Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chennai drive after a long while

Since my return back to US, it was very hectic and did not even had time to realize how much the Chennai I know has changed or changing.. Last week had the opportunity to spend some time to receive my relatives from CMBT and host them for couple of days.

First of all it was Saturday morning that I had the confirmation from my wife that they are arriving by noon at CMBT. We had plans to be at place beyond Tambaram for a weekend work(rent collection!! not very exciting).

In one way it was lucky I should say, you know why? It took only 30 mins for me to reach CMBT from Tambaram, yes that's true via ORR or the Chennai By-Pass. Amazing this is the first time I traveled this route. Though the roads a not maintained like say NH4 but still good enough for a 80 kmph drive.

Though we reach Koyambedu in 30 mins, I took a wrong turn into the Market (Thanks to the road sign which said "CMBT ->") and those roads remind you a roller coaster. It took literally another 30 mins to come out of this and reach the CMBT entrance, which was in IRR and I had to take a big detour to take a U turn.

Finally as I reached they were there waiting for us, I managed to find a parking slot for the car and my wife took the challenge of somehow to find them in CMBT. Finally she did a good job back in 10 mins and we are off the CMBT.

Well as a host I had the responsibility of answering their queries and also providing additional info.

To start with it was Chennai Metro, from the Cranes to the road blocks and diversions, to the active construction right through the route to Velachery. We reached Velachery and we were all hungry so instead of going home took a turn to enter into Ananda bhavan. We had good food (I had a faluda to top it up). Then reached home to take rest.

In the evening we decided to go to beach. There was a discussion whether to go to Marina or Besant Nagar. Time was already 4:30 pm by then, my vote was for B.Nagar, which every one agreed, especially if we have to make it on day light.

So we got ready and found our way via Adyar, I did not take the Taramani route(though shorter), as there are enough road's been dugout and traffic diverted in one side for a considerable stretch.

Now as we reached B.Nagar to my surprise it was very crowded oh no! there was some beach event going on and there was not even a single parking spot, not even on the smaller by lanes. Then we all sadly agreed to drive to Marina, knowing that by the time we reach it would be dark.

Luckily as we were finding our way out of the beach road in one of the by lanes we passed notices a spot for parking and parked the car. Hurray, we finally get to have the water splash on our feet by the day light.

We went in had fun by the water, my nephews a 4 yr old and 2 yr old had real fun. Then we decided to walk along and sit around at a place near to a Bajji shop. The beach popularly know as Elliot's beach was buzzing like Marina. It seems very different from the Elliot's beach that I know off. Lots of shops, more family crowd, people playing and running. It was amazing. I bought my nephews a beach ball and lighted devils horns head wear. It was very intuitive. They loved and played along.

It was a our lucky we happened to see the third day moon as well, "Moondram Pirai" as we call in tamil. We usually miss the third day, as my grandma used to say that it is rare to see one and brings good fortune. Then we were all hungry I got my sister-in law a roasted sweet corn. Then we decided to give it a shot on Bajji's. We went for the favourites, Milagai, Vazhkai, Urulaikizangu and Vengayam. We were full. My wife wanted to try a Kulfi on the stick.

On our way out I got her the Kulfi. By the time I got the car the Kulfi is all consumed and sticks thrown and ready to hope in for the drive back home. What a pleasant way to spend a day in Chennai and experience the new Chennai. It is always refreshing and wonderful.

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