It was Chennai’s Birthday on 22nd of this month. I was supposed to publish this post on that day but failed. So here comes the post, though it’s late; this is what I have.
I was born and brought up in Chennai and so have a very strong attachment to it. Chennai currently stands for dense population, heavy traffic, pollution, hot sun, scarce water, IT industry, etc. The current picture of Chennai is alarming to me because I have seen Chennai for the past (don’t expect me to say my ageJ ) so many years and I know Chennai originally did not stand for any of these. I have been witnessing the transformation of Chennai from a so called “Metropolitan City” to an actual “Metropolitan City”. All the above factors are inevitable associations of any metropolitan city in any part of the work and Chennai is no exception.
Messy roads to many flyovers;
Ponnamalle high road to six lane NH4
14 Storied LIC to 29 storied Arihant Majestic Towers in Koyambedu;
Noisy PTC to A/C MTC;
Meter gauge trains to MRTS;
Ayakar Bhavan Income Tax (IT) office to SEZ driven Information Technology (IT) parks;
Doveton Café parathas to Domino’s double-cheese margaritas;
Scary nights to populous nights;
Water scarcity to water bottles;
Foot board travels to Ford Fiesta cars;
Above are some of the changes that I could think of. There are so many things that changed and maintaining a change log would require millions of terabytes of secondary storage.
To be true, I enjoyed Chennai a lot during my school days. Especially the water logged roads on rainy season. I never miss to go to school when it rains, even though I know for sure that it will be a holiday. I never quitted from talking a walk — even if the friction between the madras mud and my own skin caused rashes.
Commuting to school and college in the jam-packed PTC (and later MTC) busses was considered the best & efficient ways of spending spare time. Foot board travels are considered to be the safest as there will be hardly any oxygen inside the busses. MTC busses are meant to disprove the basic medical science discovery. It proves that human being can survive without oxygen for long.
When M.A. Chidambaram stadium sports an ODI match – it used to be holiday for Chennai District (of course not any more). When international teams compete, we play our own cricket in a playground where at least 10 other matches will be played simultaneously. Getting a pitch (15-22 X 3 feet) free space in the ground is a big deal and so we have our representatives (vociferous guy) occupy it from the early morning itself.
In late 1980’s, I had the privilege of walking in a “no man” Ranganathan Street of T-Nagar. Now, it can happen only in dreams. Back then, there were hardly any major shops, although all the current big banners shops were having a miniature shop in that area. I could see the entire change that these shops went through in the past 2 decades.
The number of bicycles back then have fully transformed into bike and in some cases cars. I used to ride in a bicycle, even if I had to travel for 20kms. I was always a joy riding because absence of pollution, which is a rarity now. We used to go in a group of 5, 10 or even 15 and take a ride roaring like lions.
Chennai sure has changed (or should I say developed) a lot and this current generations are missing a lot of fun that we used to have a decade or two earlier. But all these changes are good because “change is the only constant in life”
Anyways, Happy Birthday Chennai.
Long live and develop more; for I have a life to live and to witness you develop.