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Thursday, July 3, 2014

tying wishes to tree .... section of Parisian bridge collapses by padlock weight

You are sure to find everywhere especially at places of tourist attraction – temple walls, train compartments and more …. People scribbling their name – their love – Narasimhavarma Pallavan never wrote his name on the famous rocks – but tourists do … in some temple ponds, one can find people having thrown huge amount of coins….and there is inevitable reference to a cinema as well.

Padlocks are portable locks with a shackle that may be passed through an opening (such as a chain link, or hasp staple) to protect against unauthorized use, theft, vandalism, or harm.  In Computer World, a padlock symbolises – secure transactions on the web – that the submitted information is encrypted using a Public-key cryptography.  In some cultures, padlock symbolises the unbreakable bond especially between two people in love.  Described as an "epidemic" by the ‘No Love Locks campaign’, they are spreading around the world.

Super hero, unearthing of black money, doing good to depraved in the name of God, super computing, hacking – many of the Hollywood ideas were put inside the entertaining film of Shankar with Vikram in lead role – a movie of hero reaching out to poor and needy people who still crave for a square meal from out of enormous riches of super rich a la Robinhood was ‘Kanthasamy’…………. the film takes reference to the famous Murugan Temple at Thiruporur (at the other end of the OMR) – where thousands of people tie piece of paper containing their wish – 
 ...... on the tree (sthalavriksham), a tradition followed in many villages.   People firmly believe that God would answer the prayers and in 2009 released film in which Vadivelu’s comedy tickled bones.   The film was dubbed and simultaneously released as Mallana in Telugu. The film was later dubbed into Hindi as Shiva ………….

I was surprised in reading that there could be a similar analogy miles away on a Parisian bridge …. ..in news because it is partially broken unable to bear the weight of such tied items – those padlocks.  Part eyesore, part symbol of everlasting affection, the 700,000 (!)  metal "love locks" emblazoned with the initials of visiting lovers have been attached to the Pont des Arts footbridge that crosses the Seine River in Paris for seven years or so.  It is now reported that part of the bridge has collapsed under the weight of the locks. A five-foot span of the bridge's metal mesh railing came down recently, according to Britain's Telegraph newspaper. (Luckily for the boaters below, it collapsed onto the bridge, not into the water.)

As aptly Parisian as the phenomenon may seem, "love locks" may have been an Italian import — and a recent one at that.  According to BBC, some trace its rise in popularity to two Italian novels, published in 1992 and 2006: Federico Moccia's "Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo" ("Three Metres Above the Sky") and "Ho Voglia di Te" ("I Desire You")… It spread to Russia, and Paris's Pont des Arts and other bridges, as well as far-flung destinations such as China, Hungary, Germany and Guam. Seemingly everywhere the craze goes, it brings trouble, or at least some debate.

In 2007, the mayors of Florence and Rome instituted fines as a deterrent against fastening padlocks to their city bridges. Tourists have taken to the Eiffel Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and London's bridges and fences. In Paris, the locks spawned a protest campaign called "No Love Locks," petitioning tourists to stop defacing the city's otherwise unadorned bridges with unsightly locks – and they are proved right as part of the parapet of the world famous Pont Des Arts bridge in Paris has collapsed under the weight of the growing number of locks that had been attached.

Couples write their initials on the so-called 'lovelocks', and attach them to the bridge as a sign of their love. Section of Paris bridge begins to collapse under weight of thousands of 'love locks' left by tourists (including Kourtney Kardashian)… daily mail reports that tourists have been evacuated from one of the most iconic bridges in Paris after it began to crumble under the weight of thousands of 'love locks', as a chunk of the bridge fell away as Police sealed off the area.  Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick attached a padlock to the Pont des Arts when they visited Paris with their son Mason. Police said it was lucky the rail collapsed inwards rather than out into the river below, which is often busy with tourist boats.

There are now so many padlocks on the bridge that some tourists have taken to attaching theirs to lampposts too…. .it reportedly is a common practice for visitors to buy a padlock, attach it to a bridge, and then throw the key into the river, in Paris's case the Seine. The famous Paris bridge is said to offer some of the best views along the Seine; reportedly first built between 1802 and 1804, under the reign of Napoleon, and is a favourite with artists.  The 'love lock' tradition began in Hungary in the early 20th century, based on a tale of a woman who lost her soldier love to another during WW1. Young women started symbolising their love by attaching padlocks to the bridge where the abandoned woman used to meet her lost lover. Other bridges encountering problems from a vast quantity of padlocks being affixed are the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Ponte l’Accademia in Venice. Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist mayor of Paris, has so far resisted calls to take action over the vandalism, but the bridge collapse could change that.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

18th June 2014.

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