This time around, I am at Coimbatore to attend my friend Arch’s wedding. The city has been decorated as nicely as a bride-to-be – all for the Tamizh Semmozhi Maanaadu. The flyovers have been painted, the roads widened, new traffic signals, a lot of police at the Railway Station, a lot of traffic police deployed – all this for just the next one week. Lot of Tamizh cultural art forms are going to be performed at different venues in the city. I feel proud to be a Tamizhian. The schools and colleges in Coimbatore have been asked to declare holiday for the next one week. How I wish I were in school now! All city buses will be ticket-free. There is no need to buy bus tickets for the next one week. Food festivals are being organized. Now is the best time to be in this city; well, if you like crowded places.
I miss my dad now. He would have really enjoyed this Semmozhi Maanaadu – being a staunch Tamizh-patriot himself. He would have forced me to take a week’s leave and taken me to all the programmes and lectures and made me listen to the glory of my mother tongue. I can almost see the pride in his face when someone praises Tamizh.
But the city has lost a lot of its trees in the name of road-widening. The programme will last for about a week or so, but the city might never get its climate back. Sigh…
Although so much is being done to ‘improve’ the city and its infrastructure, the people of the city still remain the same. They still talk with so much respect, throw rubbish on the streets, wait for TASMAC (wine shop) outlets to open in the morning and form a queue in the counter there, the auto-drivers still demand exorbitant amount money from the people, the city hasn’t changed one bit in its character.
But no matter what happens to this city, no matter what the people are like, this will always be my home. This is the city that I have grown up in, the city that has made me what I am through the school and college I studied in, through the innumerable people I have met; it is my favorite city (ok, next to Chennai). Chennai is still my most favorite J
I have a couple of good news to share with all the kind people who visit this space. There will be an announcement in a few days’ time (if all goes well). Pray for me, people!!!