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Kaanum Pongal draws blank in Chennai for second consecutive year with empty public places

The shop owners and pushcart vendors at beaches and other public places, who would otherwise pocket a good profit, were also disappointed.

Published: 17th January 2022 03:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2022 03:58 AM   |  A+A-

As the city witnesses complete lockdown, Marina Beach is seen deserted in Chennai

As the city witnesses complete lockdown, Marina Beach is seen deserted in Chennai. (Photo| Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Kaanum Pongal, the last of the four-day festivities of Pongal drew a blank for the second year in a row on Sunday as parks, beaches and other public places wore a deserted look due to the Sunday lockdown.

Marina Beach, Elliot's Beach in Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur Beach, tourist places at Mamallapuram, Vandalur Zoo and other public places, which are usually crowed, were empty due to the regulations in place.

It is a tradition for people to visit places and relatives on the final day to conclude Pongal festivities. The word ‘kaanum’ means to see places or people. "Along with our kids, we visit at least one tourist spot in the city. But this year, due to the pandemic, we were scared to go out. Though I am disappointed my kids were not able to enjoy the festivals like we did during our childhood, we understand it is important to follow the regulations especially when cases are rising," said Divya Bharathi, a resident of Maduravoyal.

Many families also missed on the tradition of going to the Marina. "It is an absolute must for us to visit the Marina on Kaanum Pongal day, but we stayed away this year due to the Sunday lockdown," said Mahesh from Mylapore. 

The shop owners and pushcart vendors at beaches and other public places, who would otherwise pocket a good profit, were also disappointed. "As the beaches were closed during the festival season, I went to other places, but it is impossible to earn the same profit. This is the second year Kannum Pongal celebrations were curtailed and we are struggling to earn any profit," said Kalyani, an ice cream vendor.

While the food delivery executives were busy, many also others took to cycling in order to avoid getting caught by the police. "I had to deliver clothes to a friend in Velachery. Due to fear that police would fine me, I borrowed cycle from my neighbour and rode it from Pallikaranai," said Karan.



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