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  /  Reservoir Of Words   /  Chennai, My Muse

Chennai, My Muse

By: Vibha Batra

It was during the promotions of my last book – a graphic novel titled The Secret Life of Debbie G – that a journalist asked me, ‘Chennai features in all your books. When did it become your muse?’

That got me thinking.

Was it when I first moved to the city and realised it had a character all of its own?

Or when I saw giant cut-outs of politicians and superstars alike?

Or when I prayed for divine intervention at a temple on the shores of a beach?

Was it when I sampled thenga sundal on Marina Beach?

Or when I gobbled down vazhaipoo vadais at a sabha canteen during Margazhi masam?

Or when I witnessed the hypnotic sight of degree kaapi being poured into a cup?

Was it when I lost my way in the winding alleys of Sowcarpet?

Or when I declared ‘Naanum rowdy daan’ in a manner that would have made Vadivelu proud?

Or when I screamed myself hoarse at the first-day-last-show of Superstar’s latest magnum opus?

Was it when I went college-culturals-shopping during the rush hour to Pondy Bazar?

Or when I rode trippies all the way to Cozee on Bessie with my college gang?

Or when I discovered that kanjivarams do, in fact, flatter your frame?

Was it when I hailed an auto and the driver managed to persuade me for ‘just ten rupees extra?

Or was it when I wrote a Hindi stanza for the song Vennilave in Thuppaki?

Or was it when I spoke in Tamil and my friends didn’t roll their eyes at me?

I don’t really know. And it doesn’t really matter. What I do know is that Chennai is a source of inspiration for me. It will continue to make its presence felt in my creative expressions. It will always be my muse.