To see people who you have inspired. To see them help in whatever way they can. This Sunday, Vinodh Sidarthan, his roommate Vimal and we were there again, this time with nothing in hand because we couldnt afford it and no plan for the day. It was a rainy morning and our only objective was to do whatever we could and enjoy the overcast weather at the beach.
When we started off by picking up shards of broken glass from urine drenched sands with nothing but a plastic bag in hand, i was beginning to think that what we are setting out to do was close to impossible. Others proved me wrong.
Others include a BPO employee, a 10th grade local schoolkid who brought four of his mates over, a couple of Neel Metal employees, and plenty of beachgoers who shook our hands and promised to help us next week. You come to realise that you dont need to pay someone for doing something that makes them happy.
These guys did an amazing job of replacing the sand at the base of the memorial so that it no longer reeks of piss on the side facing the road. Sadly we didnt have the time to do this on all sides. Next week i was planning to go to the corporation ward office and arrange for more cleaning tools so that we can finish the job. But it looks like i wont be able to make it since im heading to Tada for a trek. Anyone living in that area willing to do it?
And if you are interested in lending a hand on more such initiatives to improve life in the city, you should join the chennai ifix mailing list. We have previously dodged cops to fill potholes in the middle of the night, maybe you could put forth more such exciting ideas 🙂
It felt good to get up early after such a long time. Reminded me of my days last year when i used to go to the marina at dawn to play ultimate. I was at the Chola Sheraton bus stop at 0530 not sure weather buses operate this early on a Sunday. The MTC didnt disappoint, and i was at Elliots beach in 20 minutes, just in time for the sunrise.
I went straight to the memorial hoping to find some ultra enthu people with paint all over their clothes, but the only human was sprawled on the broken steps of the memorial, wearing a green lungi that revealed much more than his hairy legs. As i went round to the side facing the sea, i could clearly make out the partial paint job that had been done the week before.
Vinod Sidarthan, a Kerlaite staying here has decided to take it upon himself to give a new lease of life to the gloomy, crumbling monument on Bessie beach that doubles up as a pee target and a crack haven in the dark (I’ll admit to peeing on it too, on one occasion) by giving it a fresh coat of paint.The only thing missing would be some illumination and a sign to the nearest public toilet to restore the beauty and smell of this neglected structure.
From sources, i hear that half the job is half done and the remaining will be done tomorrow starting 6am. Gives me a great reason to get up early, catch up with the guys playing ultimate frisbee and watch the beach sunrise in addition to lending a hand to restore the respect that Mr Kaj Schmidt deserves. And for those of you not in the know, he was a dutch sailor who lost his life while trying to save another off the coast.