Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXX No. 1, April16-30, 2020
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. We are happy that we have striven to do just that.
Had he been around the Chief would have been happy to see that support for Madras Musings continues unabated – the corporate sponsors see value in continuing the publication, the subscribers add their mite to this and we keep getting requests for being added to the mailing list, this despite it being almost seven years since we first made it to the web. The Chief would have also been happy to note that his flock of contributors remains intact and keeps supplying articles for publication. We express our thanks to regulars such as N.S. Parthasarathy, Pavithra Srinivasan, Karthik Bhatt, Ranjitha Ashok, Geeta Doctor, Dr. A. Raman, Vincent D’Souza, Sashi Nair, V. Ramnarayan, Partab Ramchand, Dr. Chithra Madhavan and R.V. Rajan among others. And we also express our thanks to the Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation that takes care of the accounting and administrative nitty-gritties, Mot Juste Communication Services Pvt. Ltd., that has been doing the page layouts and the web updates, and of course Lokavani, our printers in whose offices Madras Musings took birth. It is a team comprising all these individuals and institutions that brings out Madras Musings without fail, fortnight after fortnight. Above all, we would be failing in our duty if we did not thank those readers who regularly communicate with us – a pat on the back here, a kick in the rear there, all of it well deserved and keeping us on the move all the time.
Of course, this a strange period that we are going through – the whole world in some form of lockdown and we in India in one that is even more stringent, rightly so given the nature of the pandemic that is ravaging almost all continents. Even someone as particular as the Chief would have understood the sheer impossibility of bringing out a print edition of his beloved publication under such circumstances. He would of course have, in his inimitable style, drawn an immediate parallel with something similar that happened in the history of our city, sometime in our distant past. Why don’t you do a piece on it he would have asked one of us, expecting us to rustle up the story in a jiffy. He had all the facts at his fingertips and thought we were similarly gifted.
This pause is a good time to reflect on the legacy of the Chief’s. Why and how does a niché publication like Madras Musings remain so relevant and popular? It is in its unique composition, all of it fashioned by the Chief, that the periodical holds relevance. It forever seeks to bring to life forgotten nuggets of the city’s historical past. It re-establishes their relevance in today’s context and it engenders a pride in the many achievements that Chennai (oops, sorry Chief, Madras) has to its credit. To many, Madras Musings is a connect to a world gone by and a way of life that once was. To the official establishment Madras Musings may be a bit of a thorn, forever reminding it of what it can do better. We trust that they do appreciate our fairness in anything we criticise their functioning about. In keeping these core values intact, we believe we are true to the Chief’s vision. On this first anniversary of his passing, we renew our promise to him to keep Madras Musings coming out, fortnight after fortnight. Yes, we would have liked to have print this issue but then sorry Chief, you know how it is.