Tag Archives: Chennai

Celebrating Madras by Sushila Ravindranath

22 Aug

Image Sushila Ravindranath is a city-based journalist.

It is August and is that time of the year to celebrate Madras Week. What started as a daylong event nine years ago has now spread over a month. Why do we need to celebrate Chennai? “We have it all… the Railways, roads, the museum, the Medical College. Yes, the Cholas and the Pallavas began it, and the British, Dutch and the Danes contributed. But today, all that belongs to us. As citizens of Chennai we have to take pride in all that is Chennai today and try to maintain what remains. After all Madras is the pioneer of modern India,” says S Muthiah Chennai’s own chronicler.

The founding day of Madras is considered to be August 22, 1639. It was on that day, in that year, that a sliver of land, where Fort. St. George stands today, was acquired by the by the East India Company. It is believed that this deal was made on August 22, 1639.Today, Chennai stands tall for a variety of reasons. Education, healthcare, IT, history, tourism, auto industries, movies, etc. And yes, it also has its warts.

Madras Day celebrates the city. Continue reading

Parakkum Rayil by Aparna Padmanabhan

30 Apr

Aparna Padmanabhan

Aparna Padmanabhan is a self-taught artist working out of Chennai. She is currently working with acrylics on board, delving into the customary subjects, techniques and metaphors of traditional Indian Art, especially the Kerala Murals and Newari Tangkas. She has her own studio, “Mallika”, in Chennai, where she employs ten girls who make quilts, candles, and other accessories for sale. Aparna is also a freelance copywriter & editor for the Times Group and other leading advertising agencies, and an interior and architectural designer. In her spare time, she teaches design and art.

Few people know it, but Chennai is up there with the rest of them. I am talking about the Mass Rapid Transit System [at least, that’s what I think MRTS stands for].

First announced very, very, many years ago, the MRTS has been a long while in the making. It was initially just an occasional update in the newspapers, like most other civic projects. I had been wowed by San Fransisco’s BART over two decades ago, and wondered how this would match up. Continue reading

Ye Olde Deepavali the Tambrahm way by V. Sriram

30 Oct

A wonderfully nostalgic offering from V. Sriram, author of ‘Carnatic Summer’ and well-known speaker, writer and music critic, who keeps track of changing Chennai in a traditionally festive season.

Nowadays Madras is called Chennai. Deepavali as it used to be properly called in olden time (not so long ago, how old do you think I am) is now Divali. Perhaps it is representative of the changing trends in this, our city. Last year I received an invitation for a cards party on the eve of Divali. To say I was surprised would be to put it mildly. Card sessions were always popular in the North where it is considered auspicious to lose money on the eve of Divali. But that they flourished outside Sowcarpet in Madras was news to me. Continue reading

Spare time pursuits

30 May

Sujatha Pelletier

Continuing our series of guest writers, Sujatha Pelletier, whose parents Manohar and Mahema Devadoss have been part of Chennai’s literary and cultural scene for the last several decades, and whose life as a mother and wife of a representative of the US government in different corners of the world has been richly rewarding, writes…

Amongst the many things that keep my family coming back to Chennai every year is the fact that my native city does not always yield its sweaty charms to those who prefer the convenience of franchised and branded cultural experiences. The exertions of the hunt may be tiresome to some, but they merely whet the appetite for one who, having lived in 8 countries in the past 17 years, has found that things are not always what they seem. Continue reading