A Trip To Ranganathan Street


For those of you who are not from Chennai, Ranganathan street is THE shopping place in T nagar. The shops here sell anything from remote control covers to 99.99% Gold(.01% real) . Frequented by the lower -middle class as the the prices here are very competitive and even a steal compared to the upmarket shops in other places of Chennai. Its just a common observation don’t go politically correct on me.

I went there today cause I had to get 3 things:

  1. A rain coat as it rains cats(i hate this animal) and dogs in Pune.
  2. Get my Mgmt Book as I felt guilt not reading and this has solid 200 pgs of theory which makes me feel like Im really doing something to justify the E-course from SCMHRD.
  3. Get my belt repaired

As Im a smart shopper, I called up Witco and conformed that a Rain Coat was there in Stock. [This is very imp as I landed up in a shop last time where I saw the last piece being taken away by some guy and I had to return home empty handed .] .

I had to take the bus for just a stop. Now I needed to know if a Bus would go to the T nagar Terminus as that was my stop which had to go through Panagal Park. But I was not sure of which Bus No would get directly to the terminus . So, the unavoidable public confrontation began. I looked for a seasoned bus traveller(guys only if i ask any ladies/girls there they will think Im trying to hit on them -.- ) . How do you find such a person? Chief Characteristics Include:

  1. Will not look in the dir of the bus coming, lazily sitting and scoping out the scene.
  2. Will stand about 3 meters away from the stop as he knows exactly that that’s where the bus will stop.

But I could find only one guy with attribute no 1, so I had no choice but to ask him. There was a bus approching me, 27A Reg no and I had a faint idea if this was it. But I was not sure and needed conformation. I remembered my Mothers words “Open you mouth and ask to get ahead in life” I went to him and in the local tamil I could muster up-

Me -“Saar, inntha bus Terminal ke pohumma” ? (Will this bus go to the terminal?)
Looks at me as If idisturbed his dream of winning the TN elections – ” Eh ?Illa pove pohadu!’, ‘(Eh, No..no way!)’

Now I knew there was something phony about the way he said it. As the bus pulled over, I was tempted to ask the bus conducter for conformation. Now this is extremely embarrasing. You have to ask him a so called ‘silly’ question in less than the 10 seconds the bus stops at the stop and everyone stares at your from the bus . Another added problem is if that guy I asked 1st heard me asking the conducter he would get wild and say “Enna pa, naa sonna nambammatiya” (enna pa, If I say, wont you beleive me?). The latter was the worst case scenario, so i trusted him and boarded the bus, hoping it would atleast go to PPark which is via the Terminus(u with me so far?)

As I board the bus, I need to pay 2 Rs to get a ticket. Picture this. The ride will be just for about a minute. The Conducter is all bizze with his collection he refuses to take the 2 rs from me. Its like he does not want to give me a ticket! I have heard horror stories where Ticket Chking officers are in mufti waiting there to catch fellows who literally, take a ride. I see the destination coming and I start to imagine how they are gonna bust me and arrest me for ticketless travelling. Finally as the bus screeches to a halt at the destination, he gives me a ticket. I wanted to kill that guy. And then to add insult to injury, I watch the very same bus to to the Terminus, my ultimate destinartion. So that guy did sucker punch me. I see that this is the 1298938213th time that this has happened to me.

As I walk along Ranganathan street, I see a flood of people around me. So many that you have to walk in a single file. As I was trying to breathe and reach Witco, this ten year old kid with a JUMBO pack of moth balls (About 100 of them) asks me to buy it. Now I take personal offence to this. Do I look like I have come from a house where I wine and dine with cockoraches and other 8 legged insects? He did not offer it to the guy ahead of me, only me. I guess he must have got an SMS from the Bus guy telling him “Orru vella dhadian onneoda route le varuvan, nee ethuvenam avanikku vikkalan, erruiju poona illiange moodi kooda” – [‘A fat white sucka will be headed you way, he is so dumb you can sell him burnt animal hair and he will still buy it’].

Fianlly , I make it to Witco which has A/conditiong thank God, and is clean. I buy my Rain Coat and as I leave I check out the ‘wind cheaters’ there. Can one cheat wind? Only break it right? Anyway I see that they looks awesome with soft cotton padding inside and a fake Nike Logo. Wicked. The price? 700 rs. And to think I spent 800 on a goddamn Oswald-Wool Mark sweater which looks so uncool. I curse myself for the 100 rs loss and the uncoolness factor loss. Double Damage.

Mission 1 complete.

As I trudge back to get to mission 2, I see a famous saree shop -Pothys. I sneakily stand in front of the shop prentending to be stuck there but I savour the cool a/c blast from inside. I see the sad plight of 10 or so married men who have to wait outside in the swealtering heat while the Mrs is busy squandaring his months salary on the latest sarees . I grin at his foolishness and continue my odyssy…

Part II follows..

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