June 23, 2012

Madras Week 2012. Aug. 19 to 26

Bazaar Road is a 'must-do' on my walking tour of Mylapore.

After all, it was the road that linked two bustling villages of pre-Madras times.

Triplicane and Mylapore.

Royapettah High Road and San Thome High Road came much later.

A marketplace kind of road, Bazaar Road still retains the character of yore.

The oil-making mill, the embroidery nooks, the vegetable retailers and the pawnbrokers are some of the long-standing features of this area.

A pit-stop for walkers in this zone was a magnificent house that was owned by a Marwari family.

A single-storey house whose wall at the rear ended at the other street ( Arundale Street ) it had more than 20 rooms, space enough to accommodate five families. There were four entry points, allowing for privacy and independent access, the design was a mix of Tamil and north Indian, the tiles for the floor and the wall were imported ones and Belgian mirrors were fitted in the inner rooms of each section.

For visitors, exploring this house was an experience.

And once that was done, we would adjourn to the open space at the rear and be treated to a light breakfast of pongal-vada and coffee. This space was once the venue for meetings by local Congressmen and for social functions of this family.

The building was brought down some years ago after the family members decided to go their own way.

Thankfully, two other similarly designed houses continue to stand on this road.

 For the 2012 edition of Madras Week, we have decided that the theme of one project meant for city school students will be on houses of yore in our city.

For some years now, Madras Day has been celebrated on August 22. A day to celebrate the city - its founding, its early days, its heritage, its legacy and its status today.

This has been a voluntary event driven by the people of the city.

Over time, the events have enlarged and hence we now have Madras Week!

This year, Madras Week is to be celebrated from August 19 to 26.

And since the event is driven by the people, this is the time for anybody who heads a group or club, runs a great activity or has been indulging in this city to plan an event for late August.

Walking tours, exhibitions, quizzes and talks, picnic tours, jam sessions, online contests, food fests, green campaigns . . . anything that focuses on our city is good enough for Madras Week.

You don't have to seek outside help. You don't need to get a nod from anybody. Your club space or your school campus is good enough to be a venue.

The buzz is now shared at the Madras Day space on Facebook and soon, at the web site - www.themadrasday.in.

As for our young friends in city schools, the info on the 'Explore a Madras House' contest will be made public soon.

1 comment:

Leela Soma said...

Fantastic to hear that Madras Day has become Madras Week. Good luck to 2012's events Vincent.
Loved the detail about Bazaar Street and the Marwari house. As always your blog is really informative.