Amble Ramble !

The Lotus Tank. Built before the BJP days.
The Madurai holiday mornings took me on walks. Our home is close to the Race Course Stadium and taking a walk alongside many other ‘walkers’, just as the crimson earth was getting ready to welcome the first rays of the sun, has been a standard feature of all my visits home.

In ways more than one, it has been the easiest way to dip back into the past and look ahead into the future ! For it was in these roads, that i have reflected, tossed ideas, listened to the unseen bird and sang the unheard song. For many years now. And as i walked the familiar road again, the newly layered tar seemed to disappear. Within me.

At 6.00 AM in the morning you have polka dotted lungis compete with adidas shorts, all in the name of the gentlemen who are health conscious. The ladies in the sarees with a coat of turmeric on their faces & bindis on the foreheads, with bright yellow sarees wrapping them seem to have their jogging shoes stand out. But there they are, walking and talking with fervour.

Loud conversations abound. Different groups seem to be discussing different subjects. With careless abandon and with a certain loudness that seems to be competing with a broken microphone ! The loudness sometimes don’t lend themselves well to the subject discussed! The chief minister’s second wife’s preferences is one such subject that catches my ear ! I rest my discussion on loudness there there.

Within minutes two policemen atop horses pass by. They look at my camera and sit straighter. The horses don’t seem to care. The cavalry unit has been around from the time i was at school. I wonder why this catches my eye.

In a quick minute i realise that in all the cities that i have travelled & lived in, i haven’t seen a mounted policeman. A mounted policeman, on a horse that is !

I walk past apartments & new homes, where majestic bungalows once stood. Incidents & scenes from a life and time that appears different and distant ,flood back. The mild rebukes. The hard falls. The simple wins. Obnoxious friends. Great times. Changing seasons. Exam times. Post exam times. Decision times. Harboured hopes. The big let downs. All come knocking, and don’t wait for me to open the door !

In a short while i reach the Race Course stadium. The hard courts for tennis is a new addition. I stand and stare. I remember cycling all the way to the Union Club to swing the racket. Trying hard to get the Boris Becker serve and the Matts Wilander backhand. I enquire and find that ‘one hour of play time every day’ costs Rs. 1,000/- per month. I recall that ‘Unlimited play time’ used to cost us Rs. 175 /-. Inflation has indeed arrived.

The stadium indeed has evolved. Girls learn, hold your breathe, fencing ! I rub my eyes in disbelief ! Fencing @ Madurai!! The only fencing that the city new about in the olden time used to be the ones between homes !

Just outside, the ‘soup sellers’ have mushroomed ! For four rupees you get a plastic cup full of mushroom and such other juices from various grass & other natural elements which don’t fit into the realm of my translation capabilities !

So there ends my ramble on my morning walk. Ramble on amble ! That seems to be a good title!

8 thoughts on “Amble Ramble !

  1. Priya says:

    Lotus tank is cute tho’.

  2. dinu says:

    glad to know that you are enjoying it there .. 🙂

    I have never been to TN , except an Ooty trip

  3. shande says:

    A good read 🙂 .. your one liner regarding fencing is awesome !

  4. Kavi says:

    Priya : The lotus tank is a landmark in that area !

    Dinu : Its my home town dinu. And am now back in Mumbai !

    Shande : Thank you ! And thanks for featuring me on your blog. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Abhinav Bindra gives me a podium finish ! Doesnt it !?!?

  5. Jeevan says:

    Its a great coverage in the least morning walk, Nice pictures!

  6. Sanjeev says:

    I was calling my mom while browsing through your blog, and when i saw lotus tank, I screamed, ‘Ma THAMARAI THOTTI (Lotus Tank)!!!!, Kavi has put ‘our’ Thamarai Thotti on his blog!!!!!!!! WOW! Well, I dont know,it was like seeing your friend on the front page of a national newspaper. Having been Kavi’s neighbour in Madurai, that Lotus Tank, holds a special place in my mental landscape and tops my list of my favourite buildings. (BTW some Tamil purists call it ‘Thamarai Thadakam’). Anyway, I am thrilled that the Lotus Tank has received its long overdue recognition. Beautiful and Mysterious!

  7. Kavi says:

    Jeevan : Thank you !

    Sanjeev : LOl ! yes. That was a landmark ( perhaps i should call it watermark ) that one cant miss.

    On the ground and in the mind too.

    Thamarai Thadakkam hmm. I dint know that. One day, i dreamt that the BJP set up its national office within the precints of the tank. From that day on, i take a second look at the tank every time i pass by. Just to check !

  8. Shiva says:


    Very nostalgic to see the lotus tank and to read about the race course. Last month when I visited Madurai, I went to the race course to meet my friend who has a become a tennic coach there. Hey, looks like American College is in IDC!

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