December 12, 2009

Chennai needs cultural hubs

A number of people will say that Mylapore is at the centre of Madras. (Some, that it is the centre of their universe!).
I would say Alwarpet may be left of centre but is a better location.
I am not camouflaging a promo on behalf of Akshaya or MARG to further the cause of real estate.
Rather, the location has to do with access to events that happen around us.
Everybody would agree that Mylapore is the best place to access kutcheris.
Stir up at 2 p.m. after a siesta, enjoy a steaming cup of filter coffee, refresh, fetch the grand daughter from
P. S. Senior, walk down to the temple, enjoy Sanjay Subrahmanyam for free and pick up sambar onions and vazhai-poo on the way back home.
There are people who wouldn’t blink twice to trade much of their possessions for a small apartment overlooking the kulam.
And there are others who seek out every box of a hall to host a music fest here.
But the cultural side of this area is changing.
English theatre and life style entertainment is now staged in Alwarpet.
Book launches, tete-a-tetes and film screenings take place in this region.
Thamizh slapstick plays, Hindustani music concerts. . . you can check them out here.
Isn’t too much concentrated in just one zone of this city?
The December season has rolled. Unlike in the past, we have more music fests in the suburbs and they cater to a community that has resettled and connects with its roots.
But why aren’t the comedies and the plays and the fun stuff going to Anna Nagar or Adyar or Mint?
Some may say it has to do with infrastructure. Others, sponsors and patronage.
But things can change if leaders of the community
open up.

Kalakshetra under Leela Samson has opened its doors to Theru-koothu and Muhammed Basheer’s plays, ‘Spaces’ under Sadanand Menon is now a destination for rockers, headbangers and activists and a Saidapet group hosts art and street theatre.

Should the city council be involved in creating better spaces? Or should artistes trigger the change?

1 comment:


I am glad I live in Alwarpet