An Adventure in Ambattur

I had to attend the wedding reception of one of my best friends, in Ambattur, on a Sunday evening. The place is pretty far away, but my friend suggested that I go to Tambaram and take the Chennai Bypass, which is an excellent road, yet has other drawbacks, as I found out. My father said it would still be a really long route. So we went via Kathipara and Porur, joining Chennai Bypass after Porur.

Then the adventure began. Country music playing on the stereo, we zoomed down the elevated Chennai Bypass. At one point there was a board indicating that Ambattur was straight ahead, but no, we didn’t find it. A short distance later, there was a lane to the left, with no indication of any place on the direction board. It was better to overshoot a place than head into nowhere, so we soared past it.

A brightly lit Toyota signboard flashed passed and several factories followed. We shot over a busy road as well, and then our doubts were confirmed. We had crossed Ambattur and a signboard said – Puzhal, 5 km. We couldn’t even get off the elevated road and it was quite some time before we even found a U-Turn. So we turned back, looking for the nearest left. There was a faint signboard (not easily visible in the dark) that said something. We were going so fast that we zoomed a little past that, so we reversed, noticed it was indeed Ambattur, and took the right, which was a two-lane road. After going straight down, we found a left and asked for directions. The guy asked us to take a right in the opposite side. We found ourselves in a long corridor barely enough to fit a truck, with huge fat pillars on one side. It was exciting though, like entering a long dark cave. However, if we hadn’t reversed, it would’ve taken us to the Toyota factory. We weren’t planning to buy one of those cars.

There was another left turn, but a gaping hole flanked by bumpy two-wheeler unfriendly paths (and deadly for cars) welcomed us. Then someone asked us to take a “Power Lane” that was close to that. We took it, hoping to find Market Road soon.

Two large cows silently said “Welcome to Ambattur” by blocking our car. They were pretty cute though, and I pulled out my camera phone to capture them, but my Dad asked me to resist the urge, and honked the horn. They gave way and we went ahead, only to discover a unique path / subway / whatever it was – which was just enough for one car the size of ours. Two guys who were walking down it flattened themselves against the wall.

We asked more people for directions and finally found Market Road, which was near the Old Terminus. Finally there were some signs of city life. I spotted Sri Srinivasa, who had daringly advertised their sweets on a black background, in Metroplus. This place had big signboards announcing “Cakes”, “Softy Ice Creams” and other varieties, but I wasn’t sure I’d go for them.

We passed some textile, jewellery and electronics shops – it was fun to observe signs of life after exploring the middle of nowhere. After that it was easy to locate the wedding hall. We found that we were one of the early guests. So I was able to talk more to my friend and introduce myself to his wife properly, meet his relatives, to whom I was a familiar name. People were staring at me, a Mami smiled at me sweetly – the tall young girl in the silk sari, the only tall girl in fact, so I enjoyed the bit of attention I got. I hogged food, gave my byes and wishes to my dear friend and his wife & left.

The route home was decent – via Porur, Koyambedu, Vadapalani and Guindy. In fact, the traffic was lesser than usual, overall, because it was a Sunday evening. And the trip was quite exciting – imagine going for a reception and getting the road trip you had always yearned for, with beautiful country music and Western classical playing in the background! I am the kind of person who enjoys this stuff (also because I am not driving). I like crazy situations where I don’t know where exactly the car is going (like in an earlier trip to Royal Enfield in Tiruvottiyur, on a rainy and messy day). I long for more of these, but I guess their beauty lies in the fact that they are rare.

Thank you, dear friend N, for having your reception so far away, inviting me, making me enjoy the adventure and write this post J


Natarajamani said...

It was really nice to read something like this about a place where I am living since the day I came to this world!

Its actually one of the rare places where you see different set of atmosphere and different set of lifestyles, people, etc. whatever you want you have it to live peacefully! Except the fact that its a little far from the city but having superb connectivity!

Lewis said...

Thanks for your excellent guide man

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