The more the Man from Madras Musings travels to and from the new Chennai airport terminal, the more convinced he is that it has taken the city further away from its avowed goal of becoming Singapore-on-the-Cooum. MMM has written in detail earlier on this topic and so this time he will contain himself to writing on the toilets alone. Before you hurriedly move on let MMM assure you that what follows is not a graphic description of what MMM saw. Writing on that can fill several columns but MMM will desist.

Firstly, the toilets are immense. They are meant more communal easements and not for solitary communion with nature. The water closets have already begun missing fittings – here a flush knob, there a broken handle and everywhere stained pans. The layout of the toilets is so poor that the closet is at one end of the immense partitions and the toilet rolls are at the other end. You literally need to make a long arm to access the rolls, if they are ever there that is.

And then you what have euphemistically been termed as EWC – (Eastern Water Closets?). These are the squatting variety and today it is perhaps only the very elderly or traditional who use these. Even they would find the task difficult for the EWC are built on raised platforms that are of immense height. You need to be a colossus if you have to climb on to these for fulfilling certain bodily functions. Taken all in all, a bad job and makes you almost pine for the old airport with its peeling doors, creaking escalators and slow-moving baggage carousels.

Leaving the toilets aside, MMM also had the immense satisfaction of finally locating an electric socket that worked. This being an ‘international’ airport terminal, it has row after row of electric sockets for charging your gadgets. But perhaps because Chennai is power-starved, supply has been restricted to very few of these. MMM had barely located one and plugged his laptop in when he noticed a queue forming behind him. Get on with it was the unspoken message from everyone in this line.