Friday, September 02, 2005

The Q is not dead

This is neither a mirage nor am I imagining it.
It is true that Chennai, my beloved city, is finally losing it. Completely.
The essense of Chennai, its arteries and veins are clogging up fast, aneurysms swelling round every bend, the valves dysfunctional, the pulse racing, pressure building up uncontrollably to alarming levels.
If you have'nt figured it yet, this is an elegy to my city's once quiet, sedate, pleasant city roads, a haven for motorists. Today, wherever you are, except in the sanctuaries of (some parts of) Besant Nagar, it's as far away from heaven as possible. Waiting behind queues of cars, small trucks and mini-vans all spewing smoke with varying particulate levels cannot be so elevating after all. A lot of cities already are neck deep in traffic and have various symptoms already, I complain when I'm in Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai. But it never hurts so bad as it does when it happens at home.
Only Minnal makes negotiating the roads mildy tolerable and yet, not so tolerable. Tch.



Blogger Swahilya said...

Can't agree more with you. But I learnt the art of meditating while waiting in signals and contemplate on the expressions of life's evils when I see the thick black smoke puffing out of murderous exhaust pipes! Kali Muthi Pochu. Enna Pannaradu?

9:23 pm

Blogger johnny boy said...

True chennai traffic is moving in the wrong direction.. One of contributing factors (and I find it most irritating), is the digging up of roads! Half the state's funds are spent in digging up, and then clumsily patching up the roads! Every now and then, the roads are dug up, either some water pipes, or some electricity cables. If the work is done professionally first time around, these scenarios wudnt arise!
The Electricity board comes their van(with ladder on top), digs away to glory, to correct their cables, and cycle gap le breaks a few water pipes! Then come the Water dept, digs again, this time deeper, and in return cuts a few electricity cables! :)) This cycle goes on, and will go on, till DIGGING EQUIPMENTS exist!!
But anyday, traffic wise i guess its not as bad as Mumbai!! But sad part is, chennai traffic is tryin hard to catch up, with the crazy levels of its Metropolitan counterparts!

1:11 am

Anonymous sathya said...

hi ramya,
long time no c...
hey i almost forgot minnal was the activa!!!

yeah when i return to bangalroe thats precisely what i feel!!!


11:45 am

Blogger hari said...

Hi Ramya,

Very rightly said. Chennai, about 20 years back, though it was then called a developed Village, had its own charm of a pleasantly paced life. But now sadly it has developed into a truly hi-fi metro city with all its problem in plenty.

Talking of negotiating in Minnal, we have become so habituated in this negotiative driving amongst traffic chaos, that I feel distinctly uncomfortable driving straight in a freeway without much traffic.

By the way, we are still to receive the Minnal treat and I think you are close to celebrate the first birthday of Minnal...that old Spencer Plaza "Sub-way" bill is pending reimbursement with me.

2:29 pm

Blogger keerthi said...

im planning to have a business card.. where i would love to mention.. 7 to 7.35 Pm you can visit me in the corner of the bridge - Nelson Manickam Road.

But hey, whatever happens..
I love chennai :)

I'd like you to take a look at this

5:48 pm

Anonymous godolphin said...

oh no..wat happened to it going so bad?? i have been almost 1.5 yrs away from chennai..but i sure miss chennai..hope it gets better!!

10:58 pm

Anonymous Ravi said...

Akka, I agree with you as to the swelling traffic & pollution but traffic inge is a lot more bearable any day than Bangalore's. Roads here are wider, broader and more accomodating than our sister city's.

10:56 am

Blogger ~phobiac~ said...

and the new addition to the roads...share autos !!!...aghhhhrr...I wanna kill !!

3:03 pm

Blogger Sriram said...

*sigh* I guess I have to agree on this one afterall. Me hasn't been there for a year now and the last time I was there, it was worse than two years ago... guess that's normal for any city. Anyways, when are you landing here in the US?

11:05 pm

Blogger Sowmya said...

hey ramya..first half of ur post and i was thinking quintiple bypass is a solution..but alas its the city we are talking would be great if madras could have a whole set of roadways built 'up above'..instead of all those useless flyovers

12:24 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rums
I have always found it so. But having been away for so long now, I guess I will have to actually travel on the roads everyday to find out how much worse it has become. Laksh

4:11 am

Blogger Shyam said...

If you find a change for the worse in Chennai even though you live & drive there, it must be truly awful...

Btw, anybody know what the Old Mahabs Road is like? When I was in Chennai in Jan, it was all lumps and bumps and roadworks. Then in March my mom said the road had been re-laid... it's been 5 months since, so is the road still a proper road or has it degenerated into its component parts of stones and dust?

4:01 pm

Anonymous b a l a j i said...


Its true. The traffic in chennai is getting worse. Two years back I used to reach my office by 20 minutes in my car. Today it takes 45 minutes in two wheeler.

7:17 am

Blogger capriciously_me said...

i think it'll be gr8 if the govt takes a spl effort...with all the investment pouring in, we wud not want to lose out bcoz of bad infrastructure :(

12:39 pm

Blogger Dawdler said...

Coming home after a 4 year break i am finding crowds associated with festivals almost everyday.. so many ppl so oblivious to their surroundings... newfound wealth in the shape of cars parked all along the road..... i'd kill to have my old madras back....

6:05 pm

Blogger None said...

swaha, ahaa... yes, its a good idea, maybe i should try it...
i had a teacher in college who kept saying she survivived the heat because she kept telling her self it was cool! :)


6:31 pm

Blogger None said...

johnny boy and ravi...

it is true. i admit that traffic in mumbai delhi may be worse than chennai, but i'm living in chennai and hurts to see us screw up... :(


6:33 pm

Blogger None said...


welcome back! how could you forget minnal! :(


6:33 pm

Blogger None said...


the lightning treat as soon as i'm back from my travels... some time after mid-october! meanwhile, wish me well...

6:37 pm

Blogger None said...


:) me too! it will always be MY city!


6:38 pm

Blogger None said...


yeah, afraid its the truth, it is deteriorating. i'd love it to get better, but wonder how?


6:39 pm

Anonymous Drragonn said...


I want a serious info, Can i have ur email id...........

It may sound silly but 4 me its important piece of info and dont want to discuss here...

8:34 pm

Blogger Sriram said...

There you go! you did it AGAIN! you skipped me comment! me is now mad and shall write 10 pages of hate mail and send it to you ;).

9:12 pm

Blogger None said...

phobiac, too... feel really homicidal on the roads...


5:07 pm

Blogger None said...

appadi onnum plan panniyellam boycott pannaleenga... adutha vaati unga commentukku than first reply... enna sollareenga!
hate mail-a? anupunga... as long as it is not a stupid/hoax/chain letter, long mails are welcome! :)
Am in DC september 13


5:09 pm

Blogger None said...


yeah, we have some infamous flyovers since the last nine years- most of them constructed without vision, foresight, forget eyesight.
i think part of the solution is to make more walkways, less motorways, get rid of the clutter in some areas atleast. but for that we need to have a strong network of local transport systems. do we?


5:12 pm

Blogger None said...


you surely will go mad if you try to drive around now. even if you retain sanity, you might eventually die of exhaust poisoning...
yeah, and its getting worse...


5:13 pm

Blogger None said...


OMR is now a smoothie...most of the stretch at least. well it is bang in the middle of the IT Corridor and is just going to be yet another madras byepass kinda road. next time you are in chennai, take the Madras night. its awesome...


5:15 pm

Blogger None said...

b a l a j i

aw, tell me about it! i take mount road everyday. have to. tch!


5:16 pm

Blogger None said...


yeah, that would be a tragedy. but we could still go the way bangalore went!


5:17 pm

Blogger None said...


yeah, like i said, i feel homicidal on the streets... could kill too, to get my good ol madras restored to me!


5:18 pm

Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

Even with the innumerable flyovers easing out the traffic on Ring Road, Delhi's traffic is painful!

6:16 pm

Blogger sen said...

what to do?. If some politician starts building fly overs, he gets arreasted.I wish all the politicians in TN would stop their childish and cometogether do something substantial for the people.

12:59 am

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10:18 pm

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5:00 pm

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12:34 am


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