Attending Holy Mass on Sundays at different churches is an experience. Many Catholics do so nowadays.
The concept of parish community broke down some time ago - of people in an area attending services at the designated church in the parish zone.
The change happened for various reasons. Some for convenience, others out of an attachment to a place or the nature of services. And some others to undertake a pilgrimage or keep a vow.
Last Sunday, I made a pit stop at a church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in Muttukkadu, metres before the boating yard on the ECR.
A small congregation was at the Mass in Thamizh and through the hour-long service the power went off and on and off and on. Priests use the Sunday service platform to also talk to the community and this Sunday, before the final blessing the young priest here told his flock how families could go about calling him over when they required him and how he could be of help to them.
It was past 9.30 and I was hungry. Yards away we located a new joint - Kumbakonam Degree Coffee.
The Degree Coffee outlets have popped up on all our highways, seemingly in a hurry to beat the Café Coffee Days at its own game. This one opposite the Kanathur Police Station even had its logo registered.
There was a Dosa Hut next door. As we feasted on onion uthappam, the spectacle on the ECR changed before us.
Waves of bikers and cyclists swept down the road. All of them in heavy gear, enjoying their Sunday drive. They drove in groups, some very determined and mostly cautious, respecting the rules of the road.
ECR is not the best highway for these outdoor enthusiasts. With mounting accidents, the local police have installed dividers every 50 metres and no biker would like those hurdles as he revs up on a scenic highway.
The community of bikers and cyclists is growing in this city. Even the Harley Davidson tribe is big. Thanks to social media the communities form fast and grow well.
Some do the Madras-Pondy lap once a month. Some prefer a run to Mahabs and back.
All of them though make good use of the ECR. And some have found the Degree Coffee joints welcome pit-stops.