Saturday, August 23, 2008

The photowalk

Chandrachoodan (http://www.selectiveamnesia.org/) has been running a wonderful concept called 'Chennai Photowalks' for a while now. While it is normally once a month, he had organized three in the past few days, to celebrate The Madras Week. The last one was yesterday and I was determined to make it for this one, at least. By the time I reached the starting point - the Tower Park at Anna Nagar - I was late by 30 minutes. Having spoken to Chandrachoodan on the way, I knew that the walk would start off vertically, to climb the Visvesvarayya Tower and I could catch up with them at some altitude. As I got to the Tower, I found quite a few people who seemed to be lugging around fairly high-tech photography equipment and all of them were at sea level - turned out that we were too late to be allowed up the Tower. It was a disappointment, and I am sure it would have been a bigger one for the few who had come all the way from Bangalore to join in the Madras Day Photowalk.

Anna Nagar, where this Tower Park is located, was the first - and probably the only - properly planned and laid out part of Chennai city. Until the late 1960s Nadukkarai (the middle bank - probably called so because the River Cooum makes a U turn around a piece of land), to the north of Poonamallee High Road was agricultural land. A trade fair held in Madras in 1968 was centred at Nadukkarai and that brought it to the attention of a lot of people who were looking for a quiet residential area close to the city. In a rare instance of long term planning, the whole area was laid out with straight roads, spaces for schools, parks, shopping and community facilities. And with all of this done, the locality was named after CN Annadurai, the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Giving it such importance was necessary, for it was a challenge to attract people to come and live in this place - it was really the back of beyond.

Surprisingly, considering the movie background of many of the state politicians, the one feature Anna Nagar lacks is a good cinema hall - if it had that, it would probably have declared its independence from Chennai - as this post suggests!



6 comments:

chennaidailyfoto said...

Hey i missed to spot u there ... i came late and joined the walk at 630pm ...

Ravindran said...

A cinema hall now will not be a good proposition. Few would have noticed this "flaw" in Annanagar.

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

>> Ram>> That's too bad... next time, we'll exchange notes in advance...

>> Ravindran>> That's probably why even the Grand Theatre was shut down after a few years.

Ravindran said...

Ur blog is not showing the no of comments posted. This will give us an idea whether any new comment has been added.

babooshka said...

What an excellent idea a photowalk.

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

>> Ravindran>> It does, at least to me :) Will talk to you about this.

>> Babooshka>> I know, it is one of those simple-but-awesome ideas!