August 18, 2012

The Chennai Food Guide community did not let me down. Its members have created an event for the 2012 edition of Madras Day which has just begun to unfold.
Cookery expert, foodie and writer Pratibha Jain was quick to pick up a thread. Could we design a simple Food Trail through Mint area in north Madras?
Four posts on Facebook, two e-mails and three phone calls later, the Food Trail through Sowcarpet was ready and launched.
On August 25 evening, Pratibha and her associate will lead all those who register for this Trail to at least five nooks which are best known for their north Indian snacks and refreshments.
And as the group enjoys the goodies, surviving the rush and noise of this neighbourhood, it will also get the opportunity to take in the stores, houses and people who make this area so unique to Madras.
Remember, it is all about collaboration.
As the Mint Food Trail buzz got around came another query - why isn't there a Mylapore Food Trail?
And I replied - please make it happen!
If it does, I would suggest to the volunteers that Bombay Halwa House in Luz must be a stop point on this Trail.
(If you wish to contribute to this list you can email your suggestions to -
Collaborations have helped create over 100 events for Madras Week 2012.
But if we look closely at that Events Calendar there are hardly any events in North Madras. Why?
Is it because communities there continue to live their own lives and are content to do so? Or is it because cultural spaces and activities are at a minimum? Or is a sense of alienation sustaining a divide?
In the past, the catalysts of the Madras Day have made some attempts at collaboration but these have not taken firm root.
Perhaps, we need to do some work with local schools  and community groups.
I don't see why the managers of Madras Port cannot invite select groups of students from schools that lie on its fringe to get a feel of this campus, however highly-secured a place it is.
How can St. Kevin's School and St. Peter's Church in Royapuram work together to celebrate this neighbourhood?
And surely, Southern Railway can organise a train run from the historical Royapuram Railway Station . . .

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