December 20, 2008

Moore Market and San Thome at Christmastime

Some places live with us. Among my few is Moore Market.
This December I want to go back in time.
For Moore Market got a life of its own at Christmastime.
Had it survived the fire that helped in its destruction it would have easily rivalled CitiCentre and Spencer Plaza and held its own.
There was so much to do at this market.
Pore over secondhand novels, try out smart frocks and Tees, sift through the decorations, marvel at the crib sets, take a look at the noisy parakeets and strike a deal with some antique pieces - Moore Market was a magical world at Christmastime.
Families from Narasinghapuram and Chintadripet, from Vepery and Perambur, from Arakkonam and George Towne had to check out this market at this time of the year.
I can't forget Thomas Rodrigo & Sons store which sold everything that a Christian family required. I particularly remember a smallmade man who had the gentlest of voices and slightest of frames who guided us through our shopping.
Then he was a mere salesman. Today, he appears to me like a gentle poet.
Rodrigo had a range of cribs and we bought one only at this store.
It also had a store in Broadway but I rarely stopped by there.
I think it still exists - perhaps living out the years.
Spencers of old was another hub. A hub to order the goodies - turkey and sauces and cheese and flour and all that which went to make a great Christmas lunch.
Old timers tell me that Spencers would bring in decorators to do up the entire place and in a prominent place, rotate cardboard numbers which set the countdown for Christmas - 8 more days to go! 7 more days to go . .
I wish San Thome got a life of its own.
Well after the rushhour traffic has died down on San Thome High Road, the stars that have been put up at St. Bede's school create a little magic off this road now.
I wish many others would follow St. Bede's and put out the stars all along this road, till the Foreshore Estate point. On rooftops, trees and balconies.
Some others could play carols on their music systems.
And some others decorate their trees with lights and buntings.
Some could keep their gates open and share kulkuls or a piece of cake with strangers who tarry to take in the ambience. . .
And young men with guitars and mouth organs could walk through Custian Beach and Rosary Lane, Dooming Street and Leith Castle, playing the songs of the season. . .
I wish San Thome got a life of its own at this time of the year.

1 comment:

Mysorean said...

Indians do not know how to preserve their heritage. Moore Market was a heritage. As some one who was born and brought up in Mysore, I first visited this market,when we as Engineering students were on a South India tour and stopped by at Madras for 3 days. It was a good place for second-hand books of all kinds. But the quaint place held so much attraction. Living in the West, I was unaware hither to that this market disappeared years ago. When it was razed by fire, one wonders whether it was an accident at all. So many even then in 1960s wanted this market to disappear. The plum site was eyed and measured by so many for planting concrete edifices. Not surprised at all.

India is on a road to self-destruction as the 1.2 billion humans in India and rising at an alarming rate claim earth resouces in ever increasing rate in that part of the earth. I bet the expanded central railway station became unfit for purpose within a few years of its expansion.

I once commented that the Chamundi Hill in Mysore would be sold to a realtor one day if the price is right, for developing hotels and kinds for fleecing tourists with dollars. As for Goddess Chamundeswari, she can be relocated elsewhere.

For me, San Thome Church, St Phelomena's Church in Mysore and
the Notre Dame in Paris fin a special place in my heart. I am not a Christian, but one need not be a Christian to undertand what they really represent.

But then India wants to reach Moon while there are enough issues in its patch of the earth to be resolved. I am an old-fashioned heritage junkie albeit an IT practitioner of over 35 years.