Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life because of the Metro

The CMRL is supposedly a very ambitious project that will change the landscape of SINGARA CHENNAI forever. But, even before the train has chugged [I can't help but use the word chug for an article about rail] its way into the city, it's changing the landscape, and not only that, but the minds of the people as well. So as the Metro rail will, in the near future, be helping people go about their daily work [just as the Suburban and MRTS are doing already] its construction works are helping people in a more subtle and unexpected way. This is how...

Honey, I found the 1st gear!!

The most important thing that the Metro Rail has taught me is the importance of the first gear in my vehicle.

If it were Mumbai [or to some extent, Bangalore] I'd have known it better. But being in Chennai, the first gear is one of the most forgotten things [after rains/monsoon, winter and electricity]. Only when you go on a trip to some other cities in India, do we see rains and electricity.

So, as the Metro Rail construction work started, traffic speed on the roads is restricted to 5 kmph [even an Ambassador runs faster than that]. So, first gear becomes visible to the human eye.

Diplomatic car drivers, therefore, use the first gear to travel within the city, while speed thirsty motor maniacs ignore the first gear and also, ignore the whole vehicle and start walking, as their feet take them faster to their destinations than their cars ever can.

We need change

Actual route from Kathipara to T nagar during CMRL construction

When a little man, exhibits his mischievous self by showing to the world, some acts of what he thinks is bravery, his parents go "This is as far as it goes! You must change your ways, boy!!"

That is exactly what the Metro Rail tells us too… Change your ways.
For, because of the raising of gigantic pillars most roads have been blocked and the rest been turned into one-ways, you can not travel the path you took for your to-journey, for your return journey.

And the beauty of it is that, all the roads that have been changed to one-ways have been so accurately done so, keeping in mind that, no matter who you are, where you're from, what your destination is, your return journey will always be twice as long as your onward one, even if it means just moving the car you parked in front of the gate to your garage.

If you haven't heard me right, do it now… Change your ways!

Take it slow

Ever wondered how they make those classy Hollywood movies, where there is a crook on the loose and cops chase him down in a car?

The crook is behind the wheels of a Mercedes he just hijacked. Then there are sirens and the red-blue lighted cop cars come to the hot pursuit of the vehicle. The culprit pokes his head out of the window and blasts 2 shots from his magnum. 2 cops die. Then, right from the middle of nowhere comes one of these two- Bruce Willis or Spiderman.

The hero dodges all the bullets that the thief shoots [Spiderman serpentines with his web, and Bruce Willis, well.. He just crouches]. And then the crook's ammo goes empty. The hero jumps right onto [where else?] the hood of the car, breaks the entire windshield with his bare fists and pulls out the bandit. All this, while the car is running on top gear. How do you suppose this is possible? Or much better, how do you suppose this is possible for you to see?

If your answer is high speed slo-mo cameras, you're fantastic. But in reality, there is a simpler solution. Shoot the bloody scenes in Chennai! With the metro being built, everything actually goes slo-mo, so you can save on the camera costs. Also, since the process is ridiculously slow, you can shoot the things and even live-stream it in slo-mo. In fact,it's slower than BSNL 3G!! [No offence, though].

Close, Closer, Closest

Bringing people closer together is one thing easier said than done. Many have claimed to have been doing that but none so visibly successful as the Metro Rail.

With the Metro, people think, as many people use the service, a lot of people will be travelling together, and so, as long as the destinations are many, one can see a lot of closeness among people. But the thing is, the cost of the metro journey from one point to another is so high [MTC fare hike not taken into account] that the masses actually avoid using it. Again, the only people who will be able to use the air-conditioned metro rail are the ones who already own air-conditioned sedans.

Then how does the metro bring people together, you ask? We go back to the same traffic jams we've been talking about so far. With the roads becoming half as wide, the vehicular population becoming twice as many, the traffic becomes 4 times as heavy. And where do they all go? That's right- to the roads! So, we now have 8 persons [Yeah, I know you think it's 4; but human population also increases boss] to share the space that was previously designated for one. And voila! Closeness!!

Go Green

Who said "Trees give us shade?"

The metro tracks [the overhead part of it] gives more shade than a tree can ever give in its life. Ashoka the Great, would have been twice as great as he is today, if he had just built Metro Rails than to have planted trees.

Get Lost

The other impact of the Metro, and possibly the one most advantageous to the general populace is the ease with which you can find where you are.

GPRS, GPS and even 3G can be useless when you don't know where you are in Chennai, but when you say "I'm in this part of the Metro rail works", "I'm near this broken segment of the metro tracks", "I'm in this place of the city where the MTC-Suburban-MRTS-Metro-Road-People converge", people will easily track you down to the last digit of the latitude and longitude you're in.

This way, you can never get lost. Even if you do, just ask the passersby for directions to the nearest CMRL construction site and walk all the way along, instead of asking directions to your own home. This in fact is easier, and you have a higher chance of ending up at the metro construction site, than at your home.



  1. good one :)
    I once was lazy to know all the "nizhar salai's" in Anna Nagar.
    I now know them so very well, thanks to the metro rail works.

    And I also get enough time to mug up the lyrics of good songs. :D

    and yeah.. close, closer, closest.. i am familiar with some of my fellow commuters.

    One thing CMRL has taught us is patience :P i thought this is the worst time and it will be gone soon. But. the worst is always yet to come.. innum enna attozhiyam panna porangalo :O

  2. Nice one...but I don get this though...before this plan was put into action, we people complained that the traffic was becoming harder to handle as the days go by and asked the government to do something about it. They come up with the only possible introduce the provide easier, better and quick accessibility to almost all the parts of the city....if something this big has to be finished at the earliest in the busy streets of Chennai, it comes with its costs you know. There will be redirection of traffic here and there. Traffic will become worse and so on and so forth. Unakku traffic irukka kudathu, antha traffic reduce panna steps edutha athu un transport ah affect panna kudathu ll have to develop some kinda super power for that. I think this is a small price to pay considering the amount of reduction in traffic once this project is deployed...not to mention....easier accessibility to the entire need to get trapped in traffic when this is completed. Dude this aint hogwarts to do everything with the flick of one's wand and to make the entire project levitate so that there won't be any disturbance to the daily life of people.

  3. "Honey I found the first gear" was good...
    "Take it slow" was awesome... [Not to forget that BSNL 3G :P]
    Really you have taken the kill with "Close, Closer, Closest"...

    Beautiful Read after a long time... keep going mate