Madras to me is a place that brings back nostalgic memories of my younger days that I love to rewind time and again, just to tell myself that this city truly gave its people, peace and unbridled happiness in their daily life that was relatively free from the mad rush and uncalled for tension that is witnessed today. Those magical moments, when I would wake up in the morning to the wafting aroma of piping hot filter coffee, break my fast with steaming hot fluffy hot idlis drenched in sambar. Have time to stand outside the gates of Gemini Studios to catch a glimpse of the filmstars entering the place for their daily shoot and if lucky get a chance to shake hands with them. My next stop-over would be the famous Safire Theatre bus stop – the movie complex that housed – even in those days – three theatres only to check out the movie being screened in Blue Diamond – where one could enter and leave at leisure – and a favourite spot among college students then.
Commuting was not an issue then by bus, auto or taxi. Of course, I vividly remember the occasions when going out to receive a relative at the Central Station or at Egmore railway station alongwith elders in a taxi, I would be forced to duck below the window level to escape being spotted by the hawk –eyed traffic policeman and save the taxi driver from being penalized for carrying more than the permitted number of passengers.
Hunt for books would primarily be confined to the ‘Higginbothams’ – a landmark that is bang opposite to another landmark – the Life Insurance Corporation building – and if that failed, one could confidently go to the Moore Market complex for meeting their requirement.
Evenings were invariably reserved for a stroll on the shores of Marina Beach from Light House to Kannagi statue with a paper cone filled ‘sundal’ in hand and the waves periodically kissing your feet. On week-ends I had the choice of sabhas in T.Nagar or Mylapore to choose from, to watch some play being staged there. So much for pastime at a measly amount that did not pinch your pocket.
Post by: M.S.Vaidyanathan, First Week Winner
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