April 04, 2009

Even Tributes have a place in Community Web Sites

Arjun Vasudev was one of our city's best young guitarists. He even had a huge community of fans.
A teenager of many talents, his large groups of friends looked up to him.
Last weekend, Arjun died in a nasty accident on Arcot Road, close to the neighbourhood where he lived.
His death has numbed his friends so much that none of them wants to speak about the incident or about Arjun.
They don't want to believe that Arjun is no more here.
I never knew Arjun. I may have seen him on the stage at a rock music festival in the city or outside - today, dozens of young Indians are pushing their dreams of being professional musicians and you see them all over the circuit.
Arjun was a rising star, I learn.
And when we posted the news of his death on the neighbourhood web site - arcotroadtimes.com - we never expected a stream of reaction to follow, some severe, some poetic, some numbing.
Many of them posted by Padma Seshadri students and alumni - for Arjun was a PSBB alumni.
It was Arjun's profile and space on Facebook that opened up his world to us. A passionate football player, deeply involved in dramatics, a magician with the guitar and a youth others looked up to.
The continuing posts on that web space have motivated us to update our reportage on the death of a talented young man.
And keep the neighbourhood informed.
In many ways, the Internet and the Web is best suited to build strong neighbourhoods.
Though some attempts have been made in some corners of our city by Net-savvy residents, they have not bloomed.
I came across a nice attempt which had been made by the residents of Kannappa Nagar, a colony off the ECR in Thiruvanmiyur.
Many pictures, extensive notes and a long list of phone numbers.
But the effort had gone into the freezer months ago.
If you are part of a Net-worked neighbourhood community, please post a note on your project on my blog. There may be leads others would like to take.
And if you are a musician or a music lover, do attend a memorial concert planned in Arjun's memory.


Kamla Ravikumar said...

Dear Sir,

It is wonderful that every summer your paper holds journalism camps for children. Why not hold one for housewives too? I am sure that many like me want to express their thoughts on so many issues affecting families today - from rising prices to traffic issues.

TV journalism is at its nadir these days. Sensationalism, interviews with incompetent politicians and hoodlums who would have no second thoughts of stealing change from a blind beggar take centre stage on this truly idiot-box. Not one candidate has been convincing. So let us make the print media stronger.

Dr. Abdul Kalam our ex-President has suggested that journalists build up a database for each constituency to serve as a benchmark for future interventions. At the micro level we housewives could contribute too by consolidating domestic indices and highlight local public-service lacunae. We could offer a forum for the nominated candidates of political parties to show that besides garlands of marigold and fake smiles they really have an intention of serving their respective constituencies.

With informal training in the nuances of journalistic expression we could form a new brigade of the fifth estate. With elections round the corner we housewives to begin with could ask candidates what they plan to do to redress those issues that concern us. We just might get more meaningful answers than mere populist promises.

Kamla Ravikumar

Gita Swaminathan said...


A couple of days back there was an article in the Times of India about a venture called Shareadrive started by one of the residents of Besant Nagar / Adyar, one Mr. Hariharan (not sure about the name). It seemed to be an extremely brilliant idea and what was unique about it was it was not like any other carpools hosted by various websites. The website is www.shareadrive.in Infact I contacted them and they sound very promising. It would be really good if you educate the residents of Adyar / Besant Nagar etc on this . I dont know if Adyar Times carried anything on this recently. But after speaking to them I have registered for their services.

This is for your information


Gita Swaminathan
BEsnat Nagar