Friday, June 15, 2007

Perungalathur Days - Cycling Champions

Every place has it own beauty and Perungalathur did have its beauty. There were neatly maintained parks with benches. The Town panchayat maintains them and I cannot guarantee the standard now. The Town panchayat owned few lands too which were let for public to hold shows.

In old days Cycling was extensively used in small Towns which was a healthy way of living and cheaper way of commutation. In late sixties and early seventies that was the cheapest transport. I always fancied having a cycle. Activities, entertainment, talents and way of earning differ from people to people. There were a group of people who would like to hire the public land from Panchayat and do cycling non-stop for 10 days.

This used to be the talk of the school. As kids, we always had doubt how a person could cycle continuously for 10 days. We also had the doubt about how he will perform his nature’s call. Loudspeakers will be singing the latest MGR songs. I remember lots of such cycling happening in the open ground where a private school is built near the Panchayat building in Srinivasa Nagar. There were young boys like Rajendiran, Maya Krishnan (Who must be in their late 40’s now) who had done such cycling a lot. Eunuchs will be hired to dance for the songs with lady role. Guys performing the Hero role for songs, will be copying lots of MGR styles. It was fun to watch these cycling events in the evenings.

Some of our friends used to say that their parents saw them cycling even late nights, when they were returning after night shows. It was a real fun. Especially there will be clowns too to do some antics with cycle in the evening. It was a great fun for kids like us. On the final day there will be a great show. There used to be lots of activities. Sometimes they used to stick posters all round the village or distribute pamphlets regarding the agenda. One brave man used to break tube lights on his bare chest. One used to jump through a cycle tyre lit by fire around. More actions with two or three cycles used to pull a huge crowd. There used to great display of courage and art by rural artisans who never rose to great heights and still live a simple life.

I see plenty of shows in the Televisions in Western World today, which reminds me of those simple characters whom I have seen them when I was a kid. Few years before when I had been to Perungalathur, I met those cycle champions Rajendiran and Maya Krishnan. They have turned to be real estate brokers and felt happy when I reminded them of those old good days. They still live happy wherever they are.

Even today when I pedal a bicycle I remember those cycle champions.


Gideon said...

Very nice summary of the events surrounding the cycling events. Brings back the old days even if it is just for a moment. Thanks Balaji.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Thanks Gideon. It does bring back the old days memories. Please contribute something to this site.

தமிழ். சரவணன் said...

nice article