Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still crowded, still the same

My memory of the 6th Avenue at Besant Nagar is that of a wide road, crowded with every demographic category that inhabits Chennai. There was always a variety of everything - age groups, genders, clothes, colours, you name a parameter and you could get both extremes and a lot in between, if you were hanging out along 6th Avenue. The road itself runs parallel to Elliots Beach for about a kilometre-and-a-half. That's a straight stretch, where the motorcycles could show off their pick-up, speed or any kind of calisthenics its rider was inclined to do. And hey, if you were cool, you had to be there on Sunday evenings.

It is surprising how some of those images refuse to go away, even after quite a few years. The Sardar at Cozee Corner reeling off Tamil far more fluently than I could; the lone policeman trying to get a look at the number plate of an RX-100 that did a more-than-usually-noisy wheelie; young couples shutting out the rest of the world by staring ardently at each others' toes as they walked the length of the road - all of these jumped into my mind's eye as I neared the beach on a Sunday, a few weeks ago.

But it was morning, not evening. 6th Avenue was deserted. Even Barista, with its orange board bright in the sunshine, seemed to be drooping off. But it was nice to see it this way. Now I have a reason to come back some other Sunday, in the evening and see for myself that nothing has actually changed on this street!

9 comments:

Kris McCracken said...

I am really enjoying the images and stories on your blog. I have always had in my head an idea of Chennai that is always hustling, bustling and crowded with people. To see a shot like this disrupts my preconceptions and I always like that!

Thanks very much for all of your efforts in doing this, it is much appreciated.

Ravindran said...

U have perhaps visited the road during a crowd lay off/out of form day.
As far as I know crowds and chennai are inseperable.

chennaidailyfoto said...

Great time of the day i guess ....
saw a similar crowd free status of this road this Wednesday afternoon ....

Ram

magiceye said...

these sights sure are a rarity in the cities of late..

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Kris>> Oh, yes, it is crowded! But as you have seen, you could also be 'alone in a crowd'.

Glad you like what I write and thank you for the encouraging words!

>> Ravindran / Ram>> Yes, being Chennaiites yourselves, you'll understand how daft I must have been to walk along the beach at noon!

>> Magiceye>> You're right - more's the pity!

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Kris>> Just realized that I seem to have been lucky in getting very few people in the photos I have taken - flipped through the photos and realized how 'disruptive' they could have been!

Ravindran said...

If the petrol price touches Rs 200 per ounce we may see more roads in this deserted fashion. Will it ever happen?

Sherry said...

I can barely believe this photo was taken in Chennai! I never saw anything less than full on crowds of people. :)

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ravindran>> I think we'd have figured out some other way of powering travel by then - "Beam me across the road, Scotty!"

>> Sherry>> You have my word for it :) And yes, even I can't believe I've managed to take so many photographs with so few people in them!