A few weeks back, we decided to go for our morning walk to OMR so that we could walk longer. Krishnan, Amma and I took the car and parked it near Taramani and started our walk. A few things that just didn’t work for us – the service road was uneven, so we had to be careful while walking otherwise we could easily trip. In many places the service road was blocked by parked cars ! Then the never ending stream of scooters and bikes kept coming. I call the two wheeler riders as the swarm because they just keep coming on the roads of Chennai. Some zip past and do acrobatics in peak traffic hours and some just drive sedately but its like a bee swarm that never stops buzzing. Early in the morning it is less but the two wheeler traffic never wanes in Chennai.
When we started it was dark and relatively free of traffic and noise, but by the time we turned back, the noise had started and then I saw a couple of guys pasting posters on the walls. I was immediately reminded of the time when my friend Vidya and a few of my classmates in college went out to paste posters for our college elections and some random guy asked Vidya what was in the bottle she was holding and she said – “its gum, you bum”. Now these guys had a stack of posters in their scooter thats parked nearby and lots of gum :).
This is an India special … and definitely a Chennai speciality. Film stars and politicians get these huge cutouts and then for every event there are posters stuck on every bare wall. Rival gangs tear each other’s posters down and paste their own. If I remember right, there is a Tamil movie where everyone gets killed in the fight over who owns the space for a poster. Chennai is indeed the poster city.
This poster for a chess tournament got pasted all over Kamakoti Nagar walls …. yes its important to let people know but today you have Whatsapp and Twitter and Facebook – why stick posters? The walls are spoilt and paper is wasted!!
I am being sarcastic. “Long long ago, so long ago” to quote my all time favourite actor Nagesh, Chennai was a poster city for all the right reasons – infrastructure was fantastic, safety was ensured, education was outstanding and development continued irrespective of who was in power. Chennai came out on top or within the top 3, in every survey that was conducted on best cities to live for many years. But now … Chennai gets cited for all the wrong reasons and has slipped in the rankings.
When will we make Chennai a true poster city and a poster free city ????