The Different Colors of Chennai

All good things come to an end. We can do little to fight fate, but only mourn: “Those were the days!” For five long years, I was smug in the fact that my office is only four kilometres from home — a luxury very few people in metros can afford. So I would wake up close to noon every day, saunter out of home by two, enjoy the 10- or 15-minute autorickshaw ride while soaking in the sights that G N Chetty Road, the Gemini flyover and the Mount Road had to offer.

The most spectacular of them would be the sight of girls whose bikes would be ahead of my auto. If the view from behind was enticing enough, I would wait for the auto to overtake so that I could take a look at their faces. At times the overtaking happened, at times it didn’t — but I would be in office even before I could blink my eye. Once in office, I would work for a while; after a point boredom struck and I would hop over to Spencer Plaza, where my favourite hangout, apart from Landmark, was the Levi’s showroom on the ground floor. Once in a while, I would be tempted to go to the shop adjacent to Levi’s — that of Color Plus. But I resisted the tempation because Color Plus clothes are too expensive and mostly formal, even though the quality is superb. I get my annual quota of Color Plus clothes from my mother, who buys them from an outlet in Kanpur and sends them to me on occasions like my birthday, Durga Puja, etc. Little does she know that those very shirts are manufactured in a factory that is — now — stone’s throw from her son’s office.

Last July, the New Indian Express office shifted from Mount Road to Ambattur. The travelling distance of four kilometres has been stretched to fourteen. I now have a car, but it doesn’t trail girls on bikes, but trucks of all shapes and sizes. Truck-chasing in fine as long as you reach your destination in time and comfort, but thanks to the spell of rains that Chennai has gone through — or is still going through — the journey to office has become a road to hell. A pothole here and a pothole there, and all filled with water. And there is no Spencer Plaza to compensate for the nightmarish journey. Ah, but there is Color Plus.

Just outside the Color Plus factory in Ambattur, there is a small showroom, open 10 am to 7.30, where you get a flat and permanent discount of 50 percent. And for woollen garments, the discount goes upto 70 percent! For a Chennaiite, who grapples with three seasons — hot, hotter and hottest — the 70 percent discount might not make much sense. But you could bring a smile on the face of your friend or relative living above the Vindhyas by parcelling him or her a few sweaters. And why just them, even you could pick up one — in case you plan to visit the North or Coorg or Ooty in the coming months.

Forget woollens, the range of shirts and trousers you get here is mind-blowing. There are casuals too, and also accessories like belts and ties. You just part with half the money you would spend otherwise in other Color Plus outlets in the city, including the one in Spencer Plaza.

I went home, to Kanpur, recently, and the evening before I left, I shopped at the factory outlet. I bought stuff worth Rs 6000, and paid barely Rs 2000. It was payback time.

7 Comments so far

  1. nandhu (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 1:31 am

    hey, cant wait to visit this factory. exact location in ambattur pls?

  2. Anandi Pendse (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 4:29 am

    I am Anandi Pendse, a graduate student pursuing my masters in Human-Computer Interaction at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, U.S.A. I belong to the college of computing ( I am writing a research paper on the Effectiveness of blogs in promoting and raising awareness about development activities such as women’s issues, conflict resolution and education etc under the guidance of Dr. Michael Best (
    I am focusing on blogs written by residents of developing countries or blogs about developing countries. I am trying to cover as many countries and development issues as possible.
    I came across your blog through a blog search engine and thought you would be an ideal person to be a part of my survey.
    I would be grateful if you could take out some time from your schedule and answer the questions in the survey. This survey should not take more than 15 minutes to complete. I am hoping that this survey will help me to pinpoint the deficiencies and improve blog service providers so that you and other bloggers like you can use the blog in a better way to raise awareness and get your ideas across.
    I assure you that the information you give will not be used for any purpose other than this paper and your identity will not be revealed to anyone. There will be no mention of your name or nationality or any other personal information in the paper. The information you provide will be used to generate statistics and only these statistics will be used in the paper.

    This survey is divided into 2 parts. Following are the links to the 2 parts.
    Please do respond to both the links

    If you go to this link and respond to the survey it means that you are voluntarily consenting to be a part of the survey and allowing the information you provide to be used to compile statistics for the research paper. If you are a minor i.e. an individual who is less than 18 years of age the please seek parental permission before taking the survey. I would once more like to make it clear that no personal information you provide will be revealed to any person or organization.

    If you have any other questions or would like to share any other information please email me at I would be glad to answer.

    I am hoping that you can be a part of this survey,

    Anandi Pendse
    Masters in Human Computer Interaction
    College of Computing
    Georgia Institute of Technology

  3. sj (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 7:01 am

    Hi Anandi, Mr Ghosh has no real issues to talk about except useless ones, and his own desperado adventures of chasing girls through Chennai to buying clothes I think you should ask someone else to fill in your survey as he is too busy writing rubbish.

  4. visahl (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 7:06 am

    Anandi, Mr Ghosh is too busy chasing girls and writing about pointless issues at the moment to answer any questions so please try and ask someone else.

  5. Mehak (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 9:25 am

    pointers to reach this place from Thiruvanmiyur pls…have to have to visit this outlet on weekend…YIPPPEEE…shopping !!!!!

  6. Badar (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 10:24 am

    Rs. 2000 – Kanpur. Ofcos i cant go there to buy.
    Rs. 6000 – This price value u mentioned is about
    Spencer like outlets or the Ambattur Factory Outlet?

    Will like to know about this stuff more?

  7. musafir (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2006 @ 11:42 am

    where, where, where???
    Have money, will buy!

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