1) The Chennai wish list for any year would begin with the Cooum, the Buckingham Canal and the Adyar transforming to pristine, flowing water. Not even a year's production of all the perfumeries of Paris would get anywhere close to ridding the waters of their stench. By cleaning up the rivers, let us also hope that the suicide brigade would stop jumping from the Kotturpuram bridge. Clear water can be such a harbinger of hope for life. (Indian youths between 15 and 29 years old kill themselves at a rate of 35.5 deaths per 100,000 - the highest in the world, according to UN statistics)
2) Speaking of commutes, here is a wish that the last mile connectivity of the MRTS would be completed from Velachery-Pallikaranai to St Thomas Mount in 2015 so that we make a round rail trip possible from the Park station opposite Central via Madras Beach down the MRTS to Mount and back again on the greater Chennai suburban connect.
3) Down from the impossible to the eminently possible: Here is a wish that the Metro would actually run carrying passengers commercially this year. The progress of the work has been reported faithfully kilometre by kilometre and still not even a part of the first line - from Koyambedu to Alandur - is near becoming an everyday part of the Chennai commute. Where are the stations? Why has the work slipped to a snail's pace all of a sudden? 2015 is here and where is the promised New Year gift?
4) Among the things that should never change are the enjoyment of the traditional idli-vada-dosa as much as the Burmese Khow Swe and the Japanese Sushi with a Wasabi sting attached that are part of the international cuisine so readily available in a city now after nice additions to an eclectic 2014 of different fares from around the globe. Indian numerologists might reckon 2015 adding up to eight is somewhat portentous, if not ominous altogether, and so we might try more authentic Chinese food, if only because, for that industrious race, eight is a lucky number.
5) Here is wishing the metered web taxis would find enough custom to keep expanding their services. It is such a relief for commuters to go from point to point without having to wonder how much they overpaid the autorickshaw driver, who fleeces customers with his impossible demands. Come on guys, we are only hiring the transport for a short ride, not buying the whole auto, including its smoke belching habits from the petrol-ration shop kerosene mix!
6) Here is another impossible sounding wish: The gleaming refurbished Chennai airport will stop falling apart, throwing shattered glass in the direction of various travellers. An even more improbable one for 2015 is to see the Metro run right up to the airport so that we can travel to Meenamakkam airport much as we would to Heathrow from London.
7) Tamil Nadu politicians will drop their forbidding image and get investor-friendly so that the shut factories of 2014 like Nokia and Foxconn and the projects that shunned the state like the Ford and Hyundai's second car manufacturing plants will somehow stage a comeback so that more Tamil Nadu people get jobs and with it a more enjoyable lifestyle.
8) A major sporting wish for the year is that Chennai will have an IPL team that actually plays in the city to be able to use the name of the city in its moniker. The Chennai Super Kings were not seen in action last season at Chepauk, playing most often at Ranchi as their home ground. Maybe, if the top court resolves the underlying conflict of interests, things might change and cricket will be played in the stadium.
9) Tasmac: Here is wishing Tasmac will be so kind as to stock an even bigger variety of the stuff that inebriates from around India, if not the world which, curiously, they find easier to let into Tamil Nadu. Here is hoping the best of craft beers will be available too, so too Indian wine along with the bouquets and body of the best from France, Italy, Australia, California, etc. Also will there ever be the lightest alcoholic drinks like the Breezers so the gentle ladies and the gentlemen with more sensitive stomachs too can enjoy a drink rather than having to cope with the hard stuff?
10) The final wish for the year would be that the whole state does not suffer the crippling power cuts of the summer that sometimes stretch to 20 hours a day in places beyond the boundaries of lucky Chennai whose denizens are not so burdened. But then, the story of industries starved of power is a different story altogether.