‘An attempt on recollecting and restoring memories’
It was a feeling of enthusiastic when my uncle announced that we are going to Dolphin City in the evening and I was on my way to barbershop for hair cut when hearing it, but couldn’t resist dreaming on Dolphins actions on the Discovery Channel, sitting to the rolling chair while scissors trim the hair. It was the time we were residing on the upper portion of my maternal grandparent house in Thiruvanmyuir while we rebuilding our own in Adyar – both were neighboring areas of south Chennai – the barbershop was in the ground floor of my grandparent’s two storied building.
From the time I get to remember things, I’m cutting hair from the same salon and even today the barber from this salon comes home to get trim my hair and bread. The one who runs this shop for years had become our family friend in the latter run and who sincerely care for me and never took money to cut my hair but I’m not sure and haven’t asked my grandfather whether he balance the pay with the rent.
It was a Sunday evening, as usual, with close family members get together at grandparent’s house and since we sojourn from the same building, it was more cheerful for us to stay connected throughout the day with dear ones. In two cars we reached the Dolphin City in the early hours of evening, which is about 43km from Chennai and 10km before Mamallapuram on the ECR (east coast road), opposite to the then famous amusement park Little Folks, who initiated the first on its kind of fun filled water park in the country.
We parked the cars on either side of the ECR, adjacent to the walls of amusement park and with great excitement we entered the park where a disappointment waits for us to learn that Dolphin show was canceled due to illness of the species but Sea Lions show was available alternatively. After discussing sometime our elders take the right decision and gladly that was not to get back home but catch-up with the Sea Lions show.
With no idea of the lions I entered the venue, which is a two storied high gallery partially enclosed and arch in shape with a blue pool in the center looking cool at us; and after waiting few minutes the black two lions emerged skating through the doorsteps behind the stage and took hold the stand up like table. I remember they clapped first with their fore flippers, following many amusing activities like playing volleyball, pool basketball, catching rings, diving into water... are all awesome; and their playful behavior, sharing kiss and splashing water on the audience on the first row were looked fun and fascinating.
After a great amusement and lifetime experience disclosed by the pool stage, we head to the artificial lake hold within the City premises which also houses a boat jetty with small pedal boats and water cycles for a leisure and pleasure ride. But my bad chance couldn't agree for a ride unlike my parents and uncle family took around the small islands created amid the lake surrounded by tranquil and I had a spicy dinner with my uncle at the restaurant located aside the lake, where cool breeze wake up to the off shore and whisper of waves embraced.
I still remember, we had noodles and chicken 65 sitting on one of the tables under the thatched roof restaurant surrounded by trees and lake beside. We also had opportunity to visit the Little Folks on the other side of road and it was already late evening and time for closing the entry, but we managed to get tickets and like the name referred it was a very little amusement park left with a sliding pool and few small riders for kids. My bro and cousin tried the sliding pool and we can’t spent much time there while there’s nothing to do and the lights were turned off we forced to head out quickly.
We visited the Dolphin City in 1998, that was nearly 15 years ago but I just inspired to write on the experience now... after reading one of my friend’s blog post on cities. The Dolphin City and Little Folks stopped its operation at the latter years of last decade and the dolphins were also died very soon after our visit and they continued with sea lions shows for sometime and now only the building is remain.