The 2010 celebrations of Madras Day, that is Chennai Dinam will take place from August 15 to 22.
Being one of the catalysts of this event, I thought it would be appropriate for me to trigger an interest in all those people who want to take a lead in the celebrations.
Madras Day is of, by and for the people of this wonderful city.
What began as a one-day event has now become a week-long affair with over 100 events across the city.
Talks, heritage walks, exhibitions, contests, sales, film shows, music and dance . . . .all these have been conceived, hosted and run by people.
We do not have a centralised command, we do not engage a event management company, we do not go after sponsorship and funds.
But we do seek out hyperactive communities, groups and clubs who have the capacity, resources and passion to get involved, come up with their own event and celebrate this city.
Here are some leads you can build on now (we are seven weeks away from the event).
If you live in an interesting neighbourhood you can organise a heritage walk and make people aware of the greatness of the area.
Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Vadapalani, Vepery, George Town, Kottur, Royapuram, Gopalapuram, Triplicane. Every neighbourhood has its landmarks, its famous people and its distinct architecture. Do some research, plan the route and invite people and end the walk with a nice breakfast!
If you have senior people who have stories to share of Madras of the 50s and 60s, organise a talk.
If people can share old photos of the city, present a slide show or have an exhibition.
A show on Anna Nagar or of K K Nagar or of East Coast Road as it was 25 years ago. The neighbourhood will be fascinated.
Organise a fun cycle/bike/car rally - give people clues on the city’s less-known landmarks and drive them off to locate them. End with a picnic at Fort St. George or in Guindy Park or atop St. Thomas Mount.
Your effort is vital to celebrate this city. You can get backgrounders on the past celebrations at www.themadrasday.in. If you have queries, mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And when you do finalise your event share the info with us.
Now, take a look at what a young city-based band called Null Friction did with a song called ‘ Madras’. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyqxFZ2x8jw.