Friday, December 02, 2005

Entrance into big city by a boy living in small town




I grew up in Vellore which is a small town. The only experience of a big city used to happen whenever we visited Madras. I had this habit of checking the milestones along the way and never slept during the entire course of approximately two and half hours of journey. After putting all of us in the bus Appa used to go out to get some fruits and the driver will be making sounds "drrr drrr drrr" with his engine and I remember how restless I used to be for the bus might leave without appa. The very same thing is experienced by my nephew Ajju. The stop along Sunguvarchathiram during these journeys were the only time we ever got drink 'cool drinks' as the regular soft drink was called by us. Amma used to call it crush.

Over the past 25 years I have seen so many things changing on this road between Vellore and Madras. One thing that has not changed, atleast to me, is the sudden entry of the bus/car into the Kathipara junction from the narrow lanes of St. Thomas Mount. In spite of Madras starting before in Porur/Poonthamalee, for me the bigness of the city and its feel always happened when the vehicle entered the Kathipara junction with that famous statue of Nehru (the opening of which was MGR's last public function). With all those huge bill boards it typified the city feel for me. The SPIC building that looked so big when I was a kid, doesn't look that big anymore to me. Then probably it was one of the few tall building in Madras.

Recently when I entered San Francisco from the south side (from San Jose) I was reminded of all these things and the milestones that I used to watch so religiously. I thought I should have a picture of this signboard and hence here it is.

2 comments:

Ramadoss Magesh said...

Dear Narasimhan,

On a connected note..even today when i take the mofussil buses entering chennai through the tambaram-meenambakam route the excitement i notice in the eyes of a few(typical those who r growing up in rural places and occasional visitors to chennai) while crossing the airport area and seeing those huge planes is quite interesting.

Since i grewup in chennai before living in vellore.. plane is not so much a excitement for me. I vividly remeber the time when MGR came to vellore on a chartered flight(to inagurate the TV broadcast station) to land in Netaji stadium close to venkateswara school, the whole school children came out of their classes to watch the plane. There was no stopping them to leave the room in the middle of classes and may be the teachers were equally excited.

With best wishes,
Magesh

Narasimhan said...

Dear Magesh,

I remember that visit of MGR to Vellore for that was the only time I got to see him in person in the circuit hourse.

Actually once in school some plane flew very low and all were out of the class, including teachers. After things settle down, there was even speculation in the class amongst us that it can be war and what not. School Days. Great days.