had atrocious questions thrown at me, such as…
    “Do you have paan in Chennai?”
    “Do you have big-big shops like Globus?”
    “Madrasis aren’t very beautiful, na? No offense yaar…”
    God bless the north of the Vindyas.
    But yeah, it is a pity that more people in Chennai don’t know Hindi. It’s absolutely unfair to foist it on us as a ‘national’ language (my uncle still complains about having been forced to take some Rashtriya baasha exams) but some knowledge of Hindi doesn’t hurt. Especially when scary auto-maamas in Delhi leer at you as you try making them understand directions to your hostel in English. They expect us to know the language…unfair, yes, but it’s our loss if we don’t.
    @The Vikku – Please do tell me what ‘hindi culture’ is. And this is not a debate where The South goes up against The North. Go read Gone With The Wind.
    And axe-kooz me, but I am a chamatthu Tamil penn and I know Hindi. And so does namma Krish (not the Tamil penn bit!). Gah.

  68. Gopa Avatar

    Brilliant job Krish and thanks a ton! I’m glad I got to read the lonely planet article and yours at the same time… that one got my blood-boiling immediately… yen kovathai udanadiyaga thanithadhugu nandri… I’ve never been glad that words from my mouth have been stolen as you have and done even a better job of it!!

  69. Arvind Venkataramani Avatar

    haha, what’s funnier in the comments: the madrasi-bashing, the defenses in bad hindi orthography, or the earnestness? 🙂

    krish: good points, well made as usual. why not write/start an LP alternative guide to nalla Madras? there seems to be enough passion here to crowdsource it all.

    btw, it doesn’t get any better when you get out of the country, with both amit-log and aravindan-log failing to explore the cities they live in. (ignorance & laziness: i’m tempted to say it’s a feature, not a bug)

  70. buddy Avatar

    Indian pop culture needs a movie focusing on Chennai. That will up the quotient. I love the city but no one can deny it needs to brand itself a little more. Mumbai has been endlessly romanticized and others are catching up…thats where Chennai lacks.

  71. Dinesh Babu Avatar

    I didn’t expect this from Lonely Planet. But then it is not Lonely planet but just that one guy who wrote it. If you really want to give an opinion of the city, you should ask the foreign tourists who come every year. They see India better than us.

  72. NJ Avatar

    Hilarious article. Esply the bits you ripped apart Delhi and Mumbai. 🙂

    That said, I’ve been in Chennai for the last 3 years and as much as I’ve tried (I’m not into Carnatic and Georgetown/Marina/Beseant Nagar really aren’t that charming), I really haven’t warmed up to the city. And I’d actually agree when someone says “it’s muggy, polluted, hot as hell and difficult to get around. Traditional tourist attractions are few. Even the movie stars are, as one Chennaiker put it, ‘not that hot’.”

    As much flak as Baccha (incidentally, where I come from, we use the word ‘chome’ to describe Amitus Abeyaaruses) is getting, he does have a point.
    Autos and Tasmacs, bloody unbearable those two. Especially at 40 degrees Celsius. (Although the stuff they sell at Saidapet is quite awesome. 🙂 )

    And what’s up with running into the same 30 odd tambrahms at every concert/play/Elliot’s Beach?

  73. wanderlust Avatar

    i’m sitting in an embedded systems lecture as i read this, and trying not laugh my head off.
    amit thollai thaaaaagalai. that idiot chetan bhagat dares to write a book about tameel culture. read it and attack it KA, i enthusiastically exhort you to.
    i tried doing so, but the result wasn’t as awesome as it would have been if you had done it.

    1. Naveen Avatar

      Nice to see an NITKian here 🙂

    2. Naveen Avatar

      Nice to see an NITKian here 🙂 🙂

  74. zarine mohideen Avatar

    Nice post! And I totally agree with you.

    No matter what us, Chennaites will be chennaites and not Chennaikars (who even came up with that).
    And read the Lonely Planet article. Very biased. The moron calls Chennai a village! It so is NOT!!

  75. PS Avatar

    I find it ironic that this one post in your blog that I found to be totally unfunny rakes in double-triple the comments on your geniusly funny posts. And if that was not enough, the comments are atleast 10 times more rediffey than the post itself. (Credits to your blog for the “rediffey” verb :))

    You didn’t have to resort to such flamebait, KA 😦

    Earnest request from fan: Please stick to humor, that you so excel at, in this blog, and keep a separate blog for all this regionist jingoist drivel.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Funniness rarely has anything to do with the number of comments. When I assemble a post, as I normally do, from several small little post-ideas and notes (I use Evernote), it comes out reasonably funny. I also like it when I stay away from pop culture and politics.

      This post, on the other hand, is one of those gut reactions to something I didnt like, with humour simply serving as some sort an icing on a burnt cake. I suppose the target audience is really the kind (me included) that likes pwnage of amits 🙂

      1. Karthik (Galeejnus) Avatar
        Karthik (Galeejnus)

        hear hear!

  76. S P Suresh Avatar

    I just saw the Lonely Planet article and noticed that the complete kusu of an author refers to veshti as “lungi”, on top of all his other sins!

  77. Arjun Avatar

    This LonelyPlanet article was actually mentioned in the context of the world’s worst cities, where Madras came in seventh.
    I was born and bred in Madras and I still think it is the best Indian big city to live in. I wouldn’t want to fight with these guy,s however, and make my case. The more that presumptuous a**holes like this stay away from Madras, the better 🙂

  78. Indian Only Avatar
    Indian Only


    In a more proactive approach we(irrespective of region we belong to) can send mails and flood the mail box of LP site asking them to remove the causal and negative comment about Chennai.

    This will be more effective..I feel.
    I am sending my mail and request others to do so too.

  79. Swaminathan Avatar

    Your article and the comments/cross-comments that followed are interesting and hilarious to read. But, at the end of it all, what does it leave? A bitterness deep inside. Amits, Bachchas and the like who despise fellow-human beings for their caste, creed, language, food, culture, place are doing it out of bigotry and ignorance. Some here in Canada, are 100% ignorant, when they ask me whether we ‘east’ Indians speak ‘Poonjabi’! And the Bachchas/Amits…100% bigotry.

  80. Sreeram Avatar

    probably one of your best pieces yet. Loved it. Spoken like a true madrasi. 🙂

  81. anand Avatar

    Just like we refer Kannada speaking people as “Kannadiga”, the residents of Bangalore/Bengalooru are generally referred as “Bengalooriga” in Kannada. The term Bangalorean is an English usage.

    So my brothers please tell me what is the term for Chennai residents in Tamil? Is it Chennai al?

    1. krishashok Avatar

      It’s Madrasvaasi or Chennaivaasi. See Thennavan’s comment above

    2. Spicy Chai Avatar
      Spicy Chai

      Sorry, who refers to residents of Bangalore as ‘Bengalooriga’?? Not in Kannada! And certainly not in English!

    3. Mahesh Avatar

      Huh Bangalooriga? :O No one calls us that. Sounds funny, though. South Indian (in general, Indian?) languages do not necessarily have a convention of standard demonyms, unlike English. Kannadiga is also interchangeably used with Kannadadavanu, etc. Bangalorinavanu (person belonging to Bangalore) is what we say when speaking in Kannada. To stick with the English habit of using standard demonyms, we just use Kannadiga, Chennai-vaasi, etc.

      Of course, Chennaikar sounds terrible, but there is no established convention to blame the writer about being wrong in using it. Ad hominem- Of course, the author of the LP article seems to be of Marathi/Konkani origin, with an obvious propensity to use the Marathi/Konkani convention of “kar” at the end of a city’s name to refer to its inhabitants. There is no necessity for standard English words for people from all random cities- Thiruvunanthapuram, Shivamogga, Dharwad, Alapuzha, Tumkur, Kanjeevaram, Salem, etc.

      But don’t you think calling people of Erode as Erodites sounds nice?

  82. Ram Avatar

    That’s the way to do it bro. We ain’t gonna take this!

  83. kicha Avatar

    Amit nu peru irukkura oruthan ungalukku edhavadhu bayangara droham edhavadhu panninana? ippadi pinni edukkareenga 😀

    Rofl at the Chennaiite’s version of Delhi ..

    Thalaivaa.. engeeyo poyiteenga

    1. jj1 Avatar

      Sounds like an amazing trip. Were you able to find anymore free wifi in Peru?

      I am creating listings of free wifi locations in Peru for travelers and ex-pats (like myself). Take a look:

      If you have any to add please do… (its a wiki).


  84. hariharan Avatar

    @krishashok ‘Amitus abeyaarus’. Superb sir. I can see the implication gooogle wave that can help us discuss and comment collaboratively and derive much more killer terms like this. This might help our Bachcha(the true amit) to follow some neat threaded conversations. Bachcha creates every conversation as a new thread.

    @Bachcha Every where there is a problem. Ashok sir hi-lited clearly delhi and mumbai cities. Kolkattans neither respect hindi nor hindi walas, besides knowing hindi. Tamil Nadu is famous for culture and chennai is always cool place to live(when compared to delhi), and life is peaceful here. Even if you take our DailyThanthi or DailyMalar news paper you will see news about rape,murders,terrorism only from north region and south involving these is pretty less, and some useless youth copy from north and implement here. Chennai life is peaceful, many people from north admitted this Esp Naresh Iyer(singer) likes chennai a lot.
    Regarding Dirty Marina, can you show me one place which can be as much dirty like mathura,UP,Agra,Purani Delhi??When i visited Mathura, I didnt worship Lord Krishna instead I thought why the hell Krishna was born in such a dirty place. Udhar(uttar) Jao aur diwali celebrate karo Bhaiiii..Good luck

    @Karthik (Galeejnus) India is an agricultural country and atleast in this aspect let North own some popularity other than their tradinational rapes and murders

  85. VeNkY Avatar

    Kalakiteenga Krish. I saw the Tweets of Amit, he is so Amit 123. Really absurd are his views every other person is black here. And happy Diwali for a instead of lighting up crackers let us become rocker and disturb the neighbour next door differently 😉

  86. raj Avatar

    Will you settle for ‘chennaikaran’?

  87. krish_nitt Avatar

    i’ve lived in delhi for like 10 yrs and then i moved to chennai…
    @bachha: u just ‘ve to grow up .. u can’t expect chennaittes to talk in hindi, to flaunt themselves arnd like ppl back in north do… in other metros there re a shitload of wannabes, but ppl down here do not ape those hollywood/bollywood actor/actresses blindly(in their dressing sense) like ppl up north do… not even in the southern stars… ppl ‘re more humble and more in touch wid their identity…ppl here like to sit back and’s true.. tht ppl don’t celebrate festivities being a loudass like ppl up north .. but this is how we ‘re..
    And reg. the booze part.. ur an iitan and if dunno good places to get booze in chennai .. i believe ur a loser! man…either a girl showed u the finger or ur prof fucked up ur grades or u were an outcast.. u r not a typical iitian tht i know..
    And abt autoguys.. true autos here ‘re a rip off… but if u’re a smart ass and know how to talk to ppl u’ll get wherever u want at reasonable rate…
    a smart guy can get his way with anyone… evn wid autowallas… soft skills dude??
    and abt iron maiden not comin to chennai… opeth was here @saraang! up yours!
    i have lots of north indian frnds who aren’t tht comfortable wid chennai .. but they’re tryin to adapt …and they don’t whine abt it…
    and talkin abt national language not being spoken here : oh if u sound so patriotic.. u shud know a thing or two abt religious and cultural tolerance… ur an insult to not only to north indians but all the indians… can’t believe the govt. wasted money for gettin u an undegraduate degree!!

  88. krish_nitt Avatar

    and @ KA: nice post..

  89. Salil Chaturvedi Avatar

    Aiyyo! Made my morning reading this piece. If only Lonely Planet would Plan It better.

  90. Abhi Avatar

    Excellent write up Macha. These Amit’s are a pain!

  91. Ranganathan Avatar

    ஐயா! தீபாவளி special article போல. Special ஆ பட்டைய கேலப்பிட்டேள்!!
    தீபாவளி வாழ்துக்கள் !

    And, staying at a far away land with 4 Amit_123’s as roommates, this is the *Deewaali Special Menu* at my home:

    No1: Aloo fry dry
    No2: Aloo fry with gravy
    No3. Aloo juice
    No4: Frozen aloo
    (the last one is for dessert)

    எல்லாரும் room’லியே பட்டாசு விட போறோம் !!

    1. Ranganathan Avatar

      Sorry, Google doesn’t know Tamizh that well. A few typos have crept in. 😦

      1. Sachin Avatar

        Guys n Gals,

        I agree with Ashok’s basic contention that the article presents a very narrow world-view. I am a N-Indian living in Chennai for some time. I love the place. The crime’s low, the society is more harmonious and yes the climate is a bit bad but I manage well . Overall, I love the place and the helpful people.

        However, I am concerned with the over-generalization of N-Indians here. I know ppl like Bacchha are a disgrace and I’m sure that most N-Indians would join you in admonishing him. But I can’t see anything positive being said at all.

        And trust me for this, while arbitary Amits are hell-bent to destroy N-India’s reputation, an average middle class N. Indian looks up very highly and respectfully to S. Indians. They prefer sending their kids (after the IITs, BITS or DCE) to NITs in S India or private colleges here and admire business leaders like Narayanmurthy and Nilekani. Yes, sometimes they do feel that Hindi is not spoken here but that’s because almost all states from Gujarat to Arunachal, and Kashmir to Maharastra you can pass off with knowledge of Hindi. But that’s it, I totally respect the Tamil ethos and culture and I dint mind learning the language.

        I would request you to see N. Indians in a new light. They are not so bad.

        1. krishashok Avatar


          Agree with you totally. If wordpress had comment voting, I’d push your comment right up to the top. Obviously this caricature of “amit” is intended only to be a counterpoint to the Mahmood inspired “Madrasi” caricature that still seems to hold forth.

          As for Hindi, I speak fluent Hindi having lived 7 years in Delhi and 2 in Mumbai, and of course, it’s ridiculous to hate any language, although when it’s imposed on a people, it seems unfair. That is the root of the slight anti-hindi feeling one gets in Madras, but its not really as bad as it sounds.

          The truth is that most people, north or south indians will be like you, reasonable and tolerant. But it’s the extremes that make for blogpost material you see 🙂

          1. Sachin Avatar

            Glad, you took me in right spirit. I recently fell across your blog. I didn’t really go through all the posts but a partial observation reflected dislike for ….. . But I’m happy I was wrong. Though an innocent reader, from the north of Vindhyachals, would probably still find a random post biased.

            Looking forward to be a regular reader. And yeah, on a lighter note, making fun of Amit “Bacchaas” would be fun 🙂

            1. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar


              I completely agree with you. What we are trying to do here is not to stereo-type north indians. In fact i would describe my parents as hindi fanatics, for that matter most south indian tamil brahmins are to the best of my knowledge. I graduated an M.A. in hindi when i was in 8th grade like all of my cousins did and i love the language. Although i haven’t spoken it much i recently had to live in delhi for about 3 months and loved it because moving around was so easy since i could speak hindi.

              However the observations i made were not really nice in some aspects. The stereotype was all south indians were dark skin coloured and hate hindi/cant speak hindi. People refused to believe me when i say im from chennai. So much that the security gaurd at my clients office thinks i come from australia since i walked in with my Australian colleague when i went there first.

              All of my work colleagues are north indians. I’ve had fun roaming around delhi NH9 eating paratha’s in dhaba’s at 2 am in the morning. The problem here is stereo typing.

              Having said that there is a stereo-type that all north indians hate chennai, south indian food and culture. I can vouch for north indian friends who when they come to chennai want to go to sangeetha for a cup of filter coffee and masala dosai.

              I think its the extremist stereo-types that are a fucking joykill for communal harmony. I’ve traveled almost all over north india and i’ve never found the offensive stereo-type that has been described & dictated to me. If we can stop caressing and romancing our past and start living in the present day reality, i guess things will be better for all of us.

          2. varali Avatar

            In 1996, when Mulayam Singh Yadav was Defence Minster, he wrote an official letter to then Kerala Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar in Hindi.
            Nayanar replied in Malayalam.

            Somewhat best response, one felt.

    2. shiraaz Avatar

      drunk on sambhar, are u???

  92. Shawn Avatar

    Brilliant (or as they say in good ‘ol Bengaluru – AAASUM!) Parochialism is a trait we Indians take to as naturally as a politician takes to corruption, but its rare to see someone do it with as much panache as you…..hahahahahahahahahaha……loving it!!

  93. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

    Awesome writing sir, very much enjoyed it and a beautifully put argument.

    So…. here’s an invite from Lonely Planet. Write for us.

    We have a ‘blogs we like’ section – write about Madras and publish your articles to Lonely Planet – let people see what a passionate person feels about the city, let readers see your point of view.

    Email me and we’ll get you set up.

    Matthew Cashmore
    Ecosystem Manager, Lonely Planet.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Awesome 🙂 I sure will.

      1. Nash Avatar

        congrats!!…finally a chennaivasi to talk abt chennai…do send us links to that one too Ashok 🙂

      2. hariharan Avatar

        So that lonely planet chennai article will contain south indian fav Mylai Karpagambal mess keerai vadai and coffee. Superb Sir. Inda Ulaga Nayagan Nooru Avadaaram Eduthukondirupadaruku VAaztHuKaL!

      3. S P Suresh Avatar

        I recently happened to hear a beautiful lecture on the history of music in Madras by the redoubtable V Sriram, but it had a fair bit of the history of Madras itself. His books, and references therein, would surely be a good place to start learning about the city!

  94. Zahra Avatar

    Aaaawsumm post!!! 😀

    Or like a mallu would say…”Owesum post!!!”

    As a mallu who’s adopted Chennai as her home, and lived in Delhi and Mumbai in between, this post sums up everything I’ve ever wanted to say.

    True, Chennai has its faults..ok, plenty…. but which city doesn’t?? The first thing that gets hurled at me when I mention that I’m a Chennaivaasi is “But the place is so dull yaaaaaarrrr..” And a gentle reply that you could have a blast if you know where to look is met with an open-mouthed stare. The irony of it all is that the amit_123 complaining about the lack of swanky pubs, hep hangouts, coffee shops et al is from Lord-knows-where-pur in Somewhere-Pradesh…where these things have definitely not made an entry. :-S

    I never used to believe that old one about anybody south of Mumbai being called a Madrasi…. but it took just one week in Delhi to see the light 😀

    “Ohmigod, you speak good Hindi…”

    “How does it matter if your mothertongue is Malayalam…. tu Madras se ho na??”

    “How come you’re not ordering idli-saaambhar?” (Deliberate emphasis on the “saaambhar” there…. I’ve lost count of the number of times MY pronunciation of the word was corrected!!)

    Aaahhh well…. whatever.

    Happy Diwali Krish…and I see you’re getting a chance to set the record right on LP 🙂

  95. Naveen Roy Avatar

    Hell man, I hate Chennai – they don’t even answer if you ask anything in Hindi. Nobody can speak hindi too! Useless place and the heat. Lousy roads and no good women.

    This is all I hear from guys who have moved to Chennai for work etc. Well, I would easily get by in Chennai for Rs.80 a day.

    Hahaha, Amit – man, there must be too much of those around!!

  96. J B Jux Avatar

    Why can’t these pan chewing Bhaiyas from “the north” come to terms that Hindi is not the national language of India. As far as I know, it is only the language of the parliament and so is English.

    That is entirely another issue that deserves a post from you!

    J B Jux.

  97. nicholas Avatar

    The North Indians are just jealous and have an inferiority complex ’cause they’re treated like 2nd class citizens in Chennai. A case of sour grapes. Who cares?. And, fcuk ’em.The smart ones among them learn Tamil and English and stay on. Thankfully, it’s just a few. Atleast one doesn’t see slums and shantytowns when landing at Chennai airport, unlike Mumbai, Delhi and other North Indian metros. Where was “Slumdog” the movie shot at?.hahaha

    1. shiraaz Avatar

      no slums in chennai??? sure?

      1. Naveen Avatar

        There are, but much less in number than Mumbai.

  98. Arjun Avatar

    Also, the page on LP about my beloved city is wrong. The new international airport in Bangalore has been built and operational for over a year now and Winston Churchill’s debt at the Bangalore Club (of Rs 13) was written off as “unrecoverable.” My lazy brethren realised only recently that the imperialist was dead. Rather like that Vivek scene where a village suddenly stands up with a newspaper and exclaims in shock about Mahatma Gandhi’s death.

    So, with so little fact-checking/updating and such unbiased (re-)views, why is Lonely Planet trusted again?

  99. vinayvasan Avatar

    @Krish, Kalakittenge Ponge.. Sekka Rousu Machi…

    Whatever happens, nobody in the world can beat the vocab of a chennai bus driver when you brandish a 100 Rs note for a 3 Rs ticket nor the dulcet tones of the resident auto driver, when you fight with him the morning, typically ending with the “Saavu….” word

  100. Subbu Avatar

    Great piece 🙂 All the Amits are terrified to step out and explore the city at all. They say they can’t understand the language. When did that stop any real traveller from doing real exploration work?

    Oh and please include the shops that do roasted groundnut in Mylapore, plus the sea food shacks on dear Besant Nagar beach, the Biryani shops and Jeeva Coffee in central Chennai, the friaries of Royapuram, the Mallu restaurants of South Chennai and the Gujrati food of George Town. Plus the Kaiyendi Bhavan near Brilliant Tutorial.

    Mr.Amit also says “get a taste of village life in the city”!!! This guy should go to Raipur or something.

  101. collapsedlight Avatar

    Well, in Soviet Russia idli eats you.

  102. The Deepavali celebrations that were « My thoughts on your screen Avatar

    […] miss it!) that we usually see on TV. Most of yesterday went into reading/commenting on this post by Krish Ashok, and a visit to a temple in the afternoon. This morning, I flipped through my reader […]

  103. Venki Avatar

    hey this is actually the first time i’m commenting on your blog despite me following it for more than a year… hats off… and we guys in besant nagar have our very own name for amit_123s. a lot of my friends from NIT trichy coined it. the amits there were lodged in jade hostel. we call them jades, partly also from the aphorism that there is a word jaded that’s phonetically similar to jade…

  104. Venki Avatar

    hey and btw, you added me in your friends’s list in fb…

  105. Kamal Avatar


    I’m sick and tired of my friends from Hyderabad and Bangalore complain endlessly about Chennai. They sounded more like a bunch of blind hometown-loving whiners.

    Sadly, my ‘elite’ institute has many who grumble around like this (You’d have guessed where). Left alone to study for four years in a foreign(?) place must have gave them a cultural shock, heh? 😛

  106. Raghav Avatar

    Hmmm. Nice blog mate.. when you do write for Lonely Planet pls do mention that the “auto drivers who charge two times the actual fare” are an extreme nuisance.. That’s the only sad fact abt chennai..

  107. nandita Avatar

    Haven’t double checked this myself but on a recent walk to Humayun’s tomb, a friend who was with me told me about the Rough Guide’s explanation about Babur’s tomb next to Humayun’s tomb.

    The Guide apparently talks about how the tomb is that of the Emperor’s barber, and was placed next to that of the Emperor because he had much power — after all, he held a blade to the Emperor’s throat.

    There’s no mention of Babur the Mughal Enperor.

    The notice at the site uses the spelling Barber, and I presume that whoever wrote that entry just made up his own story.

    Talk about romantisization!

    1. Arun Avatar

      Yeah, agree with you on the romanticization part. Folklore.

      I had my doubts about the tomb too but later found out that Emperor Babur was buried in Kabul, Afganistan.

  108. almostinfamous Avatar

    Hooray from a life-long Madrasi now-living-in-chennai, i am glad you will be taking your writing to Lonely Planet.

    1. almostinfamous Avatar

      that should be ‘not’-living in chennai – i’m in hyderabad and miss the fun times and the 47As i used to have 🙂

  109. Aarti Avatar

    Sema post…. Kalakitteenga!!! Am so glad you wrote this.. hope Lonely planet takes note and makes the changes in their site… went to their website thru ur post, and was stumped that they had written atrocious things/info about chennai!!

  110. Umang Sagar Avatar
    Umang Sagar

    I must appreciate the writer for whatever he has written in a very honest erupture of emotions, not to mention the literary flamboyance. Well I am from Patna (Bihari – the term coined by I dont know whom, and i also dont know if it is a synonym of any abuse, the more learned people of bigger cities can tell), I have done my mba from hyderabad, worked for 2 long years at Chennai, been to mumbai, kolkata and several other cities of India, and a couple of times to USA…trust me every coin has two sides, including the great USA, i couldnt help fall in love with. You cant compare Alpha of one with Omega of other. Chennai still has a culture where women are respected in general than an average girl on Delhi roads who goes through all sort of shits everyday (I got enough insider news from my female friends in Delhi). Mumbai has a passion to live that few can kill, but there is an arrogance which is not Indian in its essence, thanks to the so called Thakerays….I mean who gave the ownership of Maharashtra!!!!….Kolkatta, a beautiful place, great things to eat….what about the extremism that is hindering its growth, so much so that the Nano project had to be shifted irrespective of the entire world acknowledging its long term benefits for the state and its civilization, and more over knowing that a TATA is NOT Reliance, go and visit Jamshedpur to get a feel of it. most fav place in India to live…great people, great things to eat…lot of respect for females…people who can easily understand and talk both english and hindi and not just telugu…well the negative part of hyderabad?…does it really matter at the end of the day???? Ask your own self…for me I love India, not just a part of it, and for anything negative, we all are collectively responsible, no one person is responsible for the bad of a state or the good of it…The greatest e.g. is Mr. Lalu P Yadav, if he took the state 50 years back in 15 years, we all are responsible for it, as we all allowed it….phew….didnt i convey all that i wanted to…for those who couldnt get it, read between the lines….God bless you all!

  111. Rajesh Avatar

    This standard amit attitude is fairly common when it comes to any south Indian city. This is a telling example: . By and large, Bangaloreans are a tad more hospitable than the expletive deleted of Delhi, but still someone has the nerve to talk like this.

  112. Sriks7 Avatar

    I do not understand why people expect anything ‘Fair & Balanced’ from Lonely Planet.
    I have been let down by their recommendations quite a few times in India & abroad.
    Then I saw this article which explained a bit more.

    That said, the picture of what one carries about a place, is a sum of the people you meet, and all one does is extrapolate from that very limited sample & draw generalizations. I have had a great time in (hole in the wall places) & felt miserable in what is considered one of the greatest places on earth.

    The sad fact is Indians are prejudiced (if you think the Amits stick it to the Southies, just spare a moment for the people of the NorthEast, they are called Ghorka’s, Chinki’s & what not) And the sad fact is the insidious nature in which it creeps in to general conversation, with hardly any opposition in civilized discourse. I see Tamilian’s use the word “Marwadi” in the pejorative & as much as the UPites use “Madrasi” with hardly anyone objecting unless they are the affected party. (Including one classic comment “Hum Patna se hai, Bihar se nahin”)

    While I understand & agree with the premise of the post, the tone in the comments (including KA’s to some extent) has been just perpetrating more of the same stereo typing & old prejudices. I have alway held the commentors of this blog in high regard & esteem. Infact I spend more time reading the comments section as the original posts, and have followed so many of your blogs from here & thoroughly enjoyed them.
    But this one somehow had more of a rediffy feel to it than a Jilpa-Jalsaish feel.
    Bacha & Amits are at some level caricatures of what we feel they are. There are thousands of Northies who have naturalised as Thamizans in North Chennai alone. And to paint all of them with the same brush is as much a disservice to the commenters of this blog as it is to the nameless Amit_123’s.

    Last but not least, I hope KA does not take the bait of Mr Cashmore (ironic) and fall for his “write for us” offer. There are far better places to this like here.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Sriks. Totally agree. Do look at Sachin’s comment –

      I believe that represents the sensible, but often quiet majority.

  113. Prasanna Avatar

    I am happy that mathew Cashmore came by and took it in the right spirit! Wow, u will never know how long I’v e been reading the comments alone, Superb and awesome! Love this article and especially Galeejnus comments 🙂

  114. Saji Avatar

    I guess lovelyplanet guys dont do any research before publishing an article. BTW chennai is the least polluted amongst the bunch of cities they have mentioned in their article

  115. Iswarya Avatar

    Awesome post! Could almost hear Doordarshan-on-15th-August type patriotic songs in the background 🙂 As one reader mentioned it, i have statcasted it too!
    Keep rocking Chennai, we all love you..

  116. Sharanya Manivannan Avatar

    One little girl with a little blog and Lonely Planet/Amy Karafin’s minions went crazy.

    Wonder what they will do when they see big KA and his big blog take on the same article! 😉

    1. krishashok Avatar

      They’ve edited it now. It would not be very madras-like to beat ones chest and say – “Maatha vecchutomla” in a baritone sing-song Madurai-accented way, so instead I will say this:

      Dear Lonely Planet

      With reference to your article on Madras that did not render yeoman’s service to the city, I commend your laudable attitude in setting right what was originally a grievous wrong.

      Thank you

      1. Sriram Avatar

        KA’ku oru periya whistle adinga! Awesome! 😀

  117. Vinay Avatar

    Dude! That was intense man! Ive just spent the last half hour AT WORK going through the links, comments and the post itself.

    Well im guessing LP has modified the content since this post. Its been made to sound more… diplomatic(is probably the cleanest word i could think of).. Could you confirm that here?!

    If thats not the case, man.. whats all this about? your gut reaction post certainly belies the calm attitude of the fence-riding Chennaiite (although i DO appreciate your composed reply to bachcha.. i dont think any other reply was strong enough in substance.). But you know what.. i loved it all the same! cos it got things done. good to see Mathew’s comment.

    Its certainly sad that its become a city/region war in the comments section. Sachin’s comment and subsequent support are a relief!

    The past half hour’s experience – the post, comments, feelings running through me – all seem strangely, Chennai-ish. All’s well that ends well :). Nothing like home guys.. nothing.

    1. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

      Worth pointing out here that LP have not changed the article at all… it’s the same as it was.

      (Lonely Planet)

    2. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

      except of course…. we did change….

      “Chennaiker” to “Chennaiite”

      1. Vinay Avatar

        It seems to me that you’ve been editing the piece quite a bit. What im reading today is definitely not what was up yesterday.
        Heh.. looks like LP is getting insecure. Comments Mr.Cashmore? It’d help if you just be honest with whats going on regarding this.

        1. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

          I’ve just gone back to the editorial team to make absolutely sure…. the only thing that’s changed on that article is “Chennaiker” to “Chennaiite” – everything else is exactly the same, the same in fact as you’ll find in the book I’m told… I really am here to tell the truth – there’s very little point in my telling fibs here is there?


          1. Vinay Avatar

            Dont get me wrong sir. I only asked you to be honest, not truthful.

            If that IS indeed your stand on the article, well, at least we know now for sure. Im sure you will agree that we have capable people here who would like to change that.

            @KA – Could you tell people here if progress is being made with LP on this? Your thoughts awaited :).

            1. Vinay Avatar

              sorry about the confusing choice of words. I just meant to say that im not accusing you of lying here. I just wanted to know what, if anything, you and your team are doing about the article – so that we can move forward.

            2. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

              @subbu567 to be clear sir,

              The webpage has NOT changed….


          2. subbu567 Avatar


            Have read the article some 17 times since day before yesterday…..With in my limited ability to understand and decipher the language of English….I can say there is more than that,that is changed…..The tonality of comparison is watered down and the ‘Historical’ reference to Delhi is removed as well.This observation is valid as of 11.54 am on 20th October 2009 IST and on the opening page of the said article.

            You may now want to re check with the editorial team,Sir.

            Thank you.

            1. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

              no… really, nothing has changed…. there’s an easy way to check – grab the actual book – the text is the same… there’s no way we’d change it and them claim not to have – that’s just silly, we’re sometime daft, but never silly!


            2. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

              @Vinay – don’t worry about it 🙂

              We love to get feedback on our articles – no-one is ever going to agree 100% with everything that we say, but this is the article and we’re not changing it because some people don’t agree…..

              We are however, and this is the important bit, giving people who don’t agree with it a space on where they can not only say they don’t agree with it – but write and publish their own article – that way we have a broad spectrum of opinions and the traveller can decide which one is best.


            3. subbu567 Avatar


              Thanks.I said it haD changed on the webpage where it originally appeared and NOT elsewhere….Thanks for the suggestion of reading your book.Suspect I have better and more reliable sources to ever check on anything remotely related to travel.Anyways thanks for the offer and your time.


            4. Matthew Cashmore Avatar

              @subbu567 to be clear sir,

              The webpage has NOT changed….


            5. subbu567 Avatar

              OK Sir,If you insist,I will not argue further,but surely will check my vision,my comprehension and my memory.

              Thank you.

  118. Shri Avatar

    Hey krish… Can u put the original article. I am unable to access the link you have provided

  119. Divya Sachar Avatar

    hi KA,
    been following your blog for quite some time, and i must tell u, i’m a great admirer of your writing skills, and agree with *many* of your views. I haven’t read all your posts, but sometimes I have got the impression of a certain bias against north indians. I don’t know what your personal experiences might have been which seem to have led you to paint all north indians (atleast male) with the “Amit” brush. Being a woman living in Delhi definitely doesn’t predispose me to liking many of them either (any woman in delhi would tell you that), but isn’t it unfair to just generalise (atleast that’s the feeling I have often got) and caricature the entire community? (this includes the twitter profile of ‘the amit’) I have read only some of the comments on this post, and unfortunately, some of them were spewing forth so much venom, almost bordering towards xenophobia. I have visited and stayed for short durations in several south indian cities, (apart from the north and northeast) but i guess i wasn’t exposed too much to the “North -South divide”, perhaps because I was brought up in an army setup, where there is no tolerance for disrespect for any Indian community/culture/language and everybody is an Indian first. Does it seem Utopian? No, its actually true. But more than anyone else, I hope some of your commentators join the armed forces and learn a bit or two about respect for everyone instead of exhulting in heaping insults upon others without realising that they aren’t being very differnt from the ‘Amit’s’ in question.
    (P.s. yes, the LP article seemed unnecesarily critical. I have been to Madras as well and quite liked it, and some of my other North Indian friends who’ve lived there for years absolutely adore the city. But then again, your response seems to paint everyone with the same brush….)

    1. krishashok Avatar


      Completely agree. The “amit” caricature is designed only bring in focus these fringe extremists on both sides 🙂 Once we all realize that all stereotypes are pointless, the hope is that common sense will prevail.

      I dont hold any biases against any group of people. Ive lived all over India, and stereotypes that i might highlight in my blog are purely for comic effect. It turns out common sense is rarely funny 🙂

        1. Nash Avatar

          Agree with caricatures…unfortunately anger takes away reason (note krish asking me to holster my weapon comment)…but some rebuttal was necessary…esp since bachcha was adding fuel to the fire…Im not going to justify my comments by claiming I have many ‘north indian’ friends…however I dont tolerate unfair criticism and hence the outburst. Apologize if any sentiments were hurt.

          1. Divya Sachar Avatar

            hi nash,
            read some of your earlier comments just now….they (atleast the ones i came across) sounded fairly reasonable and civilised, so i wasnt referring to you…. but then, there are others who make up for all that by being such crass xenophobes. and that includes ppl from both ‘sides’. including baccha and tera baap….even i feel like abusing tera baap (hey, im panju, im expected to know my BC’s and MC’s!! 😛 )

            1. Nash Avatar

              lol…and one side of my family is from mumbai 😛 where my grandmother and 2 aunts still live in…and having studied in a college with only 10% of pop was tam(I studied in TN) I also know my fair share of gaalis 😛 really tempted to use it you see 😀

  120. Dreamer Avatar

    Just want to bring this to your notice. Chennai is still on Lonely Planet’s nine most hated cities in the world list –

  121. Nandini Avatar

    Give it to ’em !! Rite in the gizzard ! Thank u so much for this post ! That article made me see RED ! Wish I could write like u 🙂 Any tips ??

  122. Sekhar Avatar

    Nice rebuttal,Krish.LP also mentions hard-line autorickshaws.Probably Amit has not travelled in Bangalore autos whose drivers are desperate to extract money from the IT crowd there (personal experience). Let Amit come here,we’ll teach him to do Jalsa and show Jilpa.

  123. […] The case of the Neverending SMS Series Add Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Most of the Ruby gang are very well aware of the “Stupid SMS series”. For the uninitiated, it was Nitin’s way of…. umm… timepass ? by sending SMS to all of the Ruby gang which made absolutely no sense whatsoever ( I hate to admit it, but it’s true, Nitin is a version of “The Amit“). […]

  124. salt kottars siluvai Avatar
    salt kottars siluvai


    whoa! I just Loved that! For the first time a “cross belt” that’s giving a “four-lettered” “another four letter” bashing to the “amits!!!” am loving it! 🙂

  125. […] has been written, discussed, commented and analysed about dear old Lonely Planet’s little rant about Madras, so I shall […]

  126. aditya Avatar

    Too god, thank you for doing justice to the fine city of madras. Very well written rebuttal.

  127. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar

    Lonely planet seems to be pulling things off its ass big time. I made some points here but then i later realized there was something really big we missed out. LP has swallowed about 60% of the city. They state its about 70 Sq. Km. The City Development Plan for Chennai shows 181.06 Sq. Km.

    Wow, talk about pulling things off your ass, this is truly of staggering proportions.

  128. Proud of Madras! « Random Ruminations Avatar

    […] 20 tags: bias, chennai, Krish Ashok, Lonely planet, Madras by Apar Bloghopping, I came across this post on Madras. Krish Ashok – Thank you for voicing out about […]

  129. subbu567 Avatar

    Came here late…..could not quite understand what happened….by the time I did reading the LP post, this post and the comments ….phew….it is about three days now…..Brilliantly done rebuttal…..and I believe the original article had enough in it for being sued under willful and wrong misrepresentation of facts….unacceptable mediocrity, bias and actually racist …..

    And Hail the King Krish who save the city from the Western attackers….Long Live the King!

  130. Pavan Madhini Avatar
    Pavan Madhini

    Ivlo pesureenga, andha LP pasanga onnume maathala enradha paakaama poyittengaley.
    Before evlo galeej, ippovum avlo-vey galeej. Bleddy idly-stealers.
    Avangaloda ella books-um kaaylangadai poyi sera!

  131. frissko Avatar

    Nicely done. The comment space contradicts the reasonableness with which the post was written, but it can’t be helped on topics like this i guess. And congrats on the LP invite.

  132. Malathi Avatar

    Hey Krish
    Your response to LP is now making me look at Chennai in new light…despite being a tamilian, never lived in Chennai and honestly, always found it a rather hostile city…but your article makes it sound so interesting…must visit again!

    ps: I am great fan of filter coffee and rasam though 🙂

  133. nayeef199 Avatar

    Hey Krish

    Enough of this maar-jhagad..please put an end to this section..almost every blog finally ends in this way..either a hindu-muslim rant or regionalism as you had put it earlier..we want this blog to be different.. a place where differences and exceptions are explored and celebrated and not looked down upon or made fun of..please continue writing about the usual social/relevant issues..i would love to read a satire from you next time..this blog has been giving me company after I left Chennai soil for the past 4 months..

    mikka nandri hai !!

  134. nayeef199 Avatar

    and for a malayalee who lived in madras almost my entire life except for college and love the city no matter favourite song these days are ‘sorgame endraalum athu nammooru pole varuma..’ and my favourite actor is the inimitable Ramarajan !!

  135. nayeef199 Avatar

    sorry for the double post

  136. Arvind Avatar

    You certainly have enough material to do trend analysis( and write a blog entry) of comment reactions of potentially inflammable topics! 😀

  137. khaleel Avatar


    brilliant article. but it seems to be some american named amy karafin and not north indian as is being mentioned in the article and in the comments.

  138. Tera Baap Avatar
    Tera Baap

    Aah, the fucking Chennai cunt gets offended over the truth. Chennai and its cockroachy residents are an embarrassment to the rest of India. The fact that Lonely Planet even reviewed your crappy city should be a self esteem boost for you idiots.

    Go die, fucktard.

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Lovely 🙂 Was wondering when some of the extremist amits would show up. While i’ve been editing out expletives in the rest of the conversation, I’m going to let this stay. It’s sort of like how milk spoils in the fridge. At one point, the smell becomes so unbearable that bachelors will simply seal the fridge shut and hope the problem goes away by itself.

      ps: I will edit any responses to this for profanities though

  139. Ensiferum Avatar

    Agree with the above. Krish comes across as this cheap wannabe politician who jumps across every opportunity to pit the Southies vs. the Northies. No matter how small the issue, you always wet yourself because someone said a few negative, but TRUE things about your precious city. It’s because of opportunists like you that India is still caught up in the whole regionalism fiasco.

    Learning from Raj Thackeray and the ilk, are you?

    1. Dilip Muralidaran Avatar


      I was just waiting for this kind of nonsense comment for a long time and i was surprised how a totally unrelated comment attacking the person rather than the genuine problem at hand was never here. Sigh! Thanks for being the first one, im sure more will follow.


      Please do not close this thread, just remove expletives. I would prefer this thread from now on be a documented evidence of now some fanatical stereotypes react on this blog. The downside is you are gonna be called names but who cares? We are used to trolls anyways, after chennai metro-blogging trolls i think ithellam pisathu! 😀

    2. krishashok Avatar

      Dude 🙂
      If you want to create the impression of multiple people disliking Chennai (and this post in particular), here is a small tip. Use different machines when u post comments 🙂 Both Tera Baap and Ensiferum posted from the IP address in Mumbai. If you are feeling lazy, the least you can do is disconnect and reconnect so that you can get a new IP address.

      1. Vinay Avatar

        Sweet! I like the way u think KA 😀

      2. somebody Avatar

        ooh the plot thickens! what fun!
        Anyway amits are NEVER grammatically sound.
        And they never make a point based on reason. They only state an impassioned opinion. See bachcha’s post for pointers.
        If you want the shit to really hit the ceiling you should trawl rediff and invite some real madrasi-haters over…this is so lame..

        1. shiraaz Avatar

          nobody is a madrasi hater… they dont matter much to ppl above the vindhyas…. but u guys sure have a huge complex!!!….

      3. subbu567 Avatar

        ha..ha…LOL…..I can imagine what the impostor in double action would be like now?may be sleeping under a thick blanket and shitting bricks every time any call comes or the door bell rings!!!! ha..ha…..sounds terrific even as I imagine that scene…… 🙂

        ok until he returns in another avatar(may be many more which should atleast equal the number of biological fathers he had),I remain!

        KA-Am sorry up to you to keep it or delete it…..I dont always believe in being nice and goody!

      4. khaleel Avatar

        great. i like this. egg on ur face Ensiferum aka Tera Baap.

        1. Venki Avatar

          lol lol lol… rotflmao…

          1. Nitin Avatar

            LOL! Comedy of India 😀

            @KA: Regular follower of Bosey and offlate your blog too. Hats off – your humour rocks 🙂

      5. Jayadev.J Avatar

        Amit_123 is now Amit_420…. (say it in the tone used by Thengaai Srinivaasan of Thillu Mullu fame )…

        Enga kittayevaaa ? Hahaha …

        Nice post … (Too bad it didn’t bring about the desired impact )