Archive for October, 2006

Pocket Bonanza

Amidst the surprise heavy showers this morning (which caught me, as well as the auto-guy completely unawares) – managed to peer through the flaps covering the sides, rain slashing all over the place, and as we were going over the Adyar bridge, could hardly see ten feet ahead. We kept tagging behind the auto just in front of us. That’s how bad it was.

Also, as I was coming along Radhakrishnan Salai, managed to gape at the huge Sri Kumaran Stores hoarding, that advertises the “Saree with a Pocket” in it.

New Townships

The gray atmosphere threatens to burst any minute, as has become its habit over the past week. There were several years when the word rain just pointed to memories of past cyclones. After last year’s lashing, this year’s lashing, one hushes the word as if the mere mention of rain were enough to turn on the showers. Perhaps the most scary of its effects, that of water entering and flooding homes (not just last year, even this week several homes in low lying areas are flooded – the same friends of mine who scurried last year are already at it this year too), has dethroned the ground floor house from its top spot on the pedestal of living preference.

One hears of so many new townships these days (just look at the irony of the word township with that floating element tagged on to it) – I just hope that in addition to designing flyers that promise 24-hours water supply, empty words like ‘luxurious space’, they also indicate that the homes are suitably flood-proofed.

Irony and sarcasm aside, the newest township in the news is

Raining without let up; 8 killed

The rains kept the newly elected DMK councillor M. Subramaniam busy on his first day in office after he was sworn in the new Mayor of Chennai. He had to rush to the rain-hit areas in the suburbs and assure people of immediate help. Meanwhile eight people died in the city, three of them in a stranded car in T. Nagar. The three were employees of a software firm and were found dead inside a car parked on G.N. Chetty Road. They had suffocated to death, the police said, but further details were unavailable. Over 1000 people have been moved out of Pulianthope, and many more across the state have been rushed to safety in temporary relief centres.

typedef float Chennai;


Roads that were born during elections will show their real colors. New shoes become stinking shoes. The umbrella you have never even cared about will get a Limelight attention. Autos will charge fares almost close to your CTC. Fancy color raincoats will be sold on the platforms. Schools will declare “Vayitherichal” holidays for simple showers, while companies ask employees to come even during mini-katrina (This is what makes me think, growing up isnt that much fun). Daily Newspapers will have interesting photos such as open man-holes, flooded houses and streets. Bikes will start singing like Hariharan. Strange and funny sounds start coming out, that scare the drivers.

Like it or not. Chennai rains are back, and they are already rocking the city.

“Mazhaiye, mazhaiye …”

Yes well, thought I’d walk/swim away with the first rain post.

Pelting water from the sky for the past two days. The Met department kept saying there’d be rain, but I, weaned on the regular Met reports for years, firmly continued to believe that it wouldn’t. Like that old weather-forecaster in the Anne of Avonlea books, the weather forecast for rainy days meant brilliant, scorching sunshine … and sunny days usually forecast lightning flashing, thundering blitzy rain.

This time though, they said it would rain … and behold the miracle! It is. The skies are growling, lightning flits through the air in a blinding flash … and the you hear the glorious roar of pattering of raindrops. Drumming on your head.

Where in Madras 3

Observer got the answer to my previous question partly right – the South Koovum road branches off Marshals Road (in Egmore, near the Rajarathinam stadium) and ends at Pudupettai, near the bridge. Congratulations Observer.

That’s two in a row. Here’s this week’s question. Identify the location this picture was shot in.
City Idyllic

Denver and Chennai – Sisters

Now how would a US city that gets snow by the bucket-loads in winter be related to a hot and humid city of India that has only seen snow (like formations) in the freezer in an earlier era of non-frost-free refrigerators? But that is the beauty of it. Consider this:

1. Denver is at an elevation of 5,280 feet above mean sea level (which is why it is called a “Mile High City”). At the most, Chennai may be called a “Milli High City” since many of its “kudimagans and (increasingly) kudimagaLs” are capable of getting high over a milli itself :-), but by and large, Chennai is almost as flat as a pancake.
2. Denver is in mountain country and has the Rockies for company while Chennai is by the sea and only rocks to Kollywood music :-).
3. Denver has the largest park system in the US with 205 parks inside the city limits and 20,000 acres of park in the nearby mountains whereas even a once-upon-a-time-green Chennai would hardly have 5% of this much-needed-lung-space within its boundaries.

Cross words in T Nagar

Tomorrow it will be officially open for business. But the business of books has already begun at Crossword, T Nagar. Situated on the first floor of the new Kuppu Arcade, Venkatnarayana Road (somewhat opposite Panagal Park), the first of the book chains to enter T Nagar has found a good spot.

The ambience is very inviting, plenty of seating to make oneself comfortable, a biro coffeeshop adjacent for refreshments and an absence of the hurry that characterizes the shopping district of Chennai.

The books are still being unpacked but a reasonable collection is on display already. Given the proximity of several IT companies, the Business and Management books section is well-stocked and occupies an entire wall. This branch is much bigger than the one in Shopper’s Stop and seems all set to become a stopper’s spot.

Sangam Cinemas, Whats the Story?

in Chennai, I hate Sathyam Cinemas, I think its over priced and abuses its monopoly power. In search of other theatres to watch movies, about 6 yrs ago, when I got mobility, I landed up on Sangam Cinemas. Ive seen it change from a run down shack, 6 yrs ago to a decent theatre comparable to the standards of Devi and Abirami, at least the interiors.

Another question – easy take

Did you answer Chenthil’s latest trivia question yet?

Here is another


a) What is this building in the making?

b) Where in Chennai is this building?

Update: Senthil got the answer it. It is the Ampa Mall at the junction of Nelson Manickam Road and Poonamallee High Road. The area is Aminjikarai.

the Rs 50-crore mall project located at the junction of Poonamallee High Road and Nelson Manickam Road, would be spread over three acres.

There would be a total of six lakh sq ft of built-up space, he [Ampa Palaniappan] added.

The company [Ampa Housing Development] has signed up two anchor stores for the mall – The Spencer’s Hypermarket and Westside. The mall will feature over three lakh sq ft of retail space on three floors.

the company has signed up with PVR Cinema to provide 50,000 sq ft of viewing space for a seven-screen multiplex.

The company has a partly lease and revenue sharing arrangement with PVR Cinema, he added. The mall will have a food court serving 15-18 different cuisines, three fine dining restaurants, and a coffee shop. There will also be a 20-room boutique hotel.

Provision for the parking of about 1,000 cars has also been made, he said. Entry to the mall would be possible from both the roads. The company has opted to lease out the space rather than go in for outright sale.

More details here.

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