Archive for December, 2006

Happy New Year

Maadhu: Dai Cheenu indha rediff report padichiya?

Cheenu: Ennada adhu?

Maadhu: CAS irukku la. Bombay delhi la kooda koNdu varaaaLam

Cheenu: Oh namma vaitherichal kottinadhu poRaadhu nnu indha cities la kooda CAS aa?

Maadhu: Adhula best part enna theriyuma? Indha article ezhudhinava solraa, CAS is new years gift to TV viewers aam.

The best of Chennai Metblogs 2006 – my selections

The Chennai Metblog went live in March 2006 but much before that, a few of us in the group had started exchanging emails and establishing a rapport that would grow from comfortable formality to rip-roaring fun over the next few months. In getting to know the other authors and in writing for metblogs, I began to realize how little I knew my city and how much I underappreciated its spirit.

When CC mentioned a best of Chennai metblogs post, asking each of us to highlight our best posts, I thought I’ll use my turn to share the posts that struck a chord with me. I consider them as meaningful conversations, the ones I’d like to see many more of in the coming year. Read on…

OMR Glimpse – As Promised


As promised, here are the shaky photos I took on the OMR. Took all these from a speeding bus.
So kuttram poruththarulga !!

Posted here is the new modified entrance of Tidel Park. Top class design. Looks fantastic with all the cascades and colors, especially after 6 PM.

All these photos are best viewed on the Old Mahabalipuram Road. :)

2006:The year that was!

OK folks, as promised by Chandrachoodan, herewith a small round up of what I’ve enjoyed sharing with you:

The posts that have been the most fun, of course, are the series ‘……..those were the days when’! I wrote about Besant Nagar beach, Anna Nagar, the Buckingham Canal, the Lake Area where Valluvar Kottam now stands, Safire Theatre, the Jafars Ice Cream Parlour and crossing the Adyar river at Kotturpuram before they built the bridge as far as I recall! Many people commented about the days described there, adding to the overall information, and sharing their own reminisces. It was good to recall those days and be able to share it with people who have not known the Madras (as it was then) of that time. To my mind these were the most fulfilling posts.

Old Mahabalipuram Road – For once, something good !


This looks like the ugly-looking Building promoter’s graphic. The Building promoters promote their buildings with an Art – the futuristic look of their building whose basement works even wouldn’t have started. There would be their building, and no building in the surrounding. If it were a hi-tech building, it would be denoted by a girl with a t-shirt and walking along with her pet-dog. Hmm. !

This one sure does look like that. But, will you believe me if I told you that this is a Bus Stop on the Old Mahabalipuram Road ?

Oh Yeah ! The people who make a daily adventure-trip to their offices on the OMR would certainly have noticed this. To those of you who never got a chance to step in to the IT Super Express Highway, you are looking at the future of Old Mahabalipuram Road.

Having completed one stretch of OMR (from Madhyakailash to SRP Tools), people are working on the cosmetic aspects of the road. The travel on this stretch is a pleasure. Don’t worry about your speed. Full Throttle. No Potholes. No Signals. Most importantly, these guys have taken care of the look of the road. The compound walls of various buildings bordering this IT Highway, have turned out into Art Exhibitions. Some stupendous art works (Mostly Modern Art and some sculptures) decorate the road. First time, Chennai is exhibiting some sculptures that aren’t political.

Will post the pictures on the Chennai Metroblog Flickr Group.

And all the Bus stops on the OMR look like this. Im not sure, how they will end up. But at the initial stages, it looks fantastic. Roads are well planned for the bus-stop. Some of the insane Chennai bus-drivers, who wouldn’t care about the traffic behind, would stop the bus in the middle of the road to take the passengers. But here, some reasonable deviation on this road will make them go closer to the bus-stop, and wouldnt block the traffic.

Trust me – if this road goes on until Siruseri, with the same poise, then it would be a great blessing for the Software Souls. There would be no “Take-home-Back-pain”. Currently, people are scared to go on bikes, once in a while when they miss their usual company-bus. Scared because of the road conditions.

When I was new to this road people used to calm me down by telling a fact. “Marchle Mudinjidum !” (Will get over by March). I used to wonder how this project of such a big magnitude could end by March. Then an article on Hindu reveled the year – March 2008. :)

Nadakkumenbaar Nadakkadhu ! Nadakkadhenbaar Nadandhuvidum !

Pick-up lines of Chennai

Chennai girls don’t like pick-up lines, so the only sort of “pick up” lines you will likely overhear in Chennai are:

Older Teen Brother (after dropping off younger teen sister at college): “Evening nee college vaasal-leye wait paNNu. Naan 4kku sharpaa vandhu unnai pick up paNNikkaren.”

Irritated wife (who also goes to work) arguing with her husband: “Daily naane dhaan kuzhandaigaLa saayankaalam pick up paNNaNumaa? Why don’t you pick them up at least today since I have a meeting??”

School teacher (who throws a chalk-piece at an unruly student in class, misses him and wants to hurl it once again since he has only this one piece left): “Pick up the chalk. Bring it to me.”

Call-taxi driver to his base station over the two-way radio: “402 calling, Sir, naan ippo dhaan Mandhaiveli party-ai pick up paNNikinen. Avanga Egmore station dropu. Ange yaaraavadhu irundaa sollunga next pickup-kku. Over“.


Where In Chennai ? – Pun Intended


I know most of us know where in Chennai, Cenotaph Road is. Just that this Road Sign was very attractive, it caught my attention. It is painted on the Compound walls of the LRSwamy building. The building by itself is an unaltered 70’s style Vintage building. And i believe that the Kolams and other art works on their compound walls are creative works of the LR Swamy Co people. Good Work.

This helps to prevent, atleast to an extent, the pee-on-the-wall people.

Where to party on New Year Eve?

Asks a long time reader. If you want to welcome the New Year with alcohol, almost all the star hotels have a party where you can welcome the New Year in a tipsy way. But be safe, have a sober driver with you. The cops would be extra vigilant on New Year Night; you don’t want to welcome the new year with a fine for drunken driving.

All the star hotels have a cover charge for the New Year party and they are generally exorbitant. If you want to go out for food alone, there are any number of restaurants in the city. Make sure that you call in advance and reserve a table, generally they are sold out on New Year’s eve. My current favorites are

What’s happening in Chennai

I was invited to Evam 150, a discussion forum convened by the English Theater Group Evam yesterday. The panelists were Theater Personalities P.C. Ramakrishna of Madras Players and Rajeev Chaudhry, Satyam Cinema MD Mr. Kiran Reddy, Founder of Juice Shop on Greams Road, Mr. Harris, India’s No.1 Blogger (that’s what the name board said) Kiruba Sankar and Journalist / Filmmaker Sudhish Kamath.

The discussion focussed on how to make English Theater a feasible proposition in Chennai, and how to get the new crowds in. Kiran Reddy of Sathyam Cinemas spoke practically. He stressed on the need of permanent space, continuous programmes, and widespread availability of information.

So what can Chennai Metblogs do about it?

Of ‘messes’ and ‘military meals’

Tamil Nadu is about the only place I know of that has ‘messes’, like the Karpagambal Mess in the previous post, and ‘military meals’ as in the well-known Velu Military Meals hotel. The origins of this style of naming an eatery do lie in the army. Apparently, in days gone by, most Tamils who ate non-vegetarian food were those who had served in the army. So to differentiate them from the ‘pure vegetarian’ restaurants, and to denote that they served non-vegetarian food without being direct, these restaurants adopted the term ‘mess’ or ‘military meals’. Quite brilliant really-they were able to target their audience well and communicate they served non-veg food.

What foxes me is why the liquor shops in Tamil Nadu are called ‘wine shops’ when they stock anything but a good bottle of wine!

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