Chennai is a city of ‘hoardings’ as the massive billboards are commonly known and referred to within the industry. These unsightly and often illegal structures are the most obnoxious source of visual pollution, but for some strange reason, have weathered many a legal challenge and evaded any controls so far. Needless to mention, crores of rupees is involved in this business and politicians play an active role in it.
But I would like to dwell not on murky underbelly of the ‘hoardings’ industry but on its more pleasant creative dimension. There is the Amul display at Spencer Junction with its witty puns on national goings on.
Of late, there is an intriguing set of billboards in Chennai, with the cryptic call, “Quit Chennai.” The one in the picture was photographed with a Nokia 3500 classic at Periyar Bridge point of Anna Road. Some people wonder whether this is a campaign by a media house that is soon to float a full-fledged daily newspaper in Chennai. The media house in question promised to have a huge Pongal bash with the high profile release of a 400-page literary journal edited by writer ‘Sujatha’ and featuring the “who’s who” in the city. The newspaper has been selling annual and six-monthly subscriptions for the past fortnight using youths clad in red T-shirts. They are working part-time.
The mystery will soon out.