People of all ages throng the beach seeking solace from summer
When it comes to hosting persons from all classes free of cost on a particularly warm evening, there are few places that can match the Marina. The rush along the beach may be an annual affair, but the visitors' excitement seems to get renewed every summer.
Being a Sunday evening, the beach was brimming with people of different age groups. Families from different parts of the city and suburbs arrived, some treating themselves to hot bajjies, fish fry, sundal or popcorn. “We have come all the way from Tambaram. We took a bus and our entire family has come,” said N. Dhanalakshmi.
With her was P. Meena, a senior citizen, who was at the beach after about eight years. “I hardly come out these days, as my health does not cooperate. I came here today only because the children insisted. So many things about this beach have changed in the last few years,” she said.
For R. Ilakkiya, on the other hand, it was probably one of the first few trips to the beach. The nine-month-old was busy licking away her new toy – a long, red balloon, as she watched scores of people walk past and youngsters playing around.
“She loves playing at home too, but we thought she might have a good time at the beach and enjoy the breeze,” said R. Rajeshwari, her mother.
D. Divya, a kindergarten student, with her cousins R. Mohan and B. Sai Muniganesh for company, was taking a nice dip in the waves and running back to the shore. “We live right here in Pudupet. I love playing in the water,” she said, looking at her adult escort for approval.
Calm after the storm
It was not just families that were having a good time. Several visitors attired in dhotis with borders in AIADMK colours, or saris with block prints of the party symbol, were seen relaxing and chatting in groups.
V. Senthil Balaji and Angu M. Sivalingam, were seated on a bench, sipping tea and exchanging notes about the AIADMK's victory. “We are from Karur and we are here to see Amma being sworn in as Chief Minister tomorrow. Since we had some spare time today, we thought we would come here and relax,” he said.
A Sunday evening during vacation also meant brisk business for many like R. Salomi, who was managing a ‘balloon shooting' stall. “During the other days it is normal business, nothing special. Sundays are a little better,” she said, hurriedly blowing more balloons to replenish the stock on the shooting board.
However, the additional crowds also meant more litter on the beach – both plastic and non-plastic waste despite the Chennai Corporation's ban on plastic on the Marina.
In terms of security, an additional 100 personnel of the armed reserve police, local police and traffic police have been deployed this season, police sources said.