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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The D H Rao Walks. B. Canal. Bridges.

Philatelist and historian D. Hemchandra Rao has been an integral part of Madras Day for many years.
He made it a point to release a Special Postal Cover themed on the city every August 22.
This costs a bit and the less than warm support from the P & T Dept., even from its seniors does not make life easy for Rao.

Rao is currently researching on the Buckingham Canal; he has been at it for some years now and travels often to parts of the Canal for field trips.
During his recent trip between Ongole and Sulurpeta, he volunteered to design two Walks for August.

One on the B Canal, as it is called by engineers in AP.  Starting the walk from Basin Bridge, where the Canal was formally started on its northbound course and exploring it all the way to Central Station zone.

The quays, the boat yards, the locks, the godowns and all that made the Basin a buzzing centre for the boats from south and north.

The second Walk will be on old bridges, built during the time of the British. Starting with Laws Bridge in Chintadripet, the walk will tae people down to the May Day park side and on to Napier's Bridge, near the Marina.

Rao's intends to make people walk down to the less seen sides of these bridges to appreciate their structures.

So look out for these two Walks; planned for top of August.
And be prepared to get dirty. These aren't easy ones.

Welcome to 2017! Ideas on the roll!

Welcome to the 2017 edition of Madras Day. Madras Week if that tag sounds good. And some would say, Madras Month since for some years now the events are spread across 30 or more days!

Last year, the official count showed 152 events. With Talks and Walks adding to a good 50 plus.

And all these events were curated and hosted across the city and voluntarily.
Which is what the spirit of Madras Day has been and will be, hopefully.

Events ideate round the year. Some ideas hibernate, some pop up suddenly and some have a life of their own.

Many groups and communities who have been hosting events for some years now have got their hats on early and share the plans as early as May and June.

One of the events which gets into discussion mode early is the Madras Quiz. Host Murugappa Group is always keen to discuss ways in which this popular event can be improved.
This year, leveraging the social media is the focus and so, a few weeks before the mid-August event there should be some great buzz on FB and Twitter.

Quizmaster Sumanth C. Raman may well present a teaser quiz from a few landmark spots on First Line Beach!