Saturday, December 20, 2008

Graveyard trip

According to legend, old elephants instinctively move to their final resting place when they recognize their time on the planet is running out. At one level it seems to be plausible. After all, if eons of creation have implanted the urge to run upstream to spawn (and then die) - as in salmon - or to come to the same beaches year after year - as in the turtle arribada - the reverse may be true in the case of elephants? Certainly writers like H.Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines) and Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Tarzan series) and the Lion King movies (and musical) helped in building up the legend that the gentle giants make their way to a common place to - curl up and die.

Cut to the city life. Where do buses go when their useful life is over? Sure, there must be some wrecking yards somewhere that cut, rip, and tear apart the pipes, cast iron and sheet metal that make up the elephants of the city. The images that come to mind of such yards are all from Hollywood movies. I cannot remember having seen a similar yard anywhere in Chennai. But once the scale is recalibrated, it seems likely they are all over the place. More likely that the scrap dealers go to the condemned buses and reduce them to pieces of metal with just a couple of oxy-acetylene torches, than have all the outdated buses come to one place.

There is probably one place, somewhere near Porur, where I've seen a couple of bus 'skeletons' standing around. Seeing this going in the same general direction, I guess that's where the bus graveyard is. Does anyone know for sure?


4 comments:

Benjamin Madison said...

Your blog is very interesting, well written and informative. I look forward to learning more about Chennai. Thanks.

Ram N said...

How sure are we about the graveyard trip! cud be tinkered and rerun ....

Hilda said...

I've always wondered about that too. I haven't seen any large vehicle junk yards here either. And judging on the abandoned planes, trains and such I see in CDP blogs every now and then, not many countries have them either.

Shantaram said...

>> Benjamin>> Thank you!

>> Ram>> Hmmm... what with all the new buses, MTC can afford to condemn some old ones? Maybe they'd be picked up by one of the other state RTCs!

>> Hilda>> Just a generation ago, we would use things until they just fall apart and go back to being dust!