12 August 2007

Before and After

This is the local grocery store I would visit a couple of times a week to purchase rice and fresh vegetables. I would generally also have a nice chat with the family comprising: husband, wife, son and daughter who owned the shop and lived in a small attached house. The brown door on the right is the entrance to their home.

And peeping out of the door is the wife and mother of the family.

In the below photograph I've gone inside the door and am standing in a corridor which is also sort of their living room. Many a time I've sat in a chair next to the TV having a very nice cup of tea while chatting with this charming family. I've travelled a bit in my time and I believe that nobody does courtesy and graciousness as well as a traditional Indian family.

In the next photograph is the son (who is studying Computers at a local college) and the daughter (who is doing a College correspondence course). Both the kids help out at the store and are as sweet and courteous as their parents.

And here is the lovely daughter in the midst of her small garden at the back of the house. The flowers are called kannakambaram, which are sometimes known as 'paper flowers' because they feel like paper, have no scent and last a long time after picking, so are very favoured by ladies as hair garlands.

The next photograph is of the Dad of the family, also standing in the flower garden.

And in the below photograph, is Dad wearing white and standing at the right looking forlornly at the destruction of their home and life. They lived at this same place for 30 years. Unfortunately the land is owned by the Government which has decided to widen the Chengham Road running infront of their home. As well as a Tiruvannamalai arterial road, Chengham road is also part of the Girivalam roadway.

I find it very difficult to understand why anyone should want to widen Chengham Road which is notorious, dangerous and the site of constant road accidents which often prove fatal. From my observation the only value of widening the road will be that trucks will be able to overtake buses at 50 mph instead of at only 30 mph. With of course hand on horn throughout the maneouvre!

Their home, their house and at the back their little garden.

As well as their home, several other shops and small restaurants also got demolished in this road widening at this particular location, and the only thing left to show for 30 years plus . . . is lots of rubble.

I have heard that the road widening process might even require 15 feet of the Ramana Ashram parking lot. I certainly hope thats not true because if so, it will mean many, beautiful, mature trees will be chopped down - so a truck will be able to overtake a bus at 50 mph instead of 30 mph! Watch out pedestrians we are going to have a race circuit in town!


divyakka said...

That is so sad! I often feel modernization is just ruining things. Will there be any more small, undisturbed charming villages left if I return to India to live?

Arunachala Living said...

The thing is the population of India is growing so quickly. When you go out - you notice all the people are kids.

Arunachala Living said...
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