Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVII No. 5, June 16-30, 2017

Featured Articles

A disaster waiting to happen

by The Editor

It was only a couple of issues ago that we had written about the rot in Chennai’s real estate. One of the instances quoted was a fire in a wholly unauthorised structure that continued to remain in occupation despite the authorities sealing it. That incident claimed four lives. The latest episode, though fortunately not causing […]

A very rare visitor

Picture and text by T. Murugavel

One late morning, a year ago, my friend Santharaman rang up to say he had sighted a Brahminy kite – Haliastur indus – in the skies of Anna Salai. But I did not take it seriously because it had been years since a Brahminy kite was sighted in Chennai. I assumed that he must have […]

Garbage: How about we citizens doing our bit?

by a Special Correspondent

Continuing from last fort-night, when the focus was on our low sanitary rating, I today look at a major contributing factor: Garbage, which daily overflows on to our streets. It cannot be anyone’s case that the ubiquitous piles of garbage are entirely the responsibility of the municipal conservancy agencies. Be it garbage or sewage, at […]

Charivari – 2

From Civilian to Police Chief It is today known as the Arignar Anna Poonga but for long it was Robinson Park. The man after whom it was named was Sir William Rose Robinson, KCSI, of the Madras Civil Service. At the time the Indian Charivari carried his caricature and profile, he was the acting Governor […]

Lost landmarks of Chennai


Where have all the avenues gone? It’s a blazing summer with a drought compounding it. Most of Chennai’s roads are devoid of any kind of tree cover and with the heat radiating from the sky, the buildings, the roads and the vehicles make for a local version of hell. At a time like this, it […]

Nostalgia as History – 2

by Janaki Venkataraman

Pelathope Days One of the most entertain-ing among this group of books is G. Ram Mohan’s Pelathope Days. Pelathope is a narrow residential street close to Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore and is said to be as old as the temple or even older. Today it looks more or less the same as a hundred years […]

90+ and still going strong

by Shobha Menon

A three-fold commitment Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Accclaimed by Time magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th Century and by the United Nations as “a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction,” Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is the Founder and Chairman of […]

The back story

by N. Venkateshwaran

How Ambattur Industrial Estate became a reality Left to right: R.Venkataraman, K. Kamaraj and M. Bhakthavatsalam looking at a model of the Ambattur Industrial Estate at its inauguration on July 3, 1965 Ambattur Industrial Estate was the second industrial estate to come up in the State of Madras (the first being the Guindy Industrial Estate). […]

Mother’s cricketing passion

Remembered by Krishnadas Varma

As the Champion’s Trophy tournament gets underway, I recall Mother who had, just after World War II, started reading about cricket, got passionate about it within a year, and became an armchair critic of not only the game, but the leading players of that era too. Mother, Padmini Varma, had cricket-crazy nephews from erstwhile Cochin […]

Wordless Gopulu


The late Gopulu during his Ananda Vikatan days had a series of wordless jokes that brought about loud laughter. These were brought out as a Wordless Gopulu book, in 2005, and a copy was recently sent to me by Charukesi. We are pleased to publish these cartoons for a new generation of Madrasis.