Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXIX No. 2, May 1-15, 2019
It was exactly three years ago that there was a mention about Madras Literary Society and the exhibition we hosted, in Madras Miscellany. Many good things started happening in MLS after that. Muthiah Sir, member number 5, was one of our senior-most members. He visited MLS after a long gap and stayed for three long hours. He looked at the restored books and patiently went through our paper on future plans.
He would enquire about our progress once in a while and give us many suggestions for improvement. When I went to his home to request Sir to give a talk in MLS, he said “Let’s do a quiz on Madras,” “you better know the answers and keep a bowl of chocolates to reward correct answers,” he said with a smile. It was one of the most engaging and interesting events which have taken place in MLS. He patiently stood for all the selfies his fans wanted to take with him at the end of it.
During one of the conversations I had with him I mentioned that I was working on post-Independent settlements of Madras, starting with Anna Nagar. We had published a booklet on the same. I was asked to meet him the next day and explain all the parts of the book. From that day on, he would always introduce me as the Anna Nagar history girl, and made sure we were included in press meets, celebrations and talks. And that was Sir, who was ready to encourage, acknowledge and appreciate the young and newcomers.
Another cherished time with Sir was, when I attended the PII Journalism course. He talked about his love for sports, his ideas on women fashion, politics, border issues, food, and many other subjects. He also gave homework. At the end of the course he asked,“can we have one more class?” All of us unanimously said – Yes! We could not get enough of his knowledge, passion, his encouragement and his interesting questions with a charming smile.