February 16, 2013

In Chennai, where are the spaces for Couples?

In a city, where would couples meet and spend time together away from home?

Today, the well-to-do have their favourite hangouts. Perhaps on the East Coast Road. Or at Dublin. Or at one of the restaurants on and off the high fashion space of Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Nungambakkam.

Couples with reasonably thick wallets may end up at CCD - Café Coffee Day - or Barista.

What about the rest who live and love in this city?

The Marina Beach is everybody's favourite though you will need to think hard about venturing it after dark.

And with some nice, large parks developed by our City Fathers, these green nooks are also a destination.

When we were in college, a date would happen at the PTC bus stand. It was sufficiently busy to guarantee some form of security and generally faceless to let us say and do what we intended to do even if meant exchanging notes or just chatting.

Even the PTC uses were nice places to catch the other's attention. Rarely did we come across rowdy Bus Days that are the norm today.

For the collegians of Triplicane, Mount Road and Royapettah who studied at Loyola or Pachaiyappas, the bus stops on Mount Road provided the space to meet up. The bus on route 27E would transport the girls of QEM Arts, Ethiraj and WCC so you can imagine the flurry of activity that took place at the stops.

I was pleasantly surprised this past week when the City Police Commissioner asked his men in khaki not to poke their lathis into the waists of young men courting a partner either on the Marina or in city parks. " Leave them alone as long as they keep to limits," he said.

He must have taken a cue from his counter part in Mumbai who also told his men that they should not disturb couples who had some time for themselves on Marine Drive or Chowpathy Beach.

Not all citizens may approve the Top Cops's advice to his men in this city.

Off and on, seniors who go for walks at the hugely popular Nageswara Rao Park in Luz tell me that they feel unsettled when they notice couples cuddling and smooching on the benches behind overgrown shrubs.

In the past, young people who hang out at Bessie Beach ( Elliots Beach) have also told me how some cops tend to treat them like cheapos.

Chennai continues to live with its two faces. Is this a trait we would like to take into the future?

1 comment:

Navaneethan Santhanam said...

Hello Vincent,

It's great to hear that the Commissioner is telling the police to back off. High time we stopped harassing young people for doing things youth the world over have been doing for a long time, without many adverse consequences.

Do you have the news article where this came out? I'd love to see it