Sunday, February 19, 2006

On the same road yet again.

On a quite sunday morning, i set out of my house in the petrol leaking moped of mine with no particular destination to reach. The vague plan was to reach the school were we had coaching classes to enter IIT. I could drop in there at anytime, and hence was quite a bit lethargic in going there.

So, there i was getting out of the bylanes of triplicane to reach Ice House Bus Stand. The terminus is named after the building used by the British to store Ice. The building is just beyond one end of the terminus, which is just a row of buses parked on the main road. On a regular day, i would turn left into Dr. Besant Road on my way to IIT. Today i had to turn right heading West on Dr. Besant Road to reach my 'destination'. I decided to go as slow as possible taking a complete account of what has changed and what has not over the 5-6 years i have not frequented this route.

On the same road, Hotel Viveka has been renovated and so has the Police Quarters opposite to it. The SBI branch there has a new ATM in front and the Kasthuri Srinivasan Library has moved to the first floor of the same building. This Library is the store house of one of the biggest collections of books in the locality. One of the favourite places for most people in triplicane to get books for killing time. Down the road stands, NKT School and Ice house police station and then the stretch of Mirsahibpet which still remains as dirty and congested as it used to be. The end of the stretch is the Vinayaga Temple and the market and a Mosque. This is where, the road gets itself renamed as Peters Road. The Arabic Madarasa and the Anglo Indian School which come next are still intact. Then the auction shops and the Burial Ground still stay there below the Flyover which goes over the signal in front of Govt Royapettah Hospital.

Where the Flyover ends, to the left is New College. A minar or two has come up newly inside the campus. To the right there is Adarsh School which has a new gate, while the other school there still stays the same way.

This were i would usually turn left to reach my school. Conronsmith Road, which leads to my school. Havent used the road in the past 7-8 years now. The road hasnt changed. MV Diabetics centre and the Muslim School and the the Corporation Ground, which now has a new baski court, and the Civil Supplies Office. Beyond this are a set of educational institutions, 7 of them, which includes my school. while almost all building have been remodelled, only the schools remains as such. The only other building which hasnt changed is one which houses the Gopalapuram post office and Santosh Cool Bar. The shop keeper still remembers me serves me the usual Samosa and Cane Juice. Most of the students in all the schools around would come here to eat the samosa and cane juice everyday. After eating i come back on the same road to turn left again into Peters Road. It is at this point if one goes straight, one reaches 'Satyam Cinemas'

End of Peters Road leads to Mount Road, near Church Park School and Thousand Lights Mosques. The Saravana Bhavan at the junction has quite a few new restaurants.

On Mount Road, Saffire Theatre is gone. Climbing up and down Anna Flyover, i reach Uttamar Gandhi Salai(formerly called Nungambakkam High Road). Down this road, nothing much has changed. Landmark, Ispahani, CA insti, IT office, Hotel Ranjith, Taj Coramendel and then Crystal Petrol Bunk, where i used to fill fuel to my moped everyday to college. I fill petrol today as well, and there i noticed that the building opposite to it, the old villa, a bunglow of the olden era doesnt stay there anymore. There is vacant space here as well. Further down the road is Cakes 'n' Bakes, and NIIT where I learnt all of my computing skills over 3 years. And then the same buildings lead to Village Road, on which stands Raja Bhavana, where i have contemplated to eat everytime i have passed thro' but have not done it even once. This area is the first and one of the longest round abouts caused because of creating one-way traffic. The immediate left turn into Wheatgrofts road, there is this building which now is a guesthouse/hotel. The Building's super structure has been the same but it was first the home of a large family and then a furniture shop and then a sweet shop and then a hotel and then a mansion and then a godown and what else not, before whatever it is now. The right turn and left takes me into Sterling Road, which cannot change. All the Railway quarters and Srilankan Consulate's Name board on an empty land. End of the road is Loyola College, opposite to which Allen Solly and Peter England and Pepe Jeans outlets have come. Just beyond the College is a Road Under Bridge which leads to Choolaimedu. At the end of this subway, I should turn left to reach the school were our coaching classes happened. Going further Straight would lead to my college, quite tempting, but thats another day.

Turning left, the same dirty roads and then a church. This church has not been active on any of the sundays i went past the same place and then turn right into a small lane to reach the school where the classes still go on. There is another church here which has never failed to conduct a Sunday Mass. There is one happening today as well.

After seeing the school and the class going on and meeting the men who taught us during those days, i start again. Go Straight to Nungambakkam Railway Station. The same man at the canteen cash counter. Dosa and Sambara Vada ordered and served and swallowed. Again i am off there to the subway and back on Sterling Road. End of Sterling Road is where Village Road cuts across. Thanks to the one way system, one cant turn right into Village Road but go straight on College Road. Down this road, Good Sheperd School still stand and Alliance Francaise. Further down is the Regional Meteriological Department's Office and BNP Paribas Bank. This is where one must turn right into Haddows road to reach Uttamar Gandhi Salai and out of the one way.

I decide to get out of the one-way right there and proceed straight on College Road. To check some other roads i used to take on my way to college. Grindlays Bank has expanded more. First time in its History, the Women's Christian College has a name board and Shankar Netralaya has brought down one of its buildings for whatever reasons. SBI's new building is fully operational and the Tamilnadu Examinations board and Textbook society havent been affected by the 'shift to koyambedu syndrome'. Tulsi restaurant is gone, so sad, i could never eat there. One is tempted to go straight on Greams Road and reach Mount Road. On Mount Road, each day one has a new rule to follow to turn into every road, hence one chooses to turn left over the cooum bridge right here to proceed on Pantheon Road. Down this road is the Madras Museum and Connemera Library. I however choose to turn right on Monteith Road to see Alsa Mall. The building still stays, but the crowds, well spencers have taken all the people from Alsa Mall. And further, Hotel Ambassador Pallava has a 'sports planet', whatever that was. The Bank of Baroda office and Kwality Ice cream shop have shrunk to give away to shopping centers. The Hospital in between still stays. End of road and Rajarathnam Stadium. I turn right into Marshalls Road (called Rukmani Lakshmipathy Road these days). The road must have been recently opened for lying something or the other and needs to be black topped. Beyond the Govt Eye Hospital one reaches the junction of 5 roads. Traffic here flows around two roundtanas, in the middle of one stand C P Adithanaar, dont ask me who he is. Incidentally Pantheon Road from which i drifted earlier comes to this junction. What is so nice about this junction is that, it is a stonethrow's distance from the City Police Commissionorate and the Metropolitan Magistrate Courts and is one of the busiest during all times of the day, yet never has there been a traffic Signal or a Police man to regulate the traffic.

I turn right into Adithanaar Salai, formerly Harris Road. This part is called Pudupet and is the wholesale area for all stolen auto spareparts. End of the road stand the broken remains of Chitra Talkies. Crossing the cooum bridge, one notices that Gaiety Theatre doesnt show any movies these days. Casino theatre has released a new telugu movie just a couple of days back. The twins where once upon a time famous for the Adults movies they showed. Casino took off early, and started releasing Hindi, English and Telugu movies starting with 'Taal', while Gaiety never changed its original trademark.

Down this road, Geetha Cafe is closed, Ritchie Street hasnt opened for the day and beyond the signal where Annadurai stands as a statute, Cursons building still stands since 1898. Tamilannai restaurant has opened a new entrance on the road and Annapoorna Cafeteria is still as empty as it used to be.

And then D1 Police Station, and there is a signal installed at the traffic junction here. I proceed straight down Wallajah Road, Kalaivaanar Arangam still stays. Paragon Cinema has given away to a Residential Apartment and then MAC stadium is there. I turn right into Bells Road to reach Triplicane.

From here i would have to used inner roads of Triplicane. Writing of the area would go into volumes. Well thats all for the day folks.

PS: I know this post is very long and can make sense only to true chennaite. So, if u cant understand any of this, just tell me its a nice post and do something else useful.

great to know that you learnt computing skills at NIIT nungambakkam... am doing my 1st year there as well... and i could follow the post very wel except for that montieth road stuff.. good post...
well, you would have been a very small kid when alsa mall and hence montieth road was famous like our spencers today.
Was wonderful reading this on a sleepy thursday afternoon @ office. ASP.NET could wait a while until I savored this piece. Got a feeling as if I was making the trip myself. Infact just a year and a half back I drove thru all these places looking for medicines and supplies and finance and what not during my fathers fight with cancer. Made me feel right at home. Chennai always will b closer to my heart than any other place...Next time suggest you include T.Nagar, Saidapet, Guindy, Ashok Pillar and Vadapalani in ur sojourn...Theres a lot that has changed in these places
i could have gone into more details, but the post would grow longer and thats not nice of me on the readers.

T Nagar, Saidapet, Guindy are areas in havent seen much. will see if i can do more such trips and write more such stuff...
strange my proj took me to triplicane n ice house over the last few days :) ... do u live thr only??
nice post :D
Brilliant post, albiet a tad too long.
Makes me feel pretty nostalgic, especially Montieth road. :)
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