November 13, 2010

Welcome to December Season 2010

It is that time of the year when we work a tad closer with the community of musicians, dancers, sabha managers and gurus of the classical, performing arts.

We are on the edge of yet another December Season - a season when this city hosts hundreds of concerts of Carnatic music and of classical dance and dozens of fringe events.

Many people say that the ‘season’ is getting chaotic, maddening and bloated.

That is because more and more sabhas come alive in December, more and more artistes fight for a place on stage, schedules get longer.

I guess this is some thing you have to live with till the wheat and the chaff get separated.

However, the December season is unique, has a character of its own and must be celebrated and supported.

The web site that we manage - Kutcheribuzz - was a child of the December season. Over a decade ago, we braved monsoon rains and negotiated unhelpful sabha managers to post the concert schedules of all leading sabhas to provide a simple utility space on the Web.

The site has grown in many different ways and directions. But at the core we have tried to get the community to be part of it.

This December season we want to drive the community collaboration further.

We would like to get rasikas to file reports on what they saw and heard in the auditoriums. Those who love taking great photos can also contribute them to the web site.

There is also space for short videos.

Artistes are also welcome to e-mail short notes on their new productions, collaborations or lectures. So can arts institutions.

E-mail us at - Or call 044-24994599.

November 04, 2010

Record your stories

Did Mylaporeans stick to Mylapore when it came to shopping at Deepavali time or did they go to China Bazaar and Rattan Bazaar?

Who were the big and popular names among neighbourhood shops?

What was the atmosphere at home when the seniors and the young, relatives and friends gathered to make sweets and snacks?

Times like festivals are times when you can indulge in lots of social history.

And record it if one can, simply because much of it does not get into print or go online and because much of these records will die with the passing away of every generation.

At our newspapers we do make an attempt to record memories of people who have great stories to share. These efforts are few and far between because there are countless stories and many story-tellers but very few people who volunteer to document them.

I pause for a few seconds when I run through the Obituary notices of very senior and colourful personalities that reach our desk for publication. We have lost another set of stories that this man or woman may have shared had we had a long conversation . . .

Is it important to record the experiences of people who used trams and state-run transport buses in the past and of major events at school campuses?

Is it useful to collect photos of social events like weddings and grihapravesams that took place in 1960s and to save the annual reports of leading organisations?

Everything that are troves of stories of our past is important.

It is easy now to document all this in the age of technology. But we volunteers.