My friends in Kilpauk must be cross with me.
I had to skip the Kilpauk Utsav this year.
The Utsav is a unique neighbourhood celebration.
And it brings people together.
The community spirit seems rather strong in that part of the city.
For, when they heard about the 'Madras Day' celebrations, some friends in Kilpauk wondered how they could get involved.
And then came a call from my photographer friend, D. Krishnan. A well known art gallery was preparing to launch its second gallery in the Kilpauk region, so would there be some bright idea of marking this event?
A 'Madras Day' event of course. For this gallery also features lots of pictures of 'old Madras'.
And if the promoters of the gallery could encourage a collaboration with the Kilpauk residents and host a talk on the city, the circle would be complete . . . .
Well, perhaps this is possibly the best manner in which people celebrate the city. Network.
Another friend of ours has come forward to host a series of events in Alwarpet.
Writer and art critic Lakshmi Venkataraman who now manages 'Gallery Sri Parvati' has offered her space to host an exhibition and a series of talks during 'Madras Week'.
The ball began to roll quite fast in Alwarpet when writer and arts promoter Sujatha Vijayaraghavan and writer Charukesi volunteered to anchor an evening of readings of essays, fiction and poetry in Thamizh that focussed on our city. Madras that is Chennai.
Now if you have been scribbling verses on this city of ours, you may want to bring them to the evening of readings and perhaps, read aloud too.
From the other side, in the Vadapalani neighbourhood, executive Krishna Kumar Menon has offered a hall at the Green Park Hotel he manages, for a city event.
Story teller Randor Guy will be there that evening with a running commentary on lots of film clips which used Madras as a location in the 50s and 60s. And the 'Spring Into Reading' team has lined up events for children at the same venue.
In the Adyar neighbourhood, arts promoter V. R. Devika is hosting a special quiz. A quiz devoted entirely to a very special person - Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy. In the course of the quiz, Devika plans to present lots of little known information on this great woman of the city.
It is still not late for your neighbourhood association or group to think up an event that celebrates our city.
And if you wish to keep a tab on all the 'Madras Day' buzz, check out www.themadrasday.in