When I was a schoolboy and was given my own room, I established the Republic of Rumia with myself as sole inhabitant and Supreme Dictator General For Life. Rumia was where my imagination was fertilised, where my toy animals became a reserve forest, where my cars had a highway built for them, and where I was king, rebel, police, pirate...anything I wanted to be. Rumia disappeared when we moved away to a smaller house. It is for me the natural name for my blog.
First things, first: it hurts. As a Mumbaikar on the crowded (that's an understatement) Versova-Ghatkopar metro line, used to near asphyxiating crushes, the emptiness of the swanky new trains in the Chennai metro hurt the eyes. Also hurting was the idea that the metro connects the main two stations (Central and Egmore) and the Airport in one straight line, not like ours, which connects hell-on-earth (Andheri East) with the capital of emotionless, motionless suburban life (Ghatkopar), and is still asphyxiatingly crowded. Also hurting was the fact it connects to the suburban lines (which also hurt because they too, are uncrowded) seamlessly. Anyone who's tried to dash from Andheri Metro station to Andheri Suburban station will know what it takes to avoid the crowds of millers around who occupy the bridges with the passion of the #OccupyOakland movement.
Then look at the map. Two interconnecting lines laid out neatly. In Tamil and English. Tamil ,machan, Tamil!
And then look at the underground stations. All swank and no kachra (alright, alright, I know Mumbai's underground is still being built. But dammit, it was sanctioned first.)
And not too many people either. Aiyo, vayir eriyudhe!
But Chennai, make me a promise. Tell me you'll keep it clean.