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

Vol. XXIX No. 2, May 1-15, 2019

From a collaborator

– K.R.A. Narasiah

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When the Association of British Scholars in collaboration with the British Council decided to bring out a record of sorts like a gazetteer, on Madras 400 years, a subject close to the heart of Muthiah, he chose to be its editor and experts in the respective fields were asked to contribute. On the subject of Port and Shipping of Madras, my name was suggested to Mr. Muthiah and that is how I personally met him first after locating myself in Madras, post retirement from Vizag port. Even in the first meeting I found his warmth overwhelming.

A few weeks later I was pleasantly surprised when he attended my lecture on <em>Early Navigation and Shipping of Tamil Nadu</em>, at the Tamil Nadu Archaeology department, and was awed when I saw a lengthy and elaborate report about my talk in his column the following Monday, (August 29, 2005) titled <em>Marine Conundrum</em>.

When the Madras Port was celebrating its 125th anniversary, the port administration wanted a coffee table book to be published with Muthiah as its author; he asked me to join him in this project and asked me to be its co-author. I considered this an honour. During the period I was working with him I found him to be so warm and friendly and during several visits to his residence I found his wife Valliammai, who predeceased him, to be equally warm. In fact she took active part when I was rendering the book in Tamil, even suggesting a Tamil title. He was happy that I wrote <em>Madrasapattinam</em> in Tamil and provided a foreward for it.

During my research for civil aviation in Madras, I located the remains of the old plane fuselage owned by Aavudaiyappa Chettiar and he was excited to publish the pictures. Simple and eloquent, he was always generous to a fault when recognizing others’ contribution to his column.

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