Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't rename it, please.

It all started like this. We were in a History class, studying the Maratha period.

History teacher: What is Churchgate called?
Us: Churchgate.
History teacher: You got that one wrong. It's called Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk.

For one thing, that solved a mystery. I had wondered in vain why my BEST bus tickets always said Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk instead of Churchgate. It never struck me that that was Churchgate.

I've been noticing that renaming streets and localities is often ridiculous. Did you know that Marine Drive is now called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Marg? Are we supposed to say, "Look, we have a free lecture. Let's go to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Marg!"? Apparently not, beause they very smartly shortened it to NSC Bose Marg.

Calling the road that linked Andheri to Kurla the "Andheri-Kurla road" was a very sensible thing to do. But no. It got renamed to Sir Mathurdas V Marg. Now there is a very slim chance that we may go home and Google Sir Mathurdas, or Nashikrao Tirpude, or Nathibai Thakersey. Or even Dr. Deshmukh (that being a little difficult). Very slim. But it is so much easier to just tell the taxi driver to take you to Pedder Road. While I haven't been brave enough to tell one of them to take me to Dr. Deshmukh Road yet, I'm sure they're going to ogle, nastily.

Do you think it's a sense of misplaced patriotism that leads to this? It isn't 1947, after all. What the British built the British built. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has nothing to do with it.

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