MADRAS, namma MADRAS.
A small obit advt in today’s (6th Nov) paper caught my eyes and took me back 15 years, to the time when my wife and I landed in Chennai in December 2001. That obit note was the remembrance of Haji Madharsha the owner and founder of a great cloth store. The name kindled many sweet memories of Purasaiwakkam, a beautiful locality.
We lived in Kilpauk first, halfway between Anna Nagar, and Purasaiwakkam. On the third side was the Poonamalee High road, another fabulous road. Also, Vepery was nearby. Having never been to this part of Chennai earlier, I was pleasantly surprised to see many roads named after English gentry.
Landons’ Road, Harleys Rd, Ormes Rd, Taylors’ Rd, Halls Rd, Strahans Rd, Waddle’s Rd, Kellys’ Rd, Barnaby Rd, Flowers’ Rd, Millers’ Rd, Balfour Rd, … the list continues.
Starting from our house at Aspiran Gardens, we come to Rajaji Vidhyashram, then proceed along Balfour road, come to the Kellys corner; the road on the left is the Purasaiwakkam High Road. with hundreds of shops on both sides including Abhirami multiplex and Abhirami Mall, it was a pleasurable window-shopping time.
Opposite this mall, there is Millers’ road that leads to Poonamalee High road near KMC hospital. Millers road cutting across the Purasaiwakkam high road leads to Perambur (29 C bus route).
Madharsha, the famous cloth store was at the other end of PH road. Our first purchase [and 70% purchases for my son’s marriage] was from this Madharsha only. An excellent cloth shop.
Next to Madharsha is the Welcome Hotel, one of the busiest restaurants in Chennai. Opposite to Madharsha, there is Vellala Street. RK Narayan and RK Laxman spent their life here in this road. The trimurthys of Tamil writing – Raa ki Rangarajan, Ja Raa Sundaresan, and PV Parthasarathy lived here. At the other end of Vellala St is an ancient, beautiful Sri Srinivasa Perumal Koil.
SRINIVASA PERUMAL KOIL
Just opposite to Madharsha, there is a road leading to PH road at Dasaprakash. On this road is the famous Sri Gangadeeswarar Koil. The river Ganga flows from the head of Shiva here. The Amman Sri Pankajakshi is extremely divine beautiful. You will be going on seeing Her, forever, you won’t have a mind to take away your eyes from Her! காண கண் கோடி வேண்டும்.
If you go further away from Welcome Hotel, on your left is the busiest road – TANA Street, leading to Perambur. Tana Street, oh my, you get “a to z” traditional and modern things on this street. Right from vetrilai, paakku to 52” Samsung TV, from a Mouse Trap (I purchased one here) to the very latest iPhones – you name it, you will get it. A veritable shopping heaven.
Do not turn left to Tana St but go straight – you get the Doveton flyover and then after the flyover, VEPERY, and beyond that Poonamalee High Road, and Central Station.
We lived at Kilpauk for over 5 years and during this period we explored the whole of Kilpauk, Poonamalee High road, Purasaiwakkam, Kellys, Vepery, Chintamani, and Annanagar. We visited tens of dozens of koils here.
I LOVE Purasaiwakkam.
One small word in one small corner has triggered these nostalgic emotions.