My city My story
Intro: Singer Ujjaini talks about Chennai’s auto-drivers, their nasty language and
the process of her acclimatization to this wonderful city and the people of Chennai.
I came to Chennai in 2003. I am a Bengali and the first few days here were horrible, as I
didn’t know Tamil. I had a torrid time communicating and trying to put messages across
to people who didn’t understand English. Auto rickshaw drivers “took me for a ride” as
they reaped a fortune out of my innocence. The absence of metered autos proved to be
menace as I found it difficult to protect my hard-earned money from the occasionally
fraudulent auto drivers. Slowly, but surely I started understanding the “tricks of the trade”
and my Tamil started blossoming. I owe it all to the auto drivers here, whose nasty dialect
inspired me to get a grasp of the language and give them a taste of their own medicine. I
graduated from “left la ponga right la ponga” to having a full-fledged verbal tussle with
an auto driver.
With the passage of time, I started understanding the way things work here in Chennai.
Slowly I started making a lot of friends and finally managed to decipher a methodology
to communicate normally with auto-drivers. Now, I can safely say that I am a Chennai
girl. Everything here is so cool. I love the people out here as they give due credit to talent
and most of them connect with you at an emotional level, unlike other metros where they
don’t care about your existence once they get their job done out of you. I love hitting the
beach and “Landmark” is one of my favourite places here as it has a wonderful collection