Why would anyone want to read a book that is shaped like a bicycle? Ask Ramanujar Moulana of three-year old city-based Cycling Yogis, and he will tell you its story. “The booklet, which contains interesting information and pictures of the Cooum river, was distributed among the 75-odd riders who participated in our ride along the river this August. The ride started from the Napier Bridge, the point where it meets the Bay of Bengal, and ended in Kesavaram, near the river’s starting point,” he starts, adding that the information of the river was provided to them by Cooum Cultural Mapping.
The quirky looking book is conceptualised and designed by Jaya Pria, founder of Kreative education and a regular member of the group. Of the 200 copies printed, only few remain (many were distributed to academicians, councillors, and other important figures in the city). The good news is that he is open to reprinting it for those who place bulk orders, say around 100. The price, however, is yet to be decided.
The book is relevant given that last month, CM Jayalalithaa inaugurated the Cooum RIver Restoration Project. There is currently a canal being constructed right in the middle of the heavily polluted river, which is aimed at preventing stagnation and helping the river flow smoothly like before. The sewage waste from its bed has been removed and has been filled with stones, while plans are on to build bunds on both the banks which will be converted into a walking space and lawn.
To grab a copy of the booklet, call 9884023123. Details: cyclingyogiblogspot.in
- Did you know?
The country’s first steam car by Samuel John Green of Simpson & Co. was made on the banks of the river in 1903
The first ever plane that took off in Asia, piloted by Giacomo D’Angelis, used the Island Grounds on the river as its airstrip in 1910
The river was also witness to considerable WW1 activity, as parts of the nearby Madras Harbour, the Royal Madras Yacht Club and the wall near Madras High Court were bombed by German warship SMS Emden in 1914— Karan Pillai