Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shell park

In the days when corporations weren't shells, there was a Shell that was a corporation. In India, however, it was only a brand, one that was the face of Asiatic Petroleum, a company that was formed to market petro-products in the British territories of Asia. That company was itself jointly owned by Shell, Royal Dutch and the Rothschilds and came into being to counter John D.Rockefeller's behemoth, Standard Oil, from extending its stranglehold into Asia. The company tied up with Burmah Oil Company, which was drilling the stuff out of the ground and getting it refined and then distributing the distillate. By some logic, the new entity, for 'end-to-end' of oil, was named Burmah-Shell.

That was in 1928, and some forty years later, the Burmah-Shell company decided to do a bit of public service and funded the setting up of a Children's Traffic Park, on Poonamallee High Road. Given that location, it was always 'on-the-way' for me, never a destination to be savoured. Looking at it from a passing vehicle, the traffic park seemed to be a nice idea that needed to be tried across the city.

Unfortunately, even this park has not been used regularly or with the sense of discipline. In all my years in the city, I haven't come across a single person who learnt his / her driving skills from this traffic park - I wonder where those alumni are!


LVISS said...

Burmah shell ,yes we forgot about it.

Shantaram said...

@ lviss: Like many of the other old brands :(

chorinchath said...

The stone laid is quite strange as it does not have the name of the Governor unlike the present day stones!

Shantaram said...

@ Narayanan: I know! I have a feeling it was odd even for those days!