Mall contents from Madras

I notice that a lot of blogs have a post category called rant that is used as a proverbial bucket to catch all the overflowing and dripping sarcasm in those posts from metaphorically wetting the author’s pc/mac/linux/others keyboard. Further investigation reveals that music, movies, restaurants and politics seem like the most likely targets of these rants.

But I find it difficult to rant because sustaining a continuous tone of derision gives me headaches. And I don’t like headaches because liking them would be a rather odd thing to do.

Writing a story, on the other hand, is easier, and requires a lot less adherence to the tyranny of “the point”. Stories do not have to have ( can I add one more “to have” and get away with it? In a story, yes.) “a point”. To cut a long story short, no wait a minute, I haven’t even started yet.

Long long ago, once upon a time in a land far far away, there lived some people who have nothing to do with our story. So we shall ignore them and focus instead on 3 people in Besant Nagar. These 3 (who shall hereinafter be referred to as KA, VS and KR), having consumed unhealthy doses of pirated DVDs, desired strongly to take the health trip of watching a movie on the big screen.

Some geography and global crude oil price considerations later, the three set out to the centre of the city. They found nothing there. It turned out that the literal geographical centre of the city and the “Chennai Citi centre” were completely different things. Thus peeved at this appalling lack of logic, the three braved unholy traffic through single lane roads accommodating 4 lanes of traffic to reach the striking white/cream building one sees in the picture above.

The first thing that struck them was the architecture. Neo-classical post-modern Mylaporean Greek. The second thing that struck them was the devious labyrinthine mechanism called “Mall parking”. Several uniformed men with radio receivers worked in perfect co-ordination to deprive cars of parking space in the basement. Not ones to be deterred, the 3 soon discovered an hitherto undiscovered secret – Free Valet parking.

The mall was vibrant. Joyous. Shimmering. And fourletterwording crowded. The thoughtful mall owners had also invited the ghost of MC Escher to design their escalators.


note: No. I did not draw that. Some smart guy at MIT did. Here

The escalators at the CCC were designed to challenge any mind that failed a class in advanced non-euclidean geometry at MIT. Needless to say, KA, VS and KR had trouble even figuring out which went up and which went down. But soon enough, they reached INOX and hastily enquired if they could watch a movie. They man behind the counter said – No. You have to pay first. Oh Ok. KA forked over the money and then the man said – No. We are mostly sold out. But you can watch a South Korean movie (The Host) dubbed in English if you are interested. KR, being a complete cinema fanatic, refused the offer. It is his considered opinion that Hollywood constantly conducts the cinematic dubbing equivalent of Dr Mengele’s experiments on live humans, on non-English movies. He prefers the originals with subtitles.

So the group headed to the third floor, to the Food Court. A massively complex game of musical chairs was in progress. They managed to steal 3 chairs and a table and proceed to order food (in turns, so that one person can hold the fort). It turns out that somebody forgot to mention to the mall owners that water is a free resource that every human has the right to. So the group had to give up water, fork over 15 rupees and drink a strange liquid called Aquafina instead.

They drove back to Besant Nagar and watched Chini Kum on DVD.

Moral of the Story: The group vowed to never again visit any mall that

1. Provides no free drinking water

2. Has a parking space to crowd ratio of 1:1000

3. is named “Chennai Citi Centre”