October 27, 2007

Lets have awards for city activists . . .

This isn't the best time to take a break. Not for me.
But if I had that luxury, I would want to write a chapter for a book on World chess champion, Vishwanathan Anand.
There is a fascinating story to be told. And it must be told.
For Anand is a rare example of an Indian sportsperson maintaining his top place so consistently on the world stage.
And, the man is simply colourful.
And will make a good story.
Over two decades ago, I remember joining a photographer friend who was on an Anand assignment.
We found Elliots Beach a charming locale early that morning and my friend had more than he had planned - of a young champion Anand in what used to be his favourite open space.
If there is another story to recount for the city then it should be of another colourful personality - Kamakshi Subramaniyan. Also of Besant Nagar.
I am yet to find a person like her ( she must be now in her late 70s ) who had carried on a relentless campaign to protect and beautify an avenue alongside her colony.
She has written letters and shot off notes, she has pleaded with Commissioners and coaxed Corporation officials, she has fought with men and cajoled neighbouring women to lend her a hand, she has threatened people and patted others.
Done everything for a community cause. Not for selfish gains.
I have known her since we began to publish the 'Adyar Times' newspaper - every time she has seen the need for reportage on the civic campaign in her area, she has never retired till her call got across to me.
Perhaps, her campaign is still not over.
And perhaps like Vishwanathan Anand, the Kamakshis of this world have to plough a lonely furrow.
For community leaders, there aren't even rewards, let alone plaques, dollars and audiences with the Prez.
Perhaps, the city's Mayor should institute annual awards for the Kamakshis of our city.
And engrave their names on a tablet in Ripon Buildings.

4 comments:

manasa said...

I guess vishy anand has got a little more attention than his previous lonesome outtings when he won the prestigious world champion title a little less than a month ago .
He more than completely deserves all the attention !

Vincent D' Souza said...

Just an idea here . . .

Anand used to live ( his parents still do) in Customs Colony in Besant Nagar.
How about naming the colony after the great champ?

Or perhaps the road here?

Vincent D' Souza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have known Kamakshi Subramanyam personally and I know what a fearless soul she is !
Hats off to Kamakshi Mami!