We have known him as BSNL Murali. Your cellphone dictates such usage.
Murali works for the telecommunications department.
Had he been with the Anti-Vice Squad of the state police, he would have been Vice Murali.
Murali must be in the Andamans now. He was transferred recently from his base in Chennai and I am sure he is going to miss this city.
For, Murali was the sort of person who just could not miss an interesting city event.
You would see him at a docu-film screening, a book reading session, a talk or a heritage walk or at an art gallery. And he would cover as many as three events through one evening.
If he didn't carry books he had just bought he would have the camera slung across his chest.
So when he walked in midway through the Madras Quiz 2008 event last Sunday, I invited him to give the prizes to the winners. I think his eyes went moist. The gathering gave him a big hand when they heard how passionate he was about city events. And I shook his hand a tad longer to tell him that it was great to have him here on the eve of his relocation.
That morning, Murali's wife and child were with us on the Mount Road Walking Tour. The young girl kept taking notes furiously and walked the two-hour length without complaining. Murali of course was with V. Sriram doing the tour of Chinna-tari-pettai ( Chintadripet), on the other side of Mount Road.
It is people like the Muralis who provide strength to community-driven initiatives. We need enthusiastic people to support the ideas of energetic individuals and groups.
So when Adyarite Shanthi Krishnan SMS-ed me on Sunday that the Adyar Walking Tour she put together had about 50-plus people we knew Shanthi would feel good for taking the effort to put that Walk together.
Shanthi and I were on Google Talk to discuss this idea since she was holidaying in the USA. We announced it 24 hours after she landed in the city.
The enthusiasm and generosity of a few resource people who were invited to share stories on histories and heritage of the local places of Adyar enriched this Walk.
Some positives from Madras Day 2008.