Chennai is one of the best and the happiest city in the world. Our city has grown up well and many skyscrapers are on construction. The Metro Train is an add up for the development of Chennai. But it has lost its beauty due to pollution and by demolishing iconic buildings. The beauty which I saw 15 years ago cannot match with today’s chennai. Fifteen years ago, we had Dasaprakash hall, Rajaratnam Stadium, Kalavanar Arangam, Melody Theatre, Star Theatre and many more. But today, these beautiful buildings have been demolished to construct new apartments luxurious villas.
It was the time when wall painted advertisements decreased due to the popularity of digital banners. The banners were also an identity of our city. This is because, those days, banners were lifted only for advertising and not for private or political use. The information in the banners are logical and thought provoking. The graphics used in those banners are less. But still, it kindles my heart.
Many TV channels were established in this year and people started to watch channels other than DD National. Sun TV was the one and only tamil channel which was familiar all over India for its famous Tele Dramas and Game shows. It was the first tamil channel to introduce dance shows and singing shows. Thillana Thillana, Paatukku Paatu, Comedy time, Swapthaswarangal were a few famous shows which acclaimed a lot of viewers.
It was the time when there was a heavy competition between Cellular ( Mobile) Phones and Pagers. Those who can’t afford a cell phone, bought a pager. But unfortunately, it was the same year where cheap cell phones were introduced and it gave a big blow to Pager sales. Immediately Motorola (The famous Pager manufacturing company at that time) stopped its sales and started to manufacture cell phones to boost their profit.
The number of movies released was more than the previous years and most of the films released in this period were famous. The songs in these movies are an all time favourite for everyone till now. Many actors were introduced in this year. The songs gained a good response from the people and many cassette shops were opened.
At that time, tape recorders and walkman are the only source to listen music. That’s why, there were cassette shops everywhere you go. The introduction of DVD’s and VCD’s attracted people, but they were costly compared to cassettes. But cassettes were the ones which ruled everyone.
The establishment of Internet cafés, made people to chat with friends and to browse the internet. All the computer students that time, had a floppy disk, which is considered to be a pride owning it. The number of Personal computers bought in this year was high compared to the 1990’s.
This was also the year where people started to wear western outfits other than Indian outfits. It was also the golden age for students, where most of the schools and colleges started to establish Computer labs and Computer science became a famous subject for everyone.
Eventhough, we had cell phones, the local STD/PCO booths were the main source to call a person as the cell phone tariff was high at that time. You must have seen at least 1 or 2 booths in every street.
Cellular networks like RPG, Hutch and Skycell were established and gained more popularity. People showed interest to buy these sim cards and Hutch succeeded the other two competitors by introducing value added packs and other sms plans.
The MTC buses changed their name from Pallavan Transport to Managaratchi Perundhu (Corporation Bus). All these buses became big and were uniformly green in colour. It was a boon for car sales and many people became rich in this year.
In this millennium year, there were a lot of happiness and good things that happened were no match to this problem. That is, the heavy water scarcity in our city. The Metro water carried water in tanks and people use to carry water by plastic/eversilver vessels. I still remember, a guy from neighbourhood, will give us a signal that the water tank has come and we will be ready carring those vessels. Sometimes, there will be a fight between the water supplier and the water consumer for pouring less water.
This was a serious issue at that time. People struggled a lot without having water for bathing and cleaning their loo. Then the government introduced Rain water harvesting system and that made to increase more ground water and establishing this system was made compulsory for all the buildings. The CMDA won’t approve your building, unless you have a Rainwater Harvesting system.
This was the year were the Chennaites felt both happy and sad. But in my opinion, this was the best time for Chennai and me. It was the time, my parents take me to different places and my dad used to take me to a round in the night. I miss those days a lot.
We were happy with what we had. It may be a walkman or a cd player or a camera (with film rolls), we did not expect anything more other than these gadgets. As the years passed by, many buildings were demolished to construct new residential apartments and shopping malls. The places where I enjoyed a lot are no more today. The Metro Train project commenced on 2010 and many trees were cut down to lay the tracks. Some buildings were also demolished to build new metro station.
Today, we have everything we need or more than what we need, but still we want more and more. This possession is caused due to the modern gadgets that are newly released everyday. Today, our city may have more cinema theatres, shopping malls, fly-overs, residential apartments and villas, but still, I miss those beautiful days. I wish I could travel in a Time Machine to catch a glimpse of my past.