Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Three Men around a Table

Three people don't hesitate to promote the Madras Day.
In its third year now, it will not be long before it gets its place in our calendar.
S. Muthiah, the city's story teller and historian, is in Australia, holidaying and lecturing when the sketch for Madras Day 2006 are drawn.
Muthiah is back in June but a more pressing project is eating him up.
He has two publications on the University of Madras to push.
Remember, the 150th year celebrations are rolling out soon.
The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Thyagarajan has appreciated the value of documenting heritage and history and got an ally in Muthiah.
But the city's historian is close to exhaustion - it isn't easy to gather documents and materials in a place where one department rarely talks to the other!
But when we do sit at Muthiah's table at his T. Nagar house, he has dozens of ideas to roll out for me and my colleague on this venture, Sashi Nair.
We have planned a dozen talks. He wants two dozen of them.
We have 20 schools on the 'live heritage' project for city schools; Muthiah wants 20 more.
When the meeting ends, we have 20 new things to attempt.
Call former IAS officer Vijayaraghavan who is is in charge of the Madras Snake Park, Guindy, to explore an exhibition.
Tap Global Adjustments to see how the expats in Chennai can be involved in the event.
Get across to Tulika and Goodbooks in Abhiramapuram - suggest ways by which children can dig into the city.
Call the Philately Bureau inside the Anna Road HPO and suggest we host a show that relates to Madras.
We do not have a target - I mean, the number of events that we hope will be staged during the week - August 20 to 27.
But unless we light the lamps, we aren't going to make the Madras Day happen.
As the newpapers begin to post the run up to the events, we receive a few curious phone calls.
Of people who want to chip in. Do their own thing. or share their ideas and resources.
Like these young film makers who run Filter Coffee Productions.
Anushka says they have done a film called ' C/o Platform' on the pavement people around Flower Bazaar. And they would like it to be screened for the celebrations.
That is the spirit.

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