Tamilnadu govt staff set to get bonanza

Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today announced formation of a committee to...... Read More >>

Talk on epic character Bhishmar

Chennai: Writer P N Parasuraman will deliver a talk on epic character Bhishmar as part of '...... Read More >>

Overcoming trauma to become donor

Chennai: It is not easy to take a decision at any point in life but the most difficult must be to...... Read More >>

Aguero stars as Man City sink Monaco in thriller

Manchester: Sergio Aguero starred as Manchester City beat Monaco 5-3 in a breathless and...... Read More >>

Shooters impress new foreign rifle coach

New Delhi: They may not have been setting the stage ablaze in recent times but newly-appointed...... Read More >>



Marina all at sea

By : K Balakumar, E-Mail :
Saturday, 28th January 2017

“What is happening to Chennai da,” a friend from another city asked me over phone last Monday night. It was essentially a rhetorical question, no doubt triggered by the series of unfortunate happenings that the city has been witness to recently.

In December 2015, it was the fl oods, due to which people were able to put paper boats in running rain water outside their bedroom windows. And those people were 4th floor residents. And then there was the two months of vexatious political campaign ahead of State Assembly elections that somehow seemed to run for 35 months, and soon after J Jayalalithaa became the Chief Minister again, her hospitalisation happened and Chennai officially became the Rumour Capital of the World (“A friend whose father knows someone who has once seen a doctor who used to work in Apollo Hospitals confirms that the hospital has been given UNESCO Heritage Building status by NASA, whose scientists are arriving today to treat the Chief Minister”).

Then struck the Vardah storm, under whose impact strong stationary items, including udders of standing cows, got yanked off and tossed around in air. And last week, there was this protest on the Marina that culminated in a violent showdown between youths and police with the two sides accusing the other of instigating trouble, as buildings were torched, vehicles damaged and bullets fired, while the rest of the city was caught in a monstrous traffic gridlock and vehicles stayed put as if they were part of some bizarre Fevicol ad campaign.

Considering these events, the friend’s query was understandable, except for the fact that he lives in Bengaluru. I mean the same Bengaluru, where people fall in love, get married, develop extramarital affairs, all when trapped in the Silk Board junction traffic on a single day. If ever powerful aliens drop on the earth in a bid to capture it, we should somehow manoeuvre them to the Silk Board junction traffic. Then we are safe. The aliens can never figure out how to get out.

But for some reason if that strategy fails, Bengaluru has one sure-fire backup weapon: The sambar they usually serve in their restaurants. No alien would want to capture a world that has a place for such an abomination. Bengaluru sambar is the Donald Trump of food world. Already I am planning to spread a news that there are people who serve this sambar to bulls so that PETA and AWBI will have a genuine case that absolutely reasonable people can support. All told, the only thing that is of note in Bengaluru’s CV is: Rajnikanth was once a bus conductor there. Okay, that was just a friendly trashtalk on our dear neighbours in Karnataka. Bengaluru, we actually love you, we used to love coming to Bengaluru. We would come again once you bring your airport to a place that is in the same time zone as yours.

Anyway, getting back to Chennai, whenever friends and acquaintances put down the city and its weather (“your summer stretches from April 1 to March 31”), my general riposte is: “But we have the Marina”. The world’s first / second / 22/7th longest beach, depending upon which dubious research report you rely on, is undoubtedly the city’s pride. It is a huge tradition, especially on weekends, for many of us to head to the beach and join the rest of the city in finding a half-decent parking spot somewhere in the vicinity. It is usually found in the nearby pincode area.

The beach in itself may be a huge attraction, but the local governmental authorities have thoughtfully added to its beauty by making it --- why not? --- a cemetery of sorts. Three former chief ministers are buried on the sands of the Marina. If Eiffel Tower were in Chennai, local authorities would have put up a tomb for a local leader on top of it (“Imposing structure. It is very tall. You get a wonderful view of the city. Just the right place for the tomb of the dead Chief Minister. We will get more visitors”.) The thing is we may abuse the Marina, we may hide its beauty with hideous constructions, we may use it as an open-air lavatory, we may carry out all manner of stupid and silly things on it, but it has been tremendously forgiving of us and always welcomed us with open arms.

Till last week, that is. For, thanks to the protest and the subsequent pitched battle between the police and the youths, the beachfront was totally out of bounds for the rest of the city. The turn of events was saddening. Chennai felt a little dead as Marina came close to being dead. But if ever Marina dies, we would still need Marina. Because we Chennaiites know no better place for putting up, ahem, a memorial.

(Follow us on Twitter @NTCHennai, FB page News Today)

About Columnist

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec sit amet eros dolor. Cras in sollicitudin nulla, et aliquet neque. Cras convallis condimentum magna eget tristique. Mauris nisl neque, consectetur at euismod id, consectetur et turpis. Nulla vehicula ac purus venenatis tincidunt. Aenean cursus dolor vitae leo porttitor, nec volutpat sapien egestas. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nunc aliquet lobortis imperdiet. Nullam vel aliquet lectus, ac sagittis risus. Fusce lobortis feugiat interdum. Morbi pretium lacinia sem, et congue leo.
Nullam consectetur mi ac nisl porta hendrerit. Vivamus convallis tristique libero, quis luctus metus. Nulla ullamcorper turpis est, vitae malesuada risus vehicula ut. Fusce vulputate nunc eget dui dignissim semper. Quisque ut lacus lacinia, pellentesque sapien a, vehicula quam. Vivamus nulla metus, ultricies sit amet nisi imperdiet, iaculis egestas eros. Phasellus et dolor viverra, aliquet nunc id, pulvinar elit. Aliquam mattis magna at mauris porta laoreet. Fusce tincidunt orci erat, luctus lacinia odio mattis et.
Fusce a nisi semper, ultrices augue ut, placerat orci. Vivamus dapibus ultrices nibh vel egestas. Suspendisse fermentum enim tempus, vehicula tortor eu, placerat orci. Aliquam laoreet felis vitae commodo vulputate. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin massa lacus, lobortis id sodales vitae, ornare vitae nisi. Proin et sollicitudin velit. Donec varius quam at feugiat commodo. Vivamus semper sapien sit amet eros feugiat, non ullamcorper dolor dapibus. Suspendisse id orci porta, vestibulum sapien ut, euismod nibh.
Fusce pretium sagittis turpis eget imperdiet. Vivamus sit amet nibh pellentesque, semper metus vitae, congue arcu. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Sed feugiat dui non nisl vestibulum faucibus. Praesent scelerisque cursus elit, sollicitudin mollis magna elementum in. Pellentesque et pulvinar augue. Sed ornare quam vel nulla aliquet viverra. Suspendisse eget tincidunt leo. Fusce condimentum et mauris vel rhoncus. Nullam dictum auctor libero in ultrices. Etiam ac justo ornare, volutpat libero vel, faucibus eros. Donec auctor ac augue non tempor. Nulla erat diam, dignissim ac magna ac, feugiat aliquet nisi. Cras vehicula sem nec erat blandit luctus. In eu luctus mauris, in sollicitudin augue.
Nunc felis ligula, placerat fringilla auctor ac, commodo sollicitudin diam. Fusce cursus consectetur interdum. Sed et egestas nisl, in dapibus erat. Donec dapibus varius arcu sed interdum. Donec convallis arcu ut nulla tempus, nec suscipit risus ullamcorper. Maecenas et ullamcorper orci. Proin aliquam metus quis lacus adipiscing lobortis. Curabitur urna nunc, laoreet eget pharetra ac, mattis consectetur dui. In iaculis nec leo eu porta. Etiam nec est a sem gravida aliquet.


Today's E-Paper


Is Alagiri meeting Karunanidhi a good sign?