Recently saw the movie ‘Madurai to Theni vazhi Andipatti’. This post is not a movie review or anything of its kind. But watching it made me realise that in the recent times, quite a few movies have got released with all-new faces. Although we have seen such ‘all fresh face’ movies in the past, it has become a trend in the recent couple of years. Perhaps, this started with ‘Subramaniyapuram’ and movie makers got emboldened to make story as their hero. It is a good trend indeed, as otherwise we may not have seen the likes of ‘Chennai – 28’, ‘Saroja’, ‘Anjaadhey’, ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’ etc.
Coming back to ‘Madurai to Theni’, there is nothing great about the movie as such. It is all about the slang. Having never lived in that part of the world, I don’t know how local it is for the locals, but consistency of the dialogue delivery / slang has been maintained through out the movie. Those who have lived in mofussil towns of Tamilnadu will be able to relate to the concept of a bus being one of the central characters in their life atleast for a certain point of time.
Having lived in Srirangam (Trichy) for few years in early to mid 90s, I can vividly recall the emotional attachment people had towards their (favourite) buses. Trichy is one of the towns where private town buses run aplenty along with state owned public transport. As Srirangam was / is only a residential area, most of the residents will have to travel up to Chatram Bus Stand / Main Guard Gate area for work or studies. Also, ss Srirangam is a famous temple town often flocked by tourists, Trichy to Srirangam is one of the most busiest and money minting routes in the region. Thanks to this fact, residents of Srirangam never need to wait for more than two or three minutes at a bus stop.
Most of the private buses used to ply dangerously fast. With two conductors for every bus, they will never stop on the way for issuing tickets (colloquially known as ‘stage’). Moreover, they will have good audio systems that will play the latest tunes (this was well before the re-birth of FMs). While the above easily made the private buses a favourite of most of the poeple, some took it to the next level. Most of the college students will have a good rapport with the conductors and several of us used to exchange our audio cassettes with the conductors. As the private buses compete with one another, this will mean that some of the passengers will have a sort of loyalty towards their favourite buses. Well, this doesn’t get applied very seriously – but if one knows that their favourite bus will be approaching in the next 10 minutes, then they will prefer to wait.
Our favourite buses at that time were PMP, SR (Nagara Puyal ;-), PL.A etc. There is another one from yesteryears called TST (Trichy Srirangam Transport), infamously called ‘Thallu Saar Thallu’, as they were once very infamous for their break downs. Not sure how many of the private buses are still plying, but if all the silly little things could be recalled to a great detail after 13 years, it does means something. Strange that what started as a post on movie ended up as a nostalgic note.