Thursday, January 12, 2023

Why's the twist?

On Musiri Subramaniam Road, just before you turn off to Vivekananda College on your left, you should open a keen eye to your right. That way, you will spot this rather non-descript shop at the corner where you would turn to get to the Luz Church. The shop is a throwback to the 70s and 80s, run by two gruffly-friendly brothers who seem to have been there forever. In recent times, they have a younger helper and post-covid, they seem to have spruced up the signage with a fresh coat, even if the shop itself remains as it has always been. 

Speaking to the young man, I learnt that the shop has a formal name: "Lakshmi Cool Bar". GoogleMaps tries to be more helpful by adding that it is also called "Mani kadai" (Mani's shop). Neither of those names feature in this board, according to which the shop is "Oliver Twist"!

Apparently, the younger of the two brothers was a voracious reader in his youth, and Charles Dickens was a favourite author. He was therefore insistent on getting a Dickensian connection to the store's name. The sharp turn in the road is the inspiration for the 'Twist'. But can you guess why 'Oliver'? Ah, yes, that's correct: before it was given its current name, the road was called Oliver Road! 

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