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Vol. XXIX No. 3, May 16-31, 2019

Archives: Vol. XXIX No. 3, May 16-31, 2019


Panagal Park – and the Metro rail scare

by The Editor

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Residents of T’Nagar and those elsewhere in the city who are concerned about green cover are a worried lot. It is learnt that iconic Panagal Park, located in T’Nagar will soon be taken over by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) for Phase II of the underground service. T’Nagar is an area that regularly tops city statistics when it comes to particulate matter in the air and Panagal Park has been doing its best to contain pollution. Doing away with it can have serious consequences.

CMRL has however been at pains to deny that it is planning a permanent takeover. A query sent by Madras Musings to the Managing Director, CMRL had a response to this effect. “Only a part of the park is being taken and that too will be restored as a park with better greenery and facilities as per requirements of the people. It is only an underground station,” was the text of the response received. That sounds quite reassuring but those who have had experience of prior dealings with CMRL on such matters beg to differ.


Contract Farming – revenue generator through exports

by A Special Correspondent

This is the second and concluding part of the article on what needs to be done to make the Tamil Nadu Contract Farming Act a success


Pavithra’s Perspective

The Empty Cupola

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Until my twenties, what little I knew of Chennai’s distinguished fort was confined to the one trip I’d made as a teenager to the Fort Museum – where I’d seen a huge portrait of Queen Alexandra and promptly fallen in love – but there my knowledge ended. Some years later, asked to do a piece on selfsame Museum for The Times of India, I visited the Fort. I submitted to the checks, the signed registers, crossed the moat (which I didn’t even realize until later was one) and made a beeline for my destination, when I paused by the bottom of the steps.


Tributes to Mr. Muthiah

Mylapore Times and Madras Day

Mr. Muthiah with Vincent D’Souza during one of the Madras Week meets.

Mr. Muthiah with Vincent D’Souza during one of the Madras Week meets.

When he held my hand and pressed it even as he was about to sign what must be the last of his books ( the 3rd volume and an index of ‘Madras: a 400-year record of the First City of Modern India’), I felt the emotions that were in him.

The time to bid goodbye could be any day, soon. Muthiah went quietly: the way he would have wanted.


Memories of Muthiah and Madras Musings

V.S. Raghavan, ‘Rags’ to friends, worked during the initial years of Madras Musings with S. Muthiah. He has sent us some of his recollections of those times and we publish them below.

It all began with picking up a copy of MM in ’92/’93 and I was hooked. It so happened that the same issue had an advertisement for a freelance photographer and I applied, photography being a passion, especially street and travel photography that portrayed the human condition. I soon found myself in a house down Vijayaraghava Lane and the rest is history. Mr. Muthiah would call every other day asking me to check a heritage building somewhere or meet someone who had a bond with Madras, and I would be off taking pictures and at times writing snippets.

Muthiah once told me that K.S. Anwar’s pictures were technically perfect, and they truly were while mine were not really there. It was an era when colour film and the coin slot labs were taking over the planet and the lowly B&W lab I knew in Mylapore was doing the best it could.