Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar Junction - Cost of Change

One remembers the sleepy Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar junction from thirty years ago. The road leading out of Ameerpet to BHEL, Ramachandrapuram, which was a distant village and a separate township, was a single road. The traffic signals came much later. In those days the colonies on either side, Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar on one side and Vengala Rao Nagar on the other offered a nice, quiet, peaceful, middle class life. MIGH houses or LIGH houses as they were called (middle income group and lower income group for the uninitiated) dotted the road on either side in a well-organised manner, depicting life at its most peaceful, most content.

SR Nagar Junction - The Cost of Change
The roads were almost deserted. I remember the Colony's Best Library chap, a curly haired gentleman with a young wife and small children, who had a tin stall on the road, something like a pan shop in those days (in the picture, somewhere close to where the mobile tow truck of the police is parked). Now this gentleman is owed much because he made accessible to us, many wonderful books - from Famous Fives, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drews to great comics. I cannot imagine where he got so many titles from, why he had such interest in books but he was a boon to me. I'd cycle from home, pick up books and curl up an dread.

Further up on the street one can see the old mosque like structure. It was a beautiful structure and still is - only it is now almost hidden by these monstrous structures all around it. Beside that mosque was the butcher with his pictures - of him and his brother in their younger days and some film stars. Beside the butcher was this chap who made cotton mattresses - he is still there - and old man and his family. Beside that was the small Jagan Book Store who would have some rare stationery items and who also had the odd cork ball for cricket matches.

The SR Nagar bus stop was a pretty sight at school times with many pretty girls gathering at the right hand corner. The boys would gather somewhere close by and do all the stupid things they normally tend to do when they want to attract female attention. It grew into a crowded bus stop.

In some years, the Colony Best library moved from the main road into the SR Nagar colony, the bus stop became bigger and most importantly, Almas cafe was started offering a place to hang out for the broke teenagers.

The other day I saw the scene from my car and wondered at the change. Buildings growing in a greedy rush, the metro snaking away in its ugly form, a hoarding over the mosque which still retains its stately nature. Nothing compares to what it was. Most old landmarks are gone save the mosque like structure.

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