Life is back to ‘old’ normal in the heart of Mylapore: noontime notes

It is close to noon time and we are on Kutchery Road, travelling from the San Thome side. At the junction of Bazaar Road, human and motor activity trebles.

There are some one dozen people outside Dubba Chetty Kadai, popular for Indian medicines and further down, near the Jumma Masjid a bhai is preparing to pack biryani from the large aluminum container.

Traffic is chaotic as it always is on this narrow road. We turn into Mathala Narayanan Street; a big crowd is on the steps of the popular snacks store of Karpagambal. This causes a traffic jam. All little stores and offices on this narrow street are open; bikes line both sides of the street.

You open into the mada street junction and it is Mylapore life as usual; cycles, scooters, three-wheelers, autos and push carts. Cars are packed into the parking lots of North Mada Street and all the shops here are open for business.

On East Mada Street, only Bharatiya Vidya Bahvan, the cultural hub that is abuzz all of 365 days remains shut down.

Hawkers around Kalathi store, that legendary space for chilled rose milk and paneer soda is crowded out by vegetable hawkers; shoppers bags are large, weighed down by potatoes, tomatoes and onions besides ripe, yellow mangoes.

The idli and dosa maavu shop on the opposite side has its clients as do veggie hawkers around Gandhi statue off the Chitrakulam. Cothas Coffee is crowded too – for its Rs.12 cup of hot coffee. And down South Mada Street, the vegetable and fruit hawkers have certainly enlarged their stocks and expanded on to the road, creating traffic jams when a large truck of Aavin halts for a local supply.

There are umpteen large, bright umbrellas that protect each hawker from the blazing sun. And well past noon, shopping is still on here.

Certainly, the heart of Mylapore is back to what it is. Many wear masks, some let them hang on their chins and men and women are not scampering away to keep off their neighbours on the streets.

(( )) SHARE your experience if you have spent recent time on the mada streets.

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