August 21, 2010

Communities celebrate the Madras Week

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
I posted Ashwin’s e-mail on the blog that is part of the Madras Day web site ( 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.

1 comment:

ravi shankar said...

dear vincent:
a mylaporean by birth,growth but have had very limited access to it in recent times,only now i could find time to get in touch;
my grand dad(dad`s dad) was known as `MAIL KRISHNAMOORTHY'his brother was the head of PSHigh School(Arcot Shamanna)-not may who know him know that he was a great chess player and enthusiaist.
my dad known as nagarajan was a zoologist - the first pro to the govt of.tamil nadu(then madras)under late K.Kamaraj.
we lived in mandaiveli street and had an oher one in rkmutt road.

the family i think got together for my dad`s 80 th birthday a few years ago.
a family of journalists and teachers - i am the only one who is not in the footstep-am a trainer in san jose.

planning to be back soon - all said and done madras is madras and would be great to be back - in spite of what i hear!!!