Lapa Sao Paulo  Brazil is not a new name coined to attract the connoisseurs of cooking and sports as they are neither a food nor a game.

It is the name of a place on the Globe. The first nine trains came from here and landed in Chennai Port. The covered beauty was lying safe for a very long time for a common man to get a glimpse.


On a D day, in peacock blue attire she was made to run on her wheels with much fanfare. For me she was looking like blue whale gliding and diving through the specially built thoroughfare.  Just like first day in everyone’s life will be happy day, many thronged on the platform and had a ride, most of them paying through their nose. For children it was fun time. Citizens of Chennai thought that this will ease out their worries of bus travel and the traffic bottlenecks.


Now this beauty is worrying the commuters with her heavy ticket fares. To touch her itself will cost a fortune, it seems. Only for a few celebrities she acknowledged her beauty and her time concept. As a frame to frame camera movement the media also benefited in their sales of newsletters. Only the millionaires can afford to accompany her in her bridal costumes as page boys or bride maids when she walks on the aisle.  My ‘around the world in eight dollars’ will remain a dream only. When I look at her again and again a doubt persists in my mind whether I am seeing the same sliding monorail with wheels fitted after a dress change.


As it is rather unapproachable for a common man like me, I would like to call her as a friendly dragon, as her track is of a gliding design. She will go underground  at one place and again surface at another place giving a sensational roller coaster effect at a designed speed of 80 Km/Hr, if at all she is prepared to go.

Rolling at a maximum height of 25m above the road level and diving to a depth underground of 17m is really a feast for the eyes. If it runs to a full stretch of 45Km as planned (with further extensions to far away nook and corners), the person who sits alone in it will definitely be performing YOGA which tantamount to conducting a penance.  

I had an opportunity to travel in Calcutta Metro throughout its length and breadth.


Now the news is that “it has lost its novelty and the patronage dips” not feasible to run to make a good profit due to lack of commuters. Majority of platforms and the escalators and toilets and lighting systems are not complete yet. The tracks are also not laid fully. Miles to go before I could wake up.

Then why this hurry to eat it before it is baked? We want progress in all fields, of course no doubt about it. But we can wait. This “Abhimanyu effect” will create all problems.


If the designers  had thought of attaching a cycle way and a pedestrian path with proper barricades which will not fall by a mere touch, on this stretch,we could have had a good ‘Car free and smoke free days’ on a permanent basis, cycle being a common man’s forte and the city will have healthy citizens.

Think of this velodrome as a forerunner of Olympics, or we can even conduct cycling races with one person at a time. Give a gap of one hour between the contesters and note their time.

The pedestrians are at least sure to get an accident free passage what is missing in the ground level. We have to see through the magnifying glass to locate a good walk way. A new experience ’the tunnel walk’ will become the talk of the town. Already China has gone a step forward. They have the ‘Glass walk way’ hanging bridge or suspension bridge across a valley. Look down and the blood will clot!

The best way to even out the loss and make it a profitable outcome, we can think a combination of the following:

We have a great mantra Outsourcing. Make use of that.

Make it a ‘Running Mall’ on a private foreign partnership. An International level Super Market

Run as a ‘Five Star luxury Hotel”   Name it as ‘Moving plates’

Run as a ‘Luxury Wedding Hall’   name it as ‘Wings of Bride’

Run as a ‘Medical college on wheels’   name it as ‘Life on wheels’

Run as an IT Centre on wheels!  Name it as ‘Rolling Computer’

Is there any scope for a mini theatre on wheels? Name it as ‘Reels on wheels’

Two coaches for the above and the other two for commuters will attract the masses.

The above avenues of enterprnership are really money spinners. I am sure with these change overs, we can enter into the Guinness Record. To attract the tourists, especially foreigners, draw pictures of the heritage sites of Chennai first, that in Tamil Nadu to follow and then that of India. It will make it again incredible India. Have a tourist guide to explain all that what they are. An ad with a caption “Travel on wheels and see India”. The less fortunate Indian villagers who have not travelled much will get a chance to know India. Why I am saying this is only because I used to see them coming every year on the Pongal day from far away villages to Chennai in their favorite and comfortable bullock carts to see the Marina beach. Do it fast, the valentine day is coming and beware of hearts, arrows and love songs and autographs etched on them.


“Hum HOngE  Kaamyaab  Ek din”


By sundareswaran date:  12th Oct 2015


Source: Times of India Chennai dated 12th Oct.


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