Yes this is the sentence which i hear atleast 15 -20 times a day , i belong to a gujarati family ,although been born and brought up in chennai .so communicating in Tamil is no big deal for me ....after all its my 19th year here and experience speaks :D. and As being born in a gujarati family so blessed by hindi and gujarati speaking skills too :P
My mom who has been here for almost 23 years , still she is not that much capable to flaunt her speaking skills in Tamil. Although she can deal with everyone with her own way of speaking Tamil which she has named as " kaam chalao tamil" ,she can understand and she can make her self understood to .Although it was very difficult for her in beginnning , here people should know tamil or they cannot communicate because here there are only few sabjiwala's and autowala's who know hindi for the rest of the people you are supposed to know tamil or you cant survive here. Although that was my mom time .....indeed here also people are changing they also started speaking "kaam chalao hindi" after all the barrier of language is getting down .
Still people find it really tough here ,I am telling this because i work in a travelling department of a hospital and have to meet lots of people daily on account of ticket booking . The hospital I work in have lots of patients coming from North India and West bengal region so indeed they have no idea of how to speak in Tamil or other way of communication. The very first word i start to say to them ,the first thing from the opposite side i hear is " Madam aapko hindi aati hai? " with a 100 watts smile. It just makes me smile too.But their anxiety is not worthless because finding people speaking hindi in chennai is like finding a redrose in desert.
There is one more funny incident with my cousin who recently visited chennai and went for shopping and even wanted to bargain with out knowing a word of tamil
the shopkeeper got irritated with him and said "ille ,ille po " (no,no go!) although i pulled him to show some other thing but he juzz remembered the words and thought it means yes in tamil. and when we are about to get an auto he just told that autowala ille ille ,po ....gosh after an hour wait we got one auto that too went away all because of his "ille ,ille po . Then the only way we reached home was by bus dhakke kha kha ke .....this was the small experience of language problem in chennai .
Tamil is not a problem ,Tamil is really an beautiful language , I love to communicate in Tamil ,but the only problem is people of here must know hindi too .Because it is the common language of India and even here people are accepting this fact and learning hindi and are getting used to "kaam chalao hindi" .