One of the recent happenings in Velachery is the opening of the MRTS station, thereby connecting Velachery with Northern Madras via a railway network along the beach corridor. In fact, from last week's Vikatan, I came to know that the first proposal was made in 1956 and it took approximately 50+ years for it to reach Velachery and the original proposal talks about the line till Mahabalipuram.
But that apart, the impact of this extended line can be seen immediately as this has completely changed the way Velechery was commuting (not to mention the un(der)developed Madipakkan and other surrounding areas. One has to visit the station to see the kind of change a good public transport system can bring into the city.
I took my first ride 2-3 weeks back when we decided that we will park the car in the station and go to see Kapaleeshwarar in his abode in Mylapore.
Now, we repeated the same yesterday. There is huge parking lot in front of the station and the crowd is minimal on a Saturday. Of course, Sibi is taking this line till beach for sometime now. So we have to wait for the pink or the yellow trains to come or otherwise, Sibi will not board. I never fully understood the reason for this but suits me to spend sometime in the station with the kids watching the trains go by. Vanathy has taken a liking for the 'choo-choos' hearing much from her brother on the subject. So both of them go crazy whenever they see a train.
The approach road to the Velachery road is a mess but if you pass that by, the parking lot is concrete-paved and is quite good. The train passes by Taramani, Perungudi, Indira Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Kotturpuram, Mandaveli to reach Mylapore.
I've never been to Kapaleeshwarar temple till about 3 weeks back and has taken a instant liking to it. The vast kulam with the abundance of fish, the busy streets with the roadside shops, the vast corridor and the lord Himself who reminds me of Madurai every time I visit the temple make the trip very special.
Yesterday we took a walk around the temple and went to Giri trading agency which specializes in puja materials and bought a few books as well. Had dinner in Saravana bhavan and returned home. Imagining the same trip by car trying to negotiate the Mylapore traffic gives me the shudders.
Today visited City center for a bit of shopping but was taken aback by the crowd in Lifestyle. But when you come out and look in the 'Ambedkar bridge' behind the mall, I saw a old couple in the bed on the pavement with dirty kids running around. A typical sight in the city but it also made me wonder whether we are so tuned to these sights that it doesn't register the poverty which drives this kind of inequality and the politics which keeps it the same way. Whether these will make any impact on the minds of my kids is another thing that I keep thinking about. May be I need to talk to them.
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