Downtown

What is in a name?

Old Mahabalipuram Road (Taramani to Perungudi) in 1996.   | Photo Credit: N_BALAJI

Old Mahabalipuram Road was changed to Rajiv Gandhi Road several years ago. Yet, many people continue to use the previous name. Some people use both — but Old Mahabalipuram Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai are two different creatures.

Having travelling down OMR 20 years ago, I know how different it is from Rajiv Gandhi Salai. It was a time when I would not venture beyond SRP Tools — which is near Kandanchavadi-Taramani — from Adyar because I was certain I would be plagued by poor bus connectivity and narrow roads and herds of cattle that would stage a 'sit-in strike'. However, one day, twenty years ago, I was forced to take the stretch. My family friend’s son had got admission in a college in Sholinganallur, through Anna University counselling. He did not know where the college was located. I had a new Kinetic Honda Scooter. There was no heavy vehicular traffic. I would have however preferred vehicles to what I found on the way — pits, mounds and, of course, cattle. When I reached Karapakkam Okkiyam Maduvu, I was ten years older. And I had to take rest. Needless to say, it took me an eon before I reached the college, going by OMR. But today, when I take Rajiv Gandhi Salai, except during peak hours, I cover the same distance in 20 minutes.

People may tell me many things about Rajiv Gandhi Salai, but I would prefer it any day to OMR.

(S. Chandrasekaran is a retired bank employee)


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 10:15:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/what-is-in-a-name/article6710917.ece

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