It has been a really long time! Almost a month since I fell sick and my fourth week away from work. All this while sitting at home and just about doing everything to crib and cringe.
And then dad decides to take me out during the day. When I say that it means an outing to office/bank/some place official! This time it was to the bank. The trip was as usual. I do not like meeting people who deal with money… especially my money.
As much as I love Chennai, I never realized it has changed a lot… over the past year and a half! I never realized Chennai was green! Or even noticed how music academy was shaped. This time around when I went out, I noticed there were no hoardings… none at all. I remember when a friend, Mary, had come visiting from the UK. She was in love with India and Indian men. That was the time when John Abraham was on every other hoarding. Take the T-Nagar route or Mt. Road, all you get to see on either side were hoardings… of movies, watches, bikes, papers, saris, etc. and they were incredibly beautiful. Imagine almost 35 feet wide hoardings of Jothika, in three different saris for RMKV, just opposite to Valuvar kottam. You will be at the signal anywhere between 30 sec to three minutes and I remember seeing Jothika to the left and a Tanishq ad to the right. This time around, it was just space… blue sky, white puffy clouds and a dash of green! Clean up Chennai was taken to the literal sense! Mount road is almost barren… the exit curve from Anna flyover leading to Nungambakkam is open… and you can see the new horticultural gardens coming up! (This place housed the famous Drive-in, which the govt. shutdown… I not like the move! I‘ve known the place since I was in Chennai as a kid. They even had a children’s park with a white horse… a real one which you could ride! Infact, a lot of my friends talk about how drive-in played an important role in sculpting our personality!)
If I felt weird with just no hoardings around… there are a lot of flyovers everywhere! And I don’t know my routes now. I knew how to get to one place from another and all the gullies and lanes but now I am lost! I mean, Chennai is not really the best planned city, but there are a lot of small lanes which you can take to not go through the painful one-ways. I can’t really complain about Chennai’s traffic either after living in Hyderabad for almost two years. But the flyovers are crazy. There are many types of them I was told. You enter one, and decide which way you need to go… and ten minutes later, you exit the flyover to your destination. While it would have taken some 25 minutes otherwise! And there are expressways for the buses! Chennai is getting posher by the day!(think after the one in T-nagar is complete, I enter flyover from near my house, and I can land up on the main road, ten feet from Lachu’s house!) I remember moving to Hyderabad in dec’06 and there was a bridge under construction. I happen to travel through the same area again, and its still under construction. But here… I never knew that there was such a thing happening and it feels like it popped up from the earth… And I happen to visit Chennai every month! My love for this city has nothing but increased!