Imagine a period in time where trains from Chennai to
cost only Rs. 8/- , theatres sold tickets for 75 paisa (and that was the costlier one) and a month’s catering of food for two people cost only Rs 8/-. It wasn’t too long ago either. Just sixty years ago, there were no cycle rickshaws or even kai-rickshaws (pulled by humans) Madurai
and a tram-route across T. Nagar and the High Court area.
This was a time when
, the most crowded part of town today, was deserted by 8.00 o’ clock in the night, with just one light in Panagal Park Ranganthan Street that shone because trains ran through that region. My grandfather used to travel from the to Chennai Egmore station on a maatu-vandi (bullock-cart) so as to go back home. For him, a whole month’s salary meant Rs 50/-. Presidency College
Sometimes, my grandfather asks me how much something I buy costs. And usually, he is flabbergasted by the soaring rates placed in front of him. I never used to understand why. Today, when he was recollecting ‘those’ days’ memories (translated as ‘anda naal nyabagangal’), I was wondering what all changes he must have encountered in this fast paced world.
From a point in time where there were no lights and fans, he is now in an age with inverters, A/Cs and cell phones. He has travelled from a time where seven kilos of rice used to cost one rupee. Though I can wonder at the past, it is difficult to put myself in his place. I do not know what I would do without half the gadgets we have today.So, today, I took a trip down my grandfather’s memory lane, and was fascinated by what I discovered- a whole new world that isn’t yet dead in the memories of our world.