No Tree Ahead >>>

The Gandhi Mandapam Road, which is the official name of good ol’ Kotturpuram High Road, is one that I remember by its trees. The crooked line that they form with their wide trunks, much like bored men peeping out of long queues; the thick band of white around their midriff making them as much South Madrasi as the vibhuthi-smeared mamas living in the roads beyond; the rather recent reflector boards, sponsored by RainTree, around their trunks, announcing “Tree Ahead >>>”, the crooked line making sure you saw several such warnings all at once.

In the last few weeks, every time I pass by, I see freshly cut wood in neat piles along the platform, one less tree in the crooked line and a painful jab in the wistful centre of the anatomy. Soon, the warning Tree Ahead will be obsolete. Soon, the memory will be stamped historical. The wheels of change with its axe-like spokes, making way for God knows what. Oh, progress is the word isn’t it? Maybe there will be other trees planted new, other warnings considered necessary and then it will be time for new memories of old places.

8 Comments so far

  1. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

    This is dreadul to hear.

    I read somthing that, where trees were bineg removed, they were being transplanted. However, I have strong doubts about a full-grown tree surving a ‘transplant’…

    I fell out with my landlady because she cut down the house’s big neem tree.

    All the publicity stuff says make chennai green, plant trees, and people are cutting them down :(

  2. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

    That’s Singara Chennai for you!

  3. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

    Btw, Thad, that’s a great name! :D

  4. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on October 17th, 2006 @ 1:31 am

    Thanks: I had the idea some years back, but it is getting its first outing on this site.

    Back on topic… I love to see sometimes, how people have allowed for the tree in building a wall. I’ve even seen one growing through a tailor-made hole in a building. Granted, it is often a coconut tree, so there may be some economic benefit to keeping it, but I’m still impressed to see priority being given to the tree.

    Makes me all the more mad when they get cut down…

  5. siv (unregistered) on October 17th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    This has been the case in the ever selfish people who are money conscious than anything. Many people in chennai who are building houses like matchboxes cutting trees and renting it out for money. I had seen once a landlord pouring acid on a tree just because it was touching his wall on the outside??! With these kind of people around, we chennai will have to suffer a log with no rain and water.

  6. Pavithra (unregistered) on October 17th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    Ah, that’s not good news at all. That road is one of the my particular favourites. Really sad. I hope there’ll be replacements … but that seems rather a fantasy.

    Great descriptive piece, Lavanya, btw.

  7. Manjuthgowri (unregistered) on October 18th, 2006 @ 11:35 am

    last yr konjam jaasthi mazhai vandhadhu ivangalukellam porukala polarku!!
    tats really dreadful to hear.. :( one of the most beautiful road gettin spoilt. shud v write to some of the politicians rather than juz discussing this issue only over this forum?

  8. sidharth (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

    aww man thats pretty sad!..i studied in anna univ (AC Tech) and spent 4 glorius years going up and down that road from my PG accom at kottur gardens to college..those trees are beautiful..really sad to hear they are cutting them down..another thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the fact that the authorities cut down soooo many trees for the proposed new secratariat comin up behind anna univ..that place had soo many birds..all laid to waste!

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