December 30, 2012

Be part of Mylapore Festival 2013

How did the little colony called Thygarajapuram in the heart of Mylapore come about?

The story goes that two dozen and more Carnatic music vidwans decided to purchase a little plot for themselves and do so in one place.

It was also the place where the Sri Thyagaraja Sangeeta Vidwath Samajam had taken root.

One of the vidwans in that group was the late Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavatar whose birth centenary was observed recently.

As his son Jayaraman dug into old files, he came across a few old photographs. One, of the ground breaking ritual of the Sri Thyagaraja Sangeeta Vidwath Samajam. The other, of Sambasiva Bhagavatar and his family standing outside their humble abode.

Both pictures were dog-eared, tinted but clear and both are valuable. For, if we get the copies done right they will be part of the Vintage Mylapore Photo Exhibition, one of the 20-plus events that make the 2013 edition of the Mylapore Festival, sponsored by Sundaram Finance. ( Jan.10 - 13, 2013).

The collection is still on - after all this is not an easy task. Some people who possess old pictures do not want to part with them, some let these become garbage and others are a bit sentimental.

The Mylapore Festival is a sum of the little parts that reflect the colour, life and heritage of this place which is at the core of our city.

And getting people and families involved gives it strength.

So when we asked educationist Dr. Vatsala Narayanaswamy if we could host talks on the weekend evenings at her 1950s art deco bungalow, she happily agreed to play host.

In the same vein, the managers of Hotel Karpagam always reserve the extra big rooms for our artistes. This year, the 25 strong artistes of the Bhagavata Mela troupe from Melattur in Thanjavur camp here to present two productions over two nights.

And two of our regular resources, V. Sriram and Dr. Chitra Madhavan will lead two different Walks on the Sunday of the Fest.

This is a Fest that tries to tap into local resources, uses open spaces inside a temple and around it and joins hands with the community to showcase what we can of the city's heritage.

So if you want to lend a hand or be part of the Fest, buzz us. Our web site is at And our email ID is -

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