One more landmark has become history

Hotel Oceanic brings about nostalgic memories of visiting my uncle’s place Otti Castle at Lazarus Church Road at Santhome. The adjacent property was Hotel Oceanic. I have heard my cousins saying about the Cinema shootings that take place at Hotel Oceanic and about the Ball Dance that used to take place at the Hotel. I have seen the Hotel in many Jaishankar movies released in late 60s and 70s. When Otti Castle was demolished and sold for development of apartments, we also constructed our house adjacent to Hotel Oceanic at Lazarus Church Road and moved into in April 1979. Now Hotel Oceanic was in our back yard. There were attempts to revive the hotel and nothing succeeded. There was a friendly watchman in Hotel Oceanic who became a good friend of my father and us. We used to have occasional chat with him. When I visit my mother and brother who stay at our Santhome residence, I saw Hotel Oceanic being demolished. I felt sad for one of the landmarks of Chennai coming down. I read reports that GRT has acquired the property for constructing a boutique hotel at a cost of Rs 40 crores to come up in the next 18 to 22 months. I also hear from Santhome area that a IT park is coming in the plot where Hotel Oceanic existed and Apollo Hospitals is constructing a Hospital there.

Not sure which version is right. When I visited my mother last Sunday I saw a heap of debris yet to be removed adjacent to our backyard. Thoughts came to me about the watchman of Hotel Oceanic. Whether he is still alive? If he is alive what will be his feelings about Hotel Oceanic being reduced to a heap of debris ?

Hotel Oceanic, Chennai

A view of the plot where Hotel Oceanic existed.

1 Comment so far

  1. SamY (unregistered) on April 4th, 2006 @ 2:33 am

    Reminds me of ‘The AXE’ from Malgudi Days :). It reflects the feeling he must have had.

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