Thursday, December 31, 2009

Madras by 11H

Last Saturday (26 December) dawned with me agreeing to my bossy sister, Jayashree’s suggestion that I make a trip to Paris Corner for her jewellery material purchase. I am not so confident about my expertise in checking out stuff, so I agreed quite reluctantly as it was an urgent requirement. 9.45 am saw me getting dropped by Ranga at Teynampet bus stop, wondering which bus I should take to reach the place fast. An 11H express service came in two minutes. Little did I know that I would be blogging about this trip! The bus was fairly crowded and I could not get a seat initially. As I crossed VTI, I recalled that it is such a nice place to spend time with lovely antiques to look at. Then came Spencer’s Plaza, a great place to hang out with friends. By this time I got a seat and the LIC Building appeared on the other side. How many times we have looked at this building in awe as this used to be the only high storey building in our Madras for a long time! The bus winded further through Mount Road, crossing Higgin Bothams, Tarapore Towers, touching the new assembly complex under construction as it curved into Wallajah Road. Many important buildings passed by and the bus turned into Kamarajar Salai (Beach Road). The imposing University Building was a great sight to behold right at the turning. By this time the bus was quite empty and I turned to the other side and what a sight it was!

The beautiful Marina Beach was looking so calm in the morning Sun with very little crowd. Out of the blue, I started praying to Goddess Mahalakshmi for the safety of my Madras city as this was the day Tsunami struck here five years earlier.

My eyes did not leave the beach until the bus reached Island Grounds. I was so tempted to give up my trip to Paris Corner and get down there. The replica of the Museum Art Gallery looks so majestic!  

However, the bus crossed this and went further down. Why have I never been to Fort St. George? I felt fierce pride for my city seeing the Fort. However the politicians are, they should feel honoured to have been elected by the public to be seated there, in that building. I had a glimpse of the Fort Museum and the huge walls of the Fort with a few cannons that are on displaly. Once again I felt the rush of pride seeing the imposing building of Reserve Bank of India! Even before the bus turned into NSC Bose Road, I was thrilled to see the wall of the High Court, recalling my Thatha’s pleasure in talking about his experiences there! The bus then crossed Kuralagam and entered into the Broadway bus stand, which happened to be the bus stop I had to get down and also the last stop for the bus.

I love my Madras!


  1. Super pics to match a super blog!
    I feel extremely nostalgic as I read this. You really take me back to those days - loved the piece. So simply written but absolutely heartfelt and the flow is so natural. I know it is repetitive but DO KEEP IT UP!
    Lots of love,
    PS: Hope to see more blogs in 2010 on a regular basis. You can do it, Lakshmi :)

  2. Very well-written! I am basically from Andhra, but I love Madras, especially their efforts to preserve the culture. People are really friendly and helpful. Inspite of westernization, they try and maintain traditional standards.

    I miss Chennai a lot, especially Anna Nagar where we stayed for more than couple of years. Thnq once again for making me nostalgic :) love to cherish

  3. hai lakshmi,

    This is shekar here from ahmedabad (the other half of Anu, to help you recollect). As Sun has put it, your expressions are quite flowery and pictursque.
    I feel, you are doing a wonderful job for those travel and liesure diprived people, to go into their fantasys.
    Keep it up.

  4. Lak, this is the 1st time i am reading your blog and never did i have a clue that the talent in writing runs in the family... it is so well written.

    Above all, i am glad to have read about pride for one's city, in the 1st time of readign your blog. I completely relate to the passion, pride and feelings towards a place you have grown up in and heard stories about. The structures that form the heritage of that city. Wow