Monday, August 21, 2006

On the eve of Madras Day

The Madras Day (Madras Week?) celebrations have been kicked off yesterday Aug. 20. Two groups of heritage lovers explored two different and interesting parts of the city. One group went on to see George Town area led by historian, writer V. Sriram and the other to Mylapore – San Thome along with Vincent D’ Souza, editor, Mylapore Times, Adyar Times and Arcot Road Times.

My cell phone and the landline at Mylapore Times office was buzzing all through last week with calls from every corner of the city enquiring about the heritage walks.

Clearly, people love to explore the city they live in.

The calls I receive are from a range of people, from a simple cyclist who has ideas to share with us to an official retired from the Directorate of Census Operations who has information about old maps of the city since 1773 at this office.

When we visited the Census office at Rajaji Bhavan, Besant Nagar, the officials were very receptive and enthusiastic about the idea of the Madras Day.
Dr. Joseph, Senior Geographer has a nice presentation about the growth of Madras supported by drawings of maps on his computer. The department makes the presentation to schools and colleges on invitation. Free of cost!!

Sanjay Kumar Sunku calls to say about his ancestors – the Sunkurama Chetty Street, Linghi Chetty Street – all named after them. He has the copy of the documents on the Kothaval Chavadi market purchased at Rs.800. The documents are bilingual. In English and Telegu!

Rajaram from TTK Healthcare Ltd., - Publishing Division, was excited about the Madras Quiz for Tamil medium school students. He has arranged for Atlases for the children as prizes from his company.

Not only calls, my cell phone receives a lot of greeting messages – I love Madras, Happy Madras Day, Wish you all great celebration from a Madrasi in Brisbane, Australia.
A software engineer emails and asks – Can I be a volunteer for the events?

The spirit of Madras, that is Chennai is amazing.

We are also excited. ‘Madras Eye’ – a live web cam will webcast the spirit of Chennai from Marina and Sri Kapali Temple Mylapore. Madrasis, Chennaiites and NRIs from Madras - all can view their city, as it celebrates its birthday tomorrow, from 630 Hrs to 1900Hrs (IST).
Just by logging on to

The week will see a whole load of events lined up. If you are in Chennai or visiting Chennai during these days, I am sure you will not like to miss them.

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