We have guests who have come to spend a few days with us to enjoy the monsoon. They come from the rain shadow area of Tamil Nadu where, they hardly ever see rain. Since agriculture was such a miserable way to live, almost the entire area converted into a hosiery manufacturing cluster- Tirupur.
I have been associated with Tirupur from 1969. My first visit is still vividly etched in my mind. There was literally nothing in that town except a big wholesale trade in cotton and a few ginning mills. There were a few banian makers like Spider, Bison etc and quite a few handloom enterprises. The modes of transport for visiting salesmen like me was to either hire a bicycle for a day or to use pony drawn jatkas.
There was only one place where one could stay for the night and that was a lodge with a hall containing a number of cots and just two toilets and bathrooms for the whole lot. Most sensible salesmen, stayed in Coimbatore and worked Tirupur and Avanashi by visiting from there. The bus service between the three towns was quite efficient though not frequent enough.
Today, Tirupur is a completely different place, almost a full-fledged city. It has some hotels and restaurants that can compete with the best in the world. It has a work culture that is unbelievable for its sheer exuberance. There are so many Rupee Zillionaires that they are no longer of any novelty value. Like all other cities, it also has its maddening traffic, pollution, crowds; lack of parking places, civic amenities etc, but survives successfully in that chaos it does.
I shall continue with this article tomorrow. The title “Aspirations” has to be elaborated and that will be done tomorrow, somewhat like the TV serials!