Chennai has two main beaches -- Marina and Elliot's. Sub's parents live near Elliot's Beach, but Marina is the big one. Both have lots of fishermen around (and thus their villages nearby), and Marina is near the Port of Chennai with HUGE ships on the horizon. Neither are great for swimming because of strong riptides, both both are full of economic activity and people.
These are of Elliot's Beach in the early morning. A few things to note: pretty nice sidewalk, fairly clean area, and semi-organized areas of commerce.
Later in the day and into the evening, all these stalls will be busy with throngs of people.
Housing near the beach, with the requisite political signage.
Nighttime at the beach.
My photos of Marina Beach didn't work out, but I will try to get some more.