June 26, 2010

Renaming Chennai Streets

There is a move in Sastri Nagar, a neighbourhood in Adyar to rename the streets and roads.
Some busy bodies said that since the City Fathers have decided to consign most British names to the bin and rename streets after Thamizh scholars it is time a nagar does its bit.

I have been invited to put in my two-bits because some one said I indulge in history and heritage.
So they said as long as I refrain from suggesting Portuguese and Armenian names I could contribute.
But there is a lot of work on our hands. There are 15 Cross Streets and 10 lanes in this nagar. And one main road.

I agreed with the busy bodies that the Cross Streets are pretty dull as far as names for streets go.
When I first moved to this neighbourhood I thought the simple names made sense. It would be easy for guests and visitors to locate our places since there was a logical process in naming the streets.
But when a young man came looking for ‘Pepsi’ Uma’s residence and we made some enquiries, then we realised there were a few bends in the location of some streets.

15th Cross Street was not located after 13th and 14th but on the fringe of the nagar. The Corporation officials must have got it wrong somewhere when they plotted this place.

I find that most people do not use the name of the street. They know them by the name of the personalities who reside there. I used to refer to Vazhapadi Ramamurthy’s place when he used to live closeby till his death. My istriwallah kept referring to the Governor’s street as his alternate space! ‘Pepsi’ Uma, the TV anchor joined the name call more recently.

So here we are with the grand idea of dumping the Cross Streets and Straight Lanes of our nagar. Our busy bodies say we act fast to pre-empt the City Father from burdening us with names that are two metres long. And of people we never knew or have not seen.

Veteran Congressman P. Ramachandran used to be our neighbour so I wonder if our street may want to have his name. Maybe the City Fathers should leave it to the community to rename their streets.

Whatever our busybodies do, I would not want them to change Cart Track Street! This is a small patch that links two busy roads. It used to be the only path for carriages from this part of Adyar headed to the sandy swathes now called Besant Nagar. The past is important for the future.

Cart Track Street - it is there in the Corporation’s records!

1 comment:

asha said...

The hindu carried a report stating that sterling road and taylor road were also going to be renamed. It is going to be a real confusion to place ourselves on the right location.