August 25, 2007

We will be doing the rounds of the fort even as you read this.
Fort St. George is perhaps one of the most fascinating campuses in our city.
And to mark 'Madras Day' which has turned out to be 'Madras Week', I got Dr. S. Suresh, the archaeologist friend ( the one who organises trips along railway tracks and takes groups on Roman trails) to spare time to lead the fort walks.
Suresh often brings along a set of vintage coins, Roman and Pallava and others, to pep his preface to the walk which starts from the parking lot opposite the fort.
And going by the calls and e-mails we have received, the walks on Saturday and Sunday (starting at 7 am) should be packed.
The security at the gates of the fort may wonder why a contigent of 40 people want to get into the fort ( which also houses the Secretariat) at an odd hour!
Earlier in the week, I took a group of students of M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar school to this area to kick off a tour of north Madras.
We have been working hard to arrange tours for a few schools on either side of the 'divide' and the response has been wonderful.
The M. Ct. M. students came alive when we shared the stories on the fort with them and this set the mood for the rest of the tour through Royapuram, Kasimedu and Thiruvottriyur.
Amazing was also the response of the girls from a Royapuram school who brought the north Madras stories to three school campuses in the south.
When we broke for 'tiffin' in Besant Nagar, the girls tucked in the idlis in a jiffy and doubled out to enjoy a few minutes on Elliots Beach!
Two positive things seem to have happened during 'Madras Day 2007'.
Our young community has shown greater interest in our city and the intensity will grow if they can be inspired and motivated.
Also, the north-south exchange is showing promise and we only hope city schools will follow-up on the recent exchanges that have taken place to get to know our people better.
Meanwhile, after a well-deserved break, Suresh and I want to meet again and plan a new trail through the city.
A trail for 2008.
Maybe, we will hint at it on the web site -

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