Chennai – My view at the city
I travel more than 25Kms in the morning to reach my office, Which normally takes a 1hr drive. Wondering what people do? Well, Most of them are listening to music.
“No prizes for guessing this one. Its now more common to see people with headphones, be it walking, talking, or anything. Cell phones and Mp3 players are a common accessory. Its now a style statement. I personally don’t own a mp3 player, nor do i have a music phone. I just cant keep doing one thing for long, I fall asleep immediately. Well, that’s a personal issue.”
While some are listening to music, the rest prefer to sleep, or gossip not knowing the time pass by. I normally prefer to sleep over gossip or listening to music. But for the past few days, I have been trying to stay awake and look at my city grow. Its a 25Km drive and of course I’ll have a chance to notice a lot of changes.
The biggest development that I noticed over the weeks is with the hoardings, where have they gone?
In the state government’s efforts to make Chennai a beautiful city (‘Singara Chennai’ in political terms), all unauthorized hoardings had to go. To everyone’s surprise, all hoardings were removed, Not one is in its place 😀
Does it mean all these hoardings were unauthorized, Who authorized them before they were put into place?? Well that’s a question for the government to answer. Some feel that the city has lost its life, The city now looks old and pale, Its no comparison to the other cities in India. To me that’s a surprise, The city is actually looking more beautiful. Well what has happened is that i see new places, buildings that were completely shadowed by the huge hoardings. Trees seem to come out more, Chennai all of a sudden seems Green and Clean. Being an environmentalist i personally like the hoardings removed , they now help save lots of electricity which these hoardings used in the night.
For most of the travel time, I see places that are already developed and running, Its only when i reach OMR (Old mahabalipuram road, Now the IT Highway) i notice changes. The old bumpy roads are now gone, Roads surrounded by freshly planted trees, Traveling on this road is a lot pleasing than before. But some how all this joy seems to fade when surrounded in traffic. Its a big problem, given the fact that every other IT company has a fleet of buses for transportation. The sound of running engines, the horns, the noisy and polluted surroundings make one feel that sleeping is a much better option. Anyways the roads have been under development for over 4 years and still stand incomplete. I seriously hope that this project gets done before the next elections. All these would come to a halt if the government changes.
If the traffic problem is resolved the journey would be much more pleasing.
Well, it is not going to resolve over night. It of course can change if people understand. Some people prefer to travel alone. Alright u can do that, but in a car that can occupy 4 more people apart form the driver? That’s ridiculous. These people complain of traffic, but do not understand that their own car is also a part of the menace on the road. Imagine the same person traveling on a bike, How much space would be available on road? OK u don’t have an AC, But if u still want to use it, get more people in ur car. Car pooling is not a bad option at all 🙂 I also notice few buses with less than 5 people. This is the limit. God save these people.
At least the traffic on OMR can be reduced. A ruling needs to be in place that defines the minimum no. of passengers for the vehicle to carry before entering the OMR. Toll Booths can be placed that charge differently depending on the no. of passengers. At least now people would realize the importance of car pooling etc. As a matter of fact, I hope that the government does not dig out holes in the newly laid roads in the name of building new flyovers to reduce traffic congestion. Its already a menace out there and its been there for long, we don’t want anything more.
Well as a citizen all u can do is to hope that these changes are made. Or Is there a way to communicate them to the government? If there is one, leave me a comment and Ur suggestion, I’d be glad to take an initiative 🙂
Why I like Chennai?
Chennai is a beautiful city, a calm one too. We don’t see political battles fought on road, At least here it stays in assemblies. We never come out on streets to protest against the Cricket team’s national selectors for not having picked a local lad, nor do the people support state wide bandh’s for some political reasons. Its a much simpler and a safer city. Goondas seem to stay away from Chennai. People can go around in night in most common places without worrying about anything.
Most importantly the road transportation, I feel it is one of the best in India, Kudos to the government for having this in place. The crowd is less, Of course to people who have been living amongst the crowd and are used to it, Chennai might seem to be a boring place. There are night clubs that i have never been interested in, I prefer watching NGC and Discovery during nights than going to one of these clubs; not because i dont like to dance or i dont enjoy music, I prefer staying away from any night time activity 🙂
A special mention for the beaches, May not be the most clean, but of course is the best place in the city to chill out. I personally prefer sitting on the shore and listening to the sound of the waves than being involved in a gossip. To somebody who wants to see a clean beach with less no. of people, I’d say, try the tiruvanmayur beach. Its one of the best beaches in Chennai.
People, I would not call them the friendliest and open minded, But of course they are not the people who stab u in the back. There will be some unsocial creatures in every society, Chennai is no different. But I’d say they are people who u can trust. I somehow have not had good experience with auto drivers, the price i quote always seems very less to them :p
I don’t know where this post has headed, from sleeping in the bus to sitting on the beach, i have pretty much summed up why i think Chennai ranks number one as one of my favorite cities.
PS :Well everyone can leave a comment on why and why not they think Chennai still has a lot to improve.
Update: 15 September 2008
I had forwarded the content of this post along with a few other posts to a leading news paper, The Deccan Chronicle. This post was edited by them to cut the stories short and published it in the newspaper dated 14th September under the blog on section. Here is a screen shot of the page.
Thanks to Deccan Chronicle for posting it.
If u want to read the article posted, Follow this link. U may need to register to read the content.