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Vol. XXX No. 2, May 1-15, 2020

Featured Articles

Opening Up as Important as Lockdown

By the Editor

The city of Chennai that was Madras has been in an unprecedented state of lockdown since the third week of March. It is of course not alone in this, for the rest of the country, and indeed much of the world is pretty much in the same situation. With the numbers in the city spiking […]

Tamil Nadu’s Post-Corona Challenges

By the Special Correspondent

We dare not, henceforth, dismiss calamities of global dimension as being outside the realm of probability. The tiny virus, of which there can be a million or more on a pinpoint, has humbled mighty nations. Though ruthless, it spares those who are back to simple practices that our grandmothers insisted upon at one time – […]

Lockdown Safari

By Varsha Venugopal

From L-R: Black-rumped Flameback, Green Bee-eater, Rose-ringed Parakeet. Photo courtesy, Umesh Mani

On the 200th Anniversary of the Madras Eye Infirmary, the First Ophthalmic Hospital in Asia

Ramya Raman and Anantanarayanan Raman

The Madras Eye Infirmary (MEI) was the first eye hospital, not only in India but in the whole of Asia as well, and the second oldest in the world. It was a public facility that was established in Madras city (now Chennai) in 1819 to address the ophthalmic problems of the residents of the city […]

What’s ‘Appening?

Ranjitha Ashok

It is a truth universally acknowledged (sorry, Miss Jane), a truth beheld to be self-evident, that when crises arrive, leaders either emerge or have leadership thrust upon them. (Okay, bit of a quote-khichdi there. Oh well, lockdown loopiness. Whatever. Deal with it.) Now, one of the many, man-n-n-ny ‘new normals’ that have risen to the […]

The Vanished ‘Gentleman’ of the Road — Remembering the Madras Tram

By K. Balakesari

The Madras tram The tram lines that passed through Westcott Road, Royapettah, June 1951 The accompanying photograph of a tram car of the long defunct Madras Tramways Company that wound up its operations in the early nineteen fifties is remarkable for the diverse memories that it evokes of a bygone era. The photograph, so the […]

Lost Landmarks of Chennai

The first village of weavers Elihu Yale To most of us researchers on the history of the city, Chintadripet is the best-known instance of the East India Company settling weavers in the vicinity of the Fort. The name of the area, as anyone with rudimentary knowledge of etymology will tell you, comes from Chinna Tari […]

One Year After

by The Editor

It seems as though it was only yesterday that we at ­Madras Musings bade farewell to our founder, S. Muthiah. The Chief, as he was known to those who worked closely with him, held this publication close to his heart and it was his dearest wish that it should flourish even after he had gone. […]

Taking Care of Migrant Workers in the Time of Covid-19

by A Staff Correspondent

“We received a call from a migrant who asked for help to purchase baby formula for his three-month-old twins before the shops closed. We transferred the money in half-an-hour,” said Aruna Subramaniam of Bhoomika Trust, as she explained the plight of migrant workers stranded in the city. “They are figuring out our helpline and reaching […]

More on Gaiety Theatre

by Ramineni Bhaskarendra Rao

This has reference to the article Not much Gaiety in its history, featured under the Lost Landmarks ­column in MM Vol. XXIX, No. 23, March 16th, 2020. I am providing some more information below which may be of interest to your readers. The Star of East Films studio run by Venkayya and Prakash had the […]