Ashwin Prabhu says missing Madras Day hurts.
A CitiBank executive now based in New York Ashwin is one of the many who would give a hand to soak in these celebrations.
A keen quizzer and winner of many a quiz, he says what he will miss most is the annual Madras Quiz, scheduled for August 22 afternoon at a school in Mylapore ( info is at www.themadrasday.in).
I posted Ashwin’s e-mail on the blog that is part of the Madras Day web site (www.madrasday.blogspot.com). I felt it reflects the passion and intensity that many people have begun to express for this city now called Chennai.
As the ‘Madras Week’ enters its final phase, I realise that there is a lot more than the events, talks and contests that is beginning to well up.
Gallery promoter Chitra in Alwarpet located references to the contribution made by her great grandfather while working alongside architect Robert Chisholm who left his stamp on this city with his brand of Indo-Saracenic architecture.
Chitra’s curiosity led to a collection which she went on to display at her gallery in Alwarpet.
Out there in suburban Nanganallur, a community which organised an event for the first time, invited two of the earliest residents of what is called a mini Mylapore to narrate stories of the early days of this colony.
Antique collector Moses brought a small but fascinating collection of coins, pictures, books and maps to an exhibition that is on till Sunday evening at Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram in Kilpauk. Buttons worn by the Governor’s music bands, kerosense lamps used in bungalows and a rice measure (‘padi’) made in Madras!
Former Railwayman and numismatist G. Ram Mohan of Alwarpet timed the release of his little book on his life and times for this week. The famed colony of Palathope, Mylapore dominates the narrative.
People have begun to treat their own histories seriously and are proud about them. Some have begun to collate and document them.
People, communities and neighbourhoods make a city. Not just politicians, statesmen, filmstars and business barons.