Sunday, February 1, 2009

Road to riches

Theoretically, at least two, if not actually three sedans, can go abreast on this street, though the last time such tricks were tried must have been quite a few decades ago. These days, the wise man does not bring his car into Thambu Chetty Street, or any of the other business passages adjacent to it. With no pavements, everyone on foot is right on the road itself. On either side, is a mix of commercial- and residential-use buildings; the ground floor is given over to the shop, showroom or warehouse and the upper floors are used by the family and possibly some living quarters for those working in the shops.

Thambu Chetty was one of Beri Thimappa's aides; over time, he grew to become a Chief Merchant of Madras. It is likely that he would have lived in this street, or at least very close by. This area, north of Fort St George, was called Blacks Town and was settled by the native traders who had come to this part of the world, drawn by the newly created 'factory'. Much later, in the early 20th century, it was renamed George Town, to commemorate the visit of King George V. With its proximity to the harbour and to the industrial belt of North Chennai, George Town has been a hub for all kinds of businesses; many prominent industrial firms had their first offices along one of these streets and several retain them, if only for sentimental reasons.

These paths are always choc-a-block; there are no windows to shop at, unlike retail shopping spots like T.Nagar. Every pedestrian is intent of getting somewhere, and quickly, keen to make that one deal which will propel them out of these streets!

As with the first of every month, today is 'Theme Day' for City Daily Photo Bloggers; view the various interpretations of the theme 'Paths and Passages': Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Jilly said...

Fascinating commentary on the crowded roads and shopping. Love the atmosphere in your photograph.

workhard said...

I think every major city has got one of those over crowded places, picture is pretty good,

BPO work from home

Shantaram said...

@ Jilly: Glad you stopped by - thanks!

@ Workhard: What's a city without them!