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Vol. XXXII No. 10, September 1-15, 2022
As the curtains come down on Madras Week 2022, we at Madras Musings are filled with a deep sense of gratitude to the city that we are proud to be in and call home. That it can have so many positive-minded celebrants is by itself a matter of pride but then, we would have expected nothing less from Madras that is Chennai. What was even more heart-warming was the way people came forward by themselves to celebrate the city. Here, there, in ones and twos, the events kept adding up. And there was a buzz in the air.
Come to think of it, there is nothing sensational in Madras Week celebrations – it is hardly the kind of happening that attracts eyeballs. It is not breaking news material. But for a change, it is not a negative story either. And there we think lies the secret behind Madras Week’s attraction as far as the media is concerned. That there are so many celebration-worthy aspects to the city itself made for a great story and that is what we think attracted the media. It took note and it was wonderful the way the coverage of Madras Week events was kept up. Many thanks to the media people – at a time when you were yourself battered by the pandemic and the consequent fall of revenue, we sincerely appreciate what you did.
Our next hero is the hospitality industry. They were perhaps the worst hit when it came to the last two years. And yet, when Madras Week was revived, they were back, offering venues, experimenting with cuisines, and deliberating over the different ways in which they could celebrate Chennai. As is well known, Madras Musings has over 17 years partnered with the hospitality industry when it comes to hosting talks and events, and it was with a sense of trepidation that we approached the hotels about the possibility this year.
As part of a wider goal to tackle inundation during the rainy season, the Greater Chennai Corporation has unveiled plans to establish sponge parks throughout the city. Sponge parks are, as the name suggests, functional public spaces that can absorb water and recharge the groundwater table, thus limiting water stagnation.
If there is one activity that has really blossomed owing to Madras Week celebrations, it is the heritage walk. Absent from the Chennai cultural scene at least till 1999, though it was always very popular elsewhere, it has since grown manifold.
This year, during Madras Week, apart from the walks that were led by your editor, there were plenty of others and the topics were wide-ranging and interesting. The Madras Naturalists Society and Nizhal did their walks connected with nature. Vincent D’Souza came up with some great topics – Mount Road at dusk
The Cryptic Chennai Quiz, hosted online – Quizmaster Ashwin Bhandarkar tested how well quizzers know our
The CP Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation saw writer Venkatesh Ramakrishnan speak about the royalty of Madras who embellish the pages of the city’s history.