Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday afternoon I was bored and on a sudden impulse decided to visit T.Nagar. There is something, an aura or charm about the place that draws thousands to it everyday. T.Nagar is the textile and jewellery hub of Chennai, there was a time when T.Nagar signified just three big names GRT Thanga Maligai, Saravana Stores, and Kumaran Silks. Today the consumer has unlimited options. The crowd of people that throng the narrow roads never diminishes, from Mambalam railway station a sea of humanity rushes to Ranganathan Street, another crowd jostles for space as it makes its way from the T.Nagar bus depot. It is extremely difficult to walk at one's own pace as the crowd pushes you along.
Sathya Bazaar is a string of shops similar to Burma Bazaar. Small shops dealing in electronic items, perfumes, clothes, footwear, and movie DVDs. You never know what rare classic you might find among the pirated movies kept for sale. The footwear available in a couple of shops is really good and one can get fantastic bargains on leather shoes and belts.
I took a bus from Broadway to T.Nagar-10A-that went via Egmore and Sterling Road. The bus took the new flyover that was inaugurated a few days back and I reached T.Nagar at about 5 p.m. I walked along Burkitt Road, took a left turn and walked further to reach Venkatnarayana Road. The Tirupathi Devasthanam Temple was crowded to the maximum; hence I prayed from outside and walked to the Crossword Bookstore. I am always on the lookout for new bookshops; I have mostly been a Landmark-regular while buying new books, otherwise it has always been the pavement bookshops and Moore Market. The bookshop is on the first floor of a shopping mall, the ambience is similar to that of the Oxford Bookshop on Haddows Road. There is a good collection of books, though not exhaustive as Landmark. The big plus point of the place is the genuine inclination of the store attendants to help customers in finding books. At Landmark barring a couple of attendants most of the folks have trouble in trying to spot a book that one is searching for; that reminds me, it has been two weeks since I placed an order for a book at Landmark; and they are yet to contact me regarding the status of my order.
There was a discount sale at the bookshop, and I was tempted to splurge, but I decided to restrict my temptations to Rs 500 as I had already spent about Rs 2000/- this month on books and DVDs. I purchased two books; "The Fire Engine that Disappeared" by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo and "The Art of Acting" by Stanislavski. I also became a member of their Rewards program and got a card which entitled me to dicounts and offers. The lifetime membership costs just Rs 150/-.
Then I returned to the bus depot to find absolute chaos, all the buses were full, and not a single bus to Central railway station was in sight. Then a direct bus to Tiruvallur came; I boarded it without delay; it took a full twenty five minutes for the bus to exit T.Nagar. The bus travelled via Saidapet, Guindy, Porur, Poonamallee, Velavedu and I finally reached Tiruvallur at 8:20 p.m. I discovered that the share autos were not running as there was a shortage of diesel, no bus was also in sight. I got a lift from a good samaritan on a bike, and finally reached home at 8:45 p.m.

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