Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Historian-writer S. Muthiah takes a back seat

The man who kept tossing the idea of Madras Day two decades ago - historian and writer S. Muthiah is now taking a back seat - his health needs his attention though this veteran can't hide his enthusiasm to sink into this season's events.

Though Muthiah has been resting he keeps sharing leads and tickling people into action.

His Monday column in The Hindu's MetroPlus section have not been appearing for some three weeks now.

Welcome to the 2018 edition!

Welcome to the 2018 edition of Madras Day.
What began as Madras Day (August 22) and expanded to Madras Week is now Madras Month!

In a way, that is an organic progression. For, many people and groups who now want to host an event that focuses on this city often choose weekends or holidays and since there are just a few of them, the whole of August now offers many events.

What has not happened?
Well, there are no signs of bigger ideas which can be translated into the real - like a weeklong show of exhibitions, films and interactive events at a few places across the city. Or a travelling show.

And if this has to happen we need corporates and pro-active community groups to back such ideas.

The city has many open spaces - outdoor and indoor - for such events. And the city is now big. So it certainly calls for multi-fold, multi-location events that can touch many neighborhoods.

What has happened though is that many more groups are keen to host events they can manage - clubs, urban affairs bodies and campuses.

A volunteer-driven celebration of this nature does not easily set triggers in communities. One has to coax, encourage, talk to and discuss with potential hosts to get an event going.