1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Those Were The Days, My Friend!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,539
    Likes Received:
    14,199
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    If anyone asks me for my most unforgettable experience of my past life, I would unhesitatingly mention about my rides in the trams of Madras (Chennai). I lived in the Triplicane High Road and studied in the nearby Hindu High School. The trams ran right in front of my house and it was great watching them move around at snail’s speed making a huge grinding noise like the modern mixies. The tram driver would operate it standing all day and by way of horn, he would stamp on the bell at the bottom with his feet. I loved travelling by them with my dad. How many times I would have travelled by them in my childhood! I was around eleven years old when the tram services were withdrawn for financial reasons. The company cited huge losses as the reason to close down and you know how much it was? Rs.50000 per month! It is the equivalent of an average monthly salary of a software employee today!


    It was in 1953 and I even remember the day. It was just a couple of days before the Tamil New Year’s Day in April. We were all extremely sad and nobody was in a mood to celebrate New Year. My grandmother called it as ‘Vinaasa Kaalam’ in a choked voice. We were all standing outside the door to bid final farewell to the last tram at midnight. The conductor offered us free rides as a parting gift. The whole city looked dead without the trams the next day. The rails on which the trams ran were left undisturbed until the successive road laying covered them!


    The other novelty was the hand-pulled rickshs. The burly riksha pullers would pull us with ease over long distances. I loved travelling by them but my mother considered it a sin to travel in a vehicle pulled by another man. Whenever I fell ill, my mother would take me to the Doctor in it but she would prefer to walk alongside rather than riding in it. Our Medical miracle-man was Dr. Krishnamurthy Rao who lived some two miles away close to Parthasarathy Temple. He had a phone in his room that always kept me spell bound seeing him talk over it. Occasionally he allowed me to say hellow to his wife whenever he received a call from her. After he examined me with a stethoscope and thermometer, he would call his compounder Ranga Rao and give him a prescription. Ranga Rao would go to the adjoining room and prepare the concoction. It would be invariably a pink fluid with awful taste. It would be given to us in a flat bottle with the dosages marked on a piece of paper stuck on the side. My mother would grab my head and pore it in my mouth despite my tearful protests. She would then give half a spoon of sugar as a palliative for the awful-tasting medicine. There were hardly any medical shops in those days and Dr.Krishnamurthy Rao had no faith in them either.


    There was the Star Talkies right in front of my house which is closed now. The lowest ticket was priced at 4 3/4 annas (30 paise in modern terms). Whenever the old news papers were sold, my brother and I would make a beeline to Star Talkies. I saw Madhumathi several times in this Theatre and was madly in love with Vyjayanthimala who was some ten years elder to me! There was a ‘chettiar’ shop near my house where we bought buy our stuff for credit on a weekly basis. The Chettiar was very fond of me and every time I went with my mother there, he would offer me a toffee on condition that he should pop it in my mouth himself. My mother was never happy with this arrangement as she always had a morbid fear that I might swallow it and choke!

    My school celebrated its centenary when I was in the 6th Class. It must be racing towards its bicentenary now! There was a nickname for every teacher based on his appearance, name or practices! For example, there was a teacher who used a single finger to hit us with telling effect to submission. He was nicknamed ‘verladi’ (Finger beater!) My association with Triplicane was the happiest part of my life. It keeps me going even now! When I was sick recently, I spent most of my time joyfully recalling my Triplicane days! I just recall the lines of a popular song,

    ‘Those were the days my friend
    We thought they'd never end’

    PS: My uncooperative right eye is responsible for all mistakes!
     
    Mistt, Viswamitra, swathi27 and 27 others like this.
    Loading...

  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    32,888
    Likes Received:
    25,679
    Trophy Points:
    640
    Gender:
    Female
    My dear Anna I am booking this for the first feedback
     
    joylokhi likes this.
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    23,653
    Likes Received:
    27,112
    Trophy Points:
    590
    Gender:
    Female
    sri, welcome back. wanted to say that in the last post itself, somehow missed it. both me and v are so happy to have you back here and writing, so what if there are mistakes. let me join you, i have some issues with my right hand coordination, that my hand and my keypad always are in a tussle, add to that i miss out a whole sentence in between.. all part of the game of strong mindedness.

    i wish we could rewind the clock back and enjoy childhood like it is. V gets irritated with DD when she says she is stressed out, forgetting it is 30 years since he did the same thing that she is doing. i wish i could gift wrap and rewind button for all my dear ones ..

    Lovely jottings from memory lane..

    so so happy to have you back, but do take it slow.
     
    swathi27, kkrish, PavithraS and 3 others like this.
  4. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    17,347
    Likes Received:
    25,099
    Trophy Points:
    590
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear CS,

    I never lived in Triplicane and I came into the world a couple of decades after you, but the world was still a beautiful place to live in.

    To date, all it takes is a mental switch to go into the past - the home of my childhood and there I am so vividly with all those people who now inhabit another world all around me and believe me, these are the happiest moments. It brings to mind the story about Yudhishthara being asked by the lake what travels faster than light and he answers 'the mind'. That is so true. It has a very surreal feel when one comes out of these reveries back into the present.
    So too when I look at the world around me and reflect on how there is nothing in it that I can relate to the days of my childhood

    What I would not give to have that world back, but no, I have no desire to go back to my childhood. Just want the simple, clean world that we lived in those days.
     
  5. Agatha83

    Agatha83 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Trophy Points:
    300
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    You forgot to mention the long windy roads, narrow lanes and heritage houses which still dominate Triplicane. You definitely wouldn't have missed the most beautiful Iyengar Mamis, the stray cows, buffaloes and obnoxious smelling cow dung that decorate the roads. Well, giving you a cent percent for your no mistake essay on ' nostalgia"!

    Agatha83
     
    shri0218 likes this.
  6. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    what a lovely snippet! really enjoyed reading of your past memories. Only after reading your post i actually came to know that there were trams earlier in chennai - then Madras! We were in Calcutta during the 60s and 70s where i did a major part of schooling and college life. We used to travel by trams to school after travelling a distance of around 20 miles by suburban train from the 24 parganas to the city. This, though we had central schools just within our campus (we were in the defence campus in Ishapore at the time), but both myself and my sister insisted on going to a regular convent having ICSE sylabus. I can relate very well to the hand pulled rickshaws too, and hated to travel in it until there was really pressing need. It was sad to see the rickshaw fellows wading through water upto their waists or so, pulling the rickshaw in the rains.
    It does feel nice to look back on the times - so much has changed over the years. Thanks for sharing your experiences, as usual:)
     
    kkrish and satchitananda like this.
  7. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,355
    Likes Received:
    9,442
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sri sir
    Rather than give a written feedback I thought I'll share the nostalgia with some pictures of dear old Madras.

    Pycrofts road.jpg
    courtesy: pinterest

    Parthasarathy Temple, Source1890's.jpg
    Source Ebay Seller pumpparkphotos
    POSTED BY OLD INDIAN PHOTOS AT 711 PM LINKS TO THIS POST LABELS 1890S, ARCHITECTURE, CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, TEMPLE

    91183a1c5e0a683b22a0d1e59a491cf7.jpg
    Source: Pinterest.com
     
    swathi27, kaniths, SunPa and 7 others like this.
  8. Nonya

    Nonya Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    2,173
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    The Tamil Poet, and national treasure, Bharathi and his wife Chellamma lived in a perpendicular road to that Triplicane High Road, called Pilliar Koil Street. I have older relatives who went to college in Presidency College, at the end of pycrofts road, on the beach.
    For people who had come to that locale much later, it is not the Tram, but it is one eatery called "Ratna Cafe", that is in the corner of Triplicane High Road and Pycrofts. They had that bottomless sambhar serving. One may eat just two idlies, and pretty much half a bucket of sambhar, if one were that shameless to do so.
    Although I had not lived in that city, my uncles and aunts who had lived there during their formative years go on and on and on, about the various events of the city. The annual handloom textiles exhibition and theatrical performances in Egmore was another thing I remember my auntie talk endlessly about. Some of the famous latter day politicians were on stage in theatrical productions staged in that exhibition grounds, she'd say.
    Nice post and good recalls. Have a fast recovery.
     
    Rihana, jskls, joylokhi and 1 other person like this.
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,539
    Likes Received:
    14,199
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    My dear Viji
    Thanks a lot for the first response. Will await your detailed feedback
    Sri
     
    iyerviji likes this.
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,539
    Likes Received:
    14,199
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    My dear Shan
    I quoted your response in full to reassure myself that it was indeed from you! You know well how joyful I feel when there is a response from you. Please do convey my love to V.
    I did have a tough time in coping with the effects of my stroke but it was all my 'stiff upper lip' that helped me cross the tough days. I feel that I have a new keyboard with all letters deranged. On top of it, I can see only the left half of the board but I don't intend giving up on this fight!
    Sri
     
    SunPa, kkrish, iyerviji and 4 others like this.

Share This Page