Monday, July 24, 2017

The men and women who make the Metro

This is an idea that popped up one Sunday. A newspaper report on Chennai's Metro rail triggered it.
The Metro is now at the core of the city's transport.
It is being reported every day.
Thousands of people work on it.
'Who are these people?

So a social message went out - could we have visual profiles of say 25 or 30 workers at different spots on the Metro line - on Poonamallee High Road, on Mount Road or in Anna Nagar.
Get city photographers to click these pictures and ask Metro bosses to grant space on one of its rail station's campus to exhibit them.

This will be one way of saying thank you to unknown people who also make our city.

If you wish to join this group, seek the links on the Madras Day FB page.

Wanted; school hall in North Madras for weekend schools mela

We are looking for a school space where we can host a Madras Mela on a weekend - for schools in the north Chennai neighbourhood.

Hardly any event takes place in Perambur or Royapuram during Madras Day season and that is a shame.
It calls for a lot of effort to seek out and firm up people or communities who can host simple events.
A talk, a walk or even a quiz.
Maybe a nice photo show.

A group is making the effort this year to organize a weekend eerie soy contests for the schools in the Perambur-Ayanavaram-Madhavaram area.
Poster-making, model making, quiz, collection of home-based heritage . . .
If you have some influence with a school with a hall that can house 100 students for two days, do use that reach to get the group involved.


Madras Day is all about getting together, from the heart!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Do you have photos of Mambalam in the 1970s

The famed writer Ashokamitran has written a delightful essay on West Mambalam, his home for many years. 
This is a neighbourhood that leads a low profile life and yet holds within its roads and colonies, many social stories that make this city.

Resident Padmapriya Bhaskaran, who studies less known temples of Tamil Nadu is now trying to uncover the lie and times of West Mambalam.
She intends to curate a Walk of this area during Madras Day 2017 season.

Padmapriya is keen to also collect photos shot of this area in the 1950s/60s/70s; if she gets two dozen visuals of the schools and stores, temples and social events held here then, she can also put up a photo exhibition.
Studying our neighborhoods can be fascinating journey. The stories hold local histories.

You too can start a study of your area. Be it Velachery or Madipakkam, Perambur or Mint Road.

Start today.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A call to plan and lead Walks

Heritage Walks are probably the largest number of events during Madras Day season. And they are hugely attended.
But our intention is to bring out more and more people to curate and lead more new Walks in parts of the city we have not explored.

Maybe Perambur and Pallavaram, Nanmangalam and Mannady, for example!

People who know these areas well and can share their local knowledge with a group are invited to plan a Walk and offer it to people in August.


Ping us with your own idea. It can be even a small one - lets say, around a less known but wow temple in George Town.

This contest for school students gets them to research

This is one contest which has a long history in the Madras Day world.
And it is for city schools.
The PP presentation contest encourages student teams to research and study a given theme of the city and present it at a public space.

The idea here was to get young people to know better a part of the city they may not have explored well.

And so over the years, teams have worked on churches and temples, old colonies and public spaces. And some of them have come up with some amazing notes and pictures.

This year, on the suggestion of a well-wisher who never fails to attend the contest, the theme is 'Markets of the City'. The focus will be on informal markets that have a character of their own.

There are many of them - from automobiles to dry fish to stationery and all the needs for Muslims religious/social functions.


Teams will gather in August at the Sastri Hall in Luz to make their presentations. The invitations for this contest will go out in early July.