I intended to visit Chennai for many years, but somehow it would never materialize. The reason why I have wanted to - was to visit Nana Dulcie who lives there. She is 86 years old and is my paternal grandmother. For the past few years, due to her health conditions she has not been able to travel and hence we were also not able to meet up with her. This year, somehow, we managed a trip, having bought the train tickets to visit Chennai well in advance.
We left Cochin for Chennai on the night of 15th Dec 2011 by the Shalimar Express and reached Chennai the next morning. The traffic, as expected, was suffocating and congested. No, I will never be able to survive in such a place. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is an old city in India, totally unplanned and unorganized, and heavily populated. It is one of the metro cities in India. The climate is by nature hot and dry and the vegetation is not so green and rich as in many other parts of the country. Thankfully it rained for a few days prior to our trip and so it was pleasantly cool during our five-day stay there. Summers are unthinkable for those who are not used to living in hot conditions without air conditioning.
|View from the train prior to entering Chennai station.|
I was not interested in visiting any tourist attractions in Chennai and limited my visits to just two malls, staying at my aunt's place and having dinner out one night with my sister (and her family) and my cousins. Although my aunt's place is not far from where Nana stays, the traffic made it seem much longer than it is.
|Skywalk Mall - Chennai|
My sister and family turned up in Chennai on the 18th and we had a fun reunion, after a year. They stayed in Chennai for almost two days.
|My kids with their great-grandmother Dulcie|
|Me and Olivia, my sis - reunion in Chennai|
Before we knew it, we were back on the train to Cochin. But not until we had some fun moments.
|My kids with their cousin|
|Fun time with baby Maegan|
|Ruth fascinated by a hand pump|
|Dinner out with my cousins|
This trip was totally fun and we caught up on some long-due family moments. I met my cousins' kids for the first time and have to say they are real cute kids. More importantly, my own kids got a chance to meet their great-grandma, two great aunts and a great uncle there. They had a happy time in Chennai and so did I.