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Vamsee had tagged me a while ago and the rules were fairly simple. I had to select the 6th picture in my 6th folder and write the story of the picture. To begin with, Ive altered the rules a bit here. Its the 6th picture alright, but its from my latest folder – the Chennai photowalk that started at Dasaprakash and went on till Rippon Building. Ironically the latter is the landmark of the city, but my post speaks of the former.

When Aarti told me that the walk started from Dasaprakash, I couldnt say no . After all, I lived down the road. This was my area and it would be fun to discover it through a lens. Secondly, the hotel has several fond memories – of playing as a kid, enjoying the icecream in the parlour , meeting friends and being treated by parents in the restaurant. The dasaprakash dosa was the most delicious dish ever tasted. This was of course years before fast and junk food took over our lives .

Sadly however, the hotel doesnt offer services anymore .In fact no one knows whether it does or not, but it has an empty look about it.The picture says it all. Family disputes followed by litigation, union strikes have been the cause – but if rumours are to be believed, there is a talk of a buy over and a revival. Until then, the landmark lives on as a reference to the traffic junction opposite the building,as one haggles with the auto driver .


  1. Gargling Garbage 27 February, 2009 at 21:58 Reply

    I agree… completely! In the last two years Dasaprakash has merely been my bus drop point. It wasn’t until this post that I stopped for a sec to reflect on what it really means to me. Thanks, Laksh, for that!

    It’s strange, but true. A lot of Chennai-ites know where ‘Dasaprakash’ is, but don’t know it’s a hotel in the first place! :'(

  2. RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN 28 February, 2009 at 11:47 Reply

    A long time ago, when we were children, our parents used to take us to Dasaprakash Hotel whenever we were in Madras, for a special treat – ice cream! How we looked forward to those trips from Pondicherry because the Dasaprakash was the highlight. And how we relished it.

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  4. Jeevan 28 February, 2009 at 16:20 Reply

    I wasn’t been that side at all! It’s sad there are lots of standing landmarks been demolished to modernize today and hope they left over few remaining like this hotel.

  5. Maddy 1 March, 2009 at 23:00 Reply

    the last time I visited the hotel was in 84 on the tail of the cyclone that hit madras..

    So it is gone is it? Like the other place we used to frequent once upon a time – Royapettah woodlands – i am told a movieplex takes its place now..

    your photo reminded me of the lyril ad – with the waterfall and all and the blues

  6. Ms.N 4 March, 2009 at 16:00 Reply

    Dasprakash brings back fond memories! I didnt know that it is in such a state of abandon. my first memory of a sundae is in dashprakash – not eating it. but envying it on someone else’s table. i think it used to be the ‘earthquake’ and immensely huge!

    this is a lovely story.

  7. kinkari 7 March, 2009 at 10:03 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi,
    I came across your blog looking for a picture of Hanuman, the kind we have during Dasara and since i am from bangalore and my grandparents were from chennai , i can relate to many of your pictures. I always wanted to be a gypsy but now i am on a different adventure in life, getting to know Krishna- the Lord…and that is also fun. Good luck in your endeavors.

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