If Mumbai depicts the pulse of India, West Mambalam depicts the pulse of Chennai! Well, should I call it the Munirka of Chennai, I don't know... all I know is that it is one of my favourite locales in the city.
Dhoti-clad men and boys, Merc-driving executives, pundits, and Jeans-sporting youngsters on their speedsters coexist with women in nine-yard and six-yard sarees, young girls with plaited hair and wearing their long silk skirts and blouses (paavadai-sattai), teenagers in their Jeans, T-shirts or even pyjama suits, and working women in their salwar kameezes. Not to forget children of all ages who go to the best schools in town and talk in impeccable English in the mornings, and unfailingly attend their music/dance/Veda classes in the evenings!
Temples, bhajan-mandalis, supermarkets, kirana stores, wholesale grocery and vegetable mandi-s, Udupi hotels and fast-food stalls, "Chips centres" and "Bholi stalls", West Mambalam has it all.
Well, what triggered these pleasant recollections... I was passing through West Mambalam today and noticed that a street was called "Shyamala Vadana Street". Where else can you find such aesthetic and beautiful Sanskrit street names?!!