Santhosh Kumar Subramanian is the founder of Bambaram Toy Library (www.bambaram.in) and Potatolive. Bambaram is an online toys and games library for children between 1-12 years of age and Potatolive (http://potatolive.com) provides mobile-based and digital services for media firms.
So, what’s your Chennai connect?
I was born in Madras, grew up in Tiruchy. I came back to find the city was renamed as Chennai. I am still searching for Madras which I left back.
One thing about namma ooru that you fancy?
The public transportation system. I love the local trains. For me, they are blood veins of the city. I understand its work in progress. But I like it this way.
A Chennai-based celeb or any personality whom you would like to date or go out with?
Hmm. I will probably need an MTC bus. The list is endless.
Three things here that can’t be found in any part of the world?
The love for language, Kalathi rose milk and the aroma of Mylapore filter coffee. Although I dont drink coffee. I am a cutting chai Tamilian.
Your favourite hangout spot?
Satyam Cinemas, Royepettah
Four stereotypes about the city that make you roll your eyeballs?
Accent, the jasmine flower, high IQ — not everyone is Vishwanath Anand dudes.
Where would you take a person who is new to the city? Why?
It depends on the person. Cholamandalam artist village, ECR, Saravana Bhavan and Dakshinachitra are my picks.
What would you do to prove that you are a true Chennai vaasi?
A weekend movie marathon at Sathyam.
One part of the city or a specific area that you want to explore?
Fort St George
A Tamil movie dialogue which describes Chennai?
Naan oru thadavai sonna nooru thadavai sonna maathiri when someone ask us to learn Hindi again.
Two things from Chennai you would take to any place you travel?
I travel a lot but take a few things that make me feel that I am not far from Chennai because I don’t want to be far from my city.
If you had to draw a comparison between Chennai and any other city/country...what would it be? and why?
Love for language. I had been to many places. I think we are quite fanatic about the language. I am not here to point out if it’s right or wrong. But it’s the way it is.
What is the craziest thing you have ever wanted to do in the city? And where?
I want to make an artistic installation of the tallest (say a three-storey building tall) famous ‘dabara set’ with filter coffee froth flowing out like a waterfall. May be right in the middle of Mylapore temple tank.
If you would like to install another statue on Marina beach, what or who would it be about?
A crow. I really want to know if a crow would still want to sit on that statue.
Describe the city in your own words and style!
Every city has its charm. Every city has its own weaknesses as well. It’s natural to crib about Chennai the very first day you land here. Take a while and spend some time. You would discover something which even Chennaiites haven’t noticed. If you still have a problem, you can head to Meenambakkam or Chennai Central.