This blog is a part of the Chennai Bloggers Club Blog Tag. This tag was passed to me by Jefferson Jaikar Anand and he wrote about his Chennai here.

What do I write about Chennai? The good and bad things that it taught me or about those friends that it gave me or like Jeffy who wrote why loves Chennai. What do I write about Chennai? Before I moved to Chennai, there are only two things that I remember about it, landmark book store and hospitals.

My mom travelled to Chennai for all her complex investigations and I tagged along with her every time. I gave my parents tough time because I was mama’s boy. Landmark fascinated me because of books and music. I saw Kamal in close proximity once when I was roaming in Apex plaza Landmark. I ran frantically to my Dad and when he came, Kamal had already left.

I moved to Chennai in 2003. It was for my MBA course. I still remember the first day and we had to go for our welcome party at a discotheque (Gatsby in Park Sheraton). We were 3 friends from Thanjavur and we didn’t have any clue what to wear for a party. We had only formal shoes and bag full of formal attire. We somehow made to the party atrociously dressed but we knew it was only a start.

The discotheque party was a culture shock to all of us. I don’t want to delve in to details but think about it – 3 early 20 guys from a small town going in to a discotheque. It took a lot of time to adjust with my friends in chennai. My MBA course had the most hip boys and girls to the most conservative. This diversity at first baffled me but later I understood that’s what a city would present to you. Chennai gave me that space to understand that diversity. I had good and bad experiences with this city but I would like to talk about good things that this city taught me.

Landmark Quiz

Photo Courtesy: Chennaionline

Chennai taught me quizzing. At school and college, we used to have one or two quizzes in a year and mostly trivia based. My first tryst with quizzing was ET in the classroom quiz when my Professor Jayanta asked me to participate. I till now don’t know how he chose me to attend. I along with my then partner Srikanth scored 9 out of 25 possible points. I was devastated and my Prof said -” you have just started”. Now thanks to my Quizzie friends, I am a decent quizzer (can I say that guys?). Chennai has the most vibrant and competitive quizzing culture which only Bangalore can fight for. We still bring the most number of new quizzers for every Landmark quiz that happens in Chennai. It’s a festival by itself. Quizzing here is extremely competitive. You will find your competitors bay for your blood on stage but have a drink with you making fun of your answers offline. Quizzing took me to quiz master one of the prestigious quizzes – The Madras Quiz. I loved that moment when we as IQL presented it. You would not believe, me and my friend Matti were the people who rejected questions that we felt were too easy., A Non-Chennai guy picking up questions about Chennai.

One of the questions we asked – From the plotted points in the Google Map below, identify the place (the quiz happened in 2009, things have changed since then) – I am posing this question exclusively for you guys. Try to answer this question in the blog comments section and win a prize 🙂

(Trivia : TCQ or Typical Chennai Question in quizzing circles is a question about someone who recently passed away)

Chennai taught me auto walahs are the best political analysts in India. Ask an auto guy who is in chennai for more than 3 years, he will give you the best exit poll results in the country. Arnab and Rajdeep are sub juniors when it comes to the perfection of these guys.


Photo Courtesy – Kokonad Sinha

(Trivia: Do you know there is a tourist friendly auto driver who gets his client through his website. Have a look –

Chennai taught me movies are not made only in Tamil, Hindi and English (Chinese also). I started watching world movies only after I came to Chennai. I am still thinking which one of my friends introduced Korean movies to me. Chennai international film festival introduced me to many more languages. You can find a movie buff who will go to first day of a Rajini movie and whistle to the hilt come back to watch a Francois Truffaut without blinking his eye (if you can’t find one, come to my home). But you can also find fans who will not be ashamed to use bad words (visit my blog). I love them too because movies are not just movies for people…

(Trivia: The Chennai International film festival is organised by The Indo Cine Appreciation foundation every year. They also screen films every month – you can join them at a nominal fee. Their office is at Gemini Parsons Complex)

Chennai introduced me to books beyond the authors I used to read. It also taught me that literary feuds between authors in Tamil literature are more fascinating than their books. I love going to the Chennai book fair and when you go you can find how diverse our readers are. Leftists, rightists, conservatives, Tamil eezham supporters (non-supporters) you name and you can find them there. Chennai book fair is one of the largest in the world and you don’t even need to buy those books, just walk through those stalls…

Chennai Book Fair

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Trivia: The Chennai Book fair organised by Book Publishers association was started in 1977. This will be the 36th year and they are planning to have 760 stalls at YMCA Nandanam.

Chennai is like any other city but also different in it’s own way. When you come here it will baffle you but you will feel at home after some time. Now I am a Chennai citizen, I have my own house here and my passport has the same Chennai address. I dunno probably in a year or so I will leave this place to chase my dreams but there will be a special place in my heart for this city. Thank you Chennai for teaching me some good things (a few bad ones too… )

So it’s time for me to pass the tag to this CBC Blog Tag Marathon to Harikrishna Raghuraman whose mokkais are freely available at his blog Freezing Eternity

PS: Give your answer for the question in the comments. You will definitely get a prize and if you know the answer you will guess what it is 🙂


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Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth


  1. Loved this personal personal post which in a way traces part of your life. Personal histories are the most intimate and truest of histories and this post is an example of that. Enjoyed the post but clueless on the question.

    Thanks for taking part in the CBC Blog Tag.

    Joy always,


    1. Thanks Susan. I always tend to write with my personal experience. Chennai is close to my heart and it would be fitting only if I write a personal post


  2. Loved the post, especially for the trivia… 🙂


    1. Thanks Charan. My USP is quizzing hence the trivia 🙂


  3. Kalakitinga ponga! Loved the bits of trivia you put up. I am sure we can all write pages about Chennai’s Auto and the autokaaran.


    1. Thanks Aravind.. Autokkarans are the most lovably and at the same time most irritable that chennai could offer to us 🙂


  4. Something for me to do – Watch foreign language movies. One of my friends was an ardent fan of these foreign movies and he used to watch them regularly. He says he used that knowledge in IIM interview, and got selected! I guess very soon, all the French, Spanish and Italian movies too will be dubbed in Tamil. They do a wonderful job don’t they, the dubbing artists? 🙂 The mix of conservative and ultra-hip is of course, baffling.

    BTW, I participate only in those quiz contests where the answers are written upside down just below the questions. Even then, sometimes I am lazy to rotate the paper to read the answers 🙂

    Destination Infinity


    1. Foreign language movies give a wide perspective in cinema. It helps me to understand our cinema better. My favourites are Korean, Iranian, Norwegian and Hungary. The plot lines radically different and more realistic 🙂 try them, you will enjoy them for sure


  5. So you studied in IIPM? : )


    1. Yes Clement and even worked in Planman consulting for two years 🙂


  6. Ha… That’s a very interesting post. That autowallah website is new to me. Never heard of him… Thanks Sylvian! 🙂
    Btw, you’re asking about some landmarks or street/area of the places in the map?
    Bhusha’s TRAVELOGUE


    1. Bhusha – it was fascinating for me when I found that guy… I am looking for a collective two word term for all the points plotted in the map. You would have definitely visited at least one of these places. What in Chennai are present in these areas?


      1. A – Thousand Lights Mosque
        B – Central Station
        C – Koyambedu Market
        D – Ashok Pillar
        E – Panagal Park
        F – Kasturi Rangan building (The Hindu)
        G – Kapaleeswara Temple
        H – Govt Museum
        I – Murugan Temple / Saravana Bhavan
        J – Music Academy
        ?????? 🙂
        Bhusha’s TRAVELOGUE


  7. This is very interesting. the auto picture is the highlight! I got introduced to English films only in Chennai and now a few foreign movies too… And I too an amateur quizzer and I have been to landmark quiz for the past 2 years….


    1. Thanks Hari Krishna for the comment. You can find me in every quiz that happens in chennai 🙂


  8. Kalakkitel ambi 😉 Nice way of giving it a personal touch. Btw, not sure about what we need to guess on the map. Each of the points A,B,C etc ??


    1. Thanks Prashanth – I am looking for a common two word place that is situated in all these areas 🙂


      1. Ok, I am guessing Saravana Bhavan


  9. Aswin Subramanian January 6 at 7:29 pm

    Hi, i have been a long time reader of your blog though i have never posted any comments. I enjoy reading it and you are doing a good job. As a lover of chennai who never spent much time there (i moved out after finishing my schooling) i still am and will always be fascinated by the place.

    Regarding your question, i guess the answer is ‘foriegn names’.

    Keep up the good work bro.


    1. Thank you Aswin for the comment. Keep commenting whenever you like to


  10. Are these the places where IQL or QFI meets have taken place


    1. No Mahesh. Not that much involved… It’s a very normal place in Chennai that everyone of us would have visited at least once. But the question was made as a tribute to the place because we go to that place after meetings 🙂


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  12. filter coffee…at HSB


  13. That was some information I did not know. Thanks for the trivia. It’s always nice to see how the city embraces people from other places and benevolently accepts people. Loved the post 🙂


  14. Can’t be HSB because Anna Nagar, Puraswalkam visibly missed ….Thinking hard …


  15. I loved the trivia 🙂 Yes, Chennai is perhaps one of the best when it comes to music, movies and most importantly, books! 🙂

    I loved the way you wrote about the different aspects of Chennai and why you loved them 🙂

    Good one! Keep blogging, cheers! 🙂


    1. Thanks Sowmya 🙂


  16. Sylvain, loved reading your article. Very vivid! I have a friend who will be shortly volunteering at Sevalaya in Chennai. We cannot find any info. or reviews regarding this organization. Have you heard of them? Are they legit and honest? She is hoping to have a positive experience! Thanks for your time.


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