The straight line across the sea

The dull day with an overcast sky coupled with a sprinkle of rain didn’t deter this railway man from walking across the sea. The camera lens stayed trained on him, he walked. And walked. On the original Pamban bridge.

Oblivious to the camera’s zoom lens and and curious tourists who stood on the new road bridge that has come about in much recent times.

In the modern day world where ‘middle class’ apartments zoom into the clouds and stretch home loans all the way to the moon, architectural wizardy is commoner than common cold and everything appears ‘doable’ !

Well, take a look at this bridge.

In the light of all the fancy publicity that modern day bridges and buildings attract with fancier opening ceremonies that court controversy in some form or the other, this would look to have been built by folks that specialised in giving functional elements the ‘stodgy humdrum’ treatment ! Much Like the index pages of a history book. Rarely read. But greatly valued by those that read.

Here are some facts that are worth considering !

This bridge will complete a 100 years of holding up trains that whizz by ! A 100 years ! If only the bridge had a voice, oh what stories would it tell! Being privy to the many facets of British rule. Of the freedom struggle. Of simple life back then and the present day’s pervasive opulence ! That in itself is a striking thought pregnant with several reams of imagination !

Imagine the number of prayer laden people who have gone across the sea on this bridge !! Give a thought to the scores grief stricken relatives as they sat holding the urns containing the remains of a loved one ferried to be immersed in the sea !

Or perhaps think of the droves of the love struck honeymooners and seemingly listless tourists ambling along. From black & white to technicolour. From the horse carriage to heavy duty horse power inside hoods that sport Japanese, German, American, Korean..names ….

A 100 + years ago, folks from Gujarat were employed by the British to build this rail line across the sea ! It must have been a jaw dropping thought. To build a bridge across the sea, when the only transport was a boat ride that bobbed and weaved to the seas whim and fancy.

As though that wasn’t good enough, the bridge was supposed to open up to let those big ships pass through. Well not a big deal in modern times. But in the 1890s when work began, must it have not caused a sea of eyebrows to arch ?

Heres one more, like a maths professor who derives great satisfaction in complicating a simple problem : The place is supposed to be the worlds second most corrosive place after Miami !

Ladies and gentlemen, to rub it in, the bridge works! Till date !

The modern day world doesn’t speak much of those that built this (and such) bridge(s). No celebration is made of the the chutzpah they possessed to stand on this side of land and think it possible to draw a straight line across the sea to the that side of land, and leave it standing for more than a 100 years ! Much less is heard of their character which wove this all together without the tremor of a taint.

Perhaps it was a different time back then. Where it was fashionable to just stand up and let the work do all the talking. Exacting in expectations from oneself and superlatively uncompromising in its execution. Perhaps !

Of all the blessings and wishes that the tolerant old man up there keeps showering on us, perhaps of this quality, he can be more liberal, more can be asked !

The straight line across the sea that’s still standing, needs a cogent explanation you see !

11 thoughts on “The straight line across the sea

  1. Nachi says:

    ah! and this is why i love reading your posts mate.

    yes, i guess it was a different world back then. it was a different world 20 years ago, but everything is so different now. i just got back from a visit to the city of my childhood, and it was all so different…the streets, the language, the people.

    but there were some old bridges too; old friends who never changed – like the 100 year old bridge that crosses the sea.

    ps: Happy Birthday mate! 🙂

  2. aativas says:

    Wow! I never knew that… Sure, the bridge will have blog-posts to write about its experiences! May be people should be invited to write memories of the bridge .. that would be a tribute to service it has rendered to us!

  3. Kavi,
    Happy Birthday.

    The changes happening around us are sometimes too fast to comprehend in a short while. Such mighty projects are truly a wonder.

  4. Kavi,
    Happy Birthday.

    The changes happening around us are sometimes too fast to comprehend in a short while. Such mighty projects are truly a wonder.

  5. Happy Birthday Kavi!

    wishing you many more happy bridges.. ones that connect people to places as well as ones that connect people to other people.


    keep the cogent explanations coming..


  6. Swatantra says:

    Happy Birthday Kavi!!

    Wanted to call u but lost your no.. wish you a great day!!

  7. Swatantra says:

    Happy Birthday Kavi!!

    Wanted to call u but lost your no.. wish you a great day!!

  8. Jeevan says:

    Wow… the facts truly causes a sense of astonishment while at fancy! This is something more than why people overlook the bridge in awe. Great Post Kavi

    My Birthday wishes to you 🙂

  9. Insignia says:

    I have always been fascinated by this bridge; havent visited yet. The facts you shared makes it more special.

    It will always be “Pamban Paalam” for me

  10. PriPat says:

    Its ur Bday! Happy Birthday!! Hope u had fun!!

    Nice bridge 1

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