Tsunduru, Tsetse flies and Tsunamis.

You probably haven’t heard of Tsunduru. It has one claim to fame in that it is the only railway station in India which starts with a “Ts”. This is in Andhra Pradesh (or Seemandhra if you wish) and Telugu does not have any alphabet corresponding to “Ts”. It is actually Chundur in local records.

One might think that some Englishman may have wanted to make this place famous and may have been inspired by tsetse flies elsewhere in the Empire. However, those familiar with the area say that the local population pronounces it with “Ts” although other Telugu speakers pronounce it with “ch”.

Tsunduru

Note the Hindi spelling which has no hint of a “ts” sound.

Tsunduru/Chundur’s moment of importance came in 1991 in inter-caste clashes which left several Dalits dead.

At one time the station was more important as it could call itself a junction, since a short line bypassing Tenali started from there. It seems to have closed in the 1970s. However, this signboard did mention it to be a junction up to that time.

Like many other small places, it has a website of its own:

http://www.tsunduru.org/

There are not many things which start with Ts. A better known one is the Tsetse fly of Africa which spreads sleeping sickness which is generally fatal unless treated. Most of what you need to know about them is here:

Tsetse

This is what they can do to you:

Sleeping Sickness

You also need to know how to pronounce their name properly:

Tsetse pronun

The only other commonly know word starting with Ts is Tsunami, which is of Japanese origin. There had not been major tsunamis for many years until December 26, 2004 which led to the deaths of approximately 230,000 persons, over half from Indonesia but with significant numbers from Sri Lanka, Thailand and India as well. Some fatalities were thousands of miles away in East Africa.

These details are well known. There is a good example of black humour of Sri Lankan origin relating to Mr T. Sunami of Indonesia. It is presumably untrue, but like elsewhere one is prepared to believe the worst when disaster strikes. This is from one of the original sources:

T. Sunami

A particularly nasty PJ, unless it was true.

Other place names include Tsangpo:

And there are South Africans whose surname starts with Ts, such as one-time international cricketer Thami Tsolekile:

Not to forget the Tsars of Russia, though the alternative spelling Czar is also common.

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