The rains are poor and we are told that there is a 70 per cent deficit. But while The Man from Madras Musings and the rest of you are looking at the skies with hope and prayer, the roads below us have clearly had enough of the rains. There is not a single patch of smooth macadam anywhere in the city. Driving along Kotturpuram roads the other day, MMM wondered if it ought to be named Craterpuram. And this is supposed to be an upmarket locality! What of the rest of the city? And when these roads fill with water, it is impossible to distinguish between land and lake. There is really nothing that can be done other than to grin and bear it. After all, our city is Chennapore only.

Many years ago, when MMM was a Child of Calcutta City, that second city of the British Empire had similar problems. Huge trenches, potholes and craters greeted you wherever you went. The citizens sorted it all out by naming each pothole after a political personality. That way everyone had a good laugh and saw the brighter side of life. The roads remained the same, but at least negotiating them became easier because you could smile as you did so. Taking a leaf out of that, MMM recommends that our city (the first in the British Empire) rename its areas based on the condition of their roads.

Craterpuram is already taken. We can have ‘Mauled’apore, Roya’pit’ah, Peram’bore’, Mound Road, ‘All worn’pet, Gorge Down, T(errible) Nagar, Mound’a’valley, Go Fall Puram, Ravine’n’malai Puram, Now Gone Pakkam, God damn pock’em, Slide-a-pet, Knoll-and-Bore, Vile Scary and No Go Nallur, to name a few. Going into the vernacular you could come up with many more – ‘PaLLAvaram’ being the first that MMM can think of. Now MMM invites contributions from his faithful congregation. The one area that need not change is ‘Rut’land Gate. Once the list is ready, all we need to do is to pass it on to the city’s civic body, which will take care of the rest. And as for the city itself, what better name than something inspired by the US of A? We wanted to be Manhattan. We can at least be ‘Pits’burgh can’t we?