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A Chennaiite's woes

Under construction: A bad time to be a Chennaiite. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao   | Photo Credit: R_Shivaji Rao

The time is 8:00 p.m. and I am returning home in my office shuttle after a long, tiring day at work. The road is packed with traffic. The bus moves an inch, shudders and then stops as the driver presses the brake.

A driver in his Volkswagen Vento next to our bus honks as if the road was empty and the few people before him on the road had halted just for the pleasure of it. Two guys on a two-wheeler turn back and give him a disgusted look.

I put on the ear phones and tune into the radio. As I sit there behind the driver's seat in the bus, (I think) a part of my brain wakes up to an amazing realisation: “This is a difficult time to be a Chennaiite!”

Think about it…

Summer: Well, we all know how summer is in this part of the world — very hot, humid, leaving a person sweaty, sticky, and annoyed. Even to imagine leaving your home without a bottle of water is unthinkable.

Chennai Metro construction + traffic: Enough people have cribbed about the traffic diversions due to the Chennai Metro Rail's ongoing construction activities; but then, it never seems enough. Add this to point # 1, given it is sometimes warm even as late as 8.00 p.m., you can only pity the poor soul caught by both.

Chennai Metro construction = bad roads: The Metro construction has had its effect on the roads as well. Most are in a pathetic condition, and to think that some are in the heart of the city!

Chennai Metro construction = Change of routes: An RJ said on air, “The route a person takes in the morning goes missing in the evening”. It cannot be truer. Not getting lost and to avoid travelling in infinite loops as a consequence pose a challenge.

Hassle-free driving is almost impossible if you are not proactive enough to research the existence of the route you intend to take. If you haven't been to Anna Nagar for some time and visit it now you'll know what I'm talking about.

Daily power cuts: Everyday power cuts add immensely to the miseries of Chennaiites. Lucky me, I spend the power cut hours at office. While in my area the daily power cuts account for two hours a day, some friends complain of power cuts of up to four hours. Sigh!

The usual: Whatever else usually irks us, such as not-my-kind-of-songs being played over and over on FM when you are already bored, some boring RJ hosting a poor show, people honking when there is no need, the bad smells, bad/careless drivers, pedestrians walking in the middle of the road causing your vehicle to slow down… be my guest and fill this list with everything else that you can think of.

AKIHTRA, 23-year-old Chennaite and IT professional

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 5:52:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/a-chennaiites-woes/article3400273.ece

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