Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXIII No. 17, December 16-31, 2023
Cyclone Michaung has come and gone. It left behind a trail of destruction. It also seemed tailor-made to expose all our inadequacies. It showed up the city for what it is – built on shoddy infrastructure, with poor planning laid on it, and a willing citizenry that has co-operated with vested interests in bending every rule in the book as far as town planning is concerned. If such a metropolis does not get flooded, what else will?
It was ironic to see the way political parties reacted. The ruling entity, which riding on a weak monsoon last year had touted its so-called stormwater drain rectification a success was left with much mud splattered on it. Of course, politicians being what they are, everything turned into a photo opportunity – councillors jumping into plastic-filled drains to remove blocks (why allow it to get that way in the first place?) and being praised sky high, ministers and others wading through water to offer succour and relief and of course the spin doctors on social media immediately publicising everything. And when everything failed the tone and tenor changed to how Michaung was handled far better than the 2015 floods.
The Opposition begged to differ. Conveniently forgetting that it had thoroughly messed up reservoir management in 2015 and caused untold suffering owing to the consequent floods, this group went hammer and tongs at the Government, accusing it
For the residents of Ennore, Cyclone Michaung has been disastrous in more ways than one. The floodwaters have carried an oil spill from the nearby CPCL refinery at Manali into the eco-sensitive Ennore Creek, affecting the community in Ennore and surrounding areas as far as 25 kilometres from the neighbourhood. The Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department and Indian Coast Guard have noted that the oil spill has extended to roughly 20 kilometres, coating the Buckingham Canal and encroaching into the Kosasthalaiyar River to reach up to Kasimedu Harbour.
It needed Cyclone Michaung to give Last House on Snob’s Alley the final push. The building, ostensibly protected by the Archaeological Survey of India was on its last legs for over five years, deprived of even basic maintenance. The irony is that ten years ago, the structure was fine and well cared for. The ASI, for reasons unknown withdrew its hand a couple of years back and by sheer neglect,
Many schoolgirls dream of appearing on the silver screen in film-obsessed India. Fortunately for film goers, this was never my aspiration. Yet I did have my moment on the big screen in the most unexpected of circumstances.
Circa the late-1980s, a bunch of schoolgirls including me, after appearing for our annual exams, secured permission from our parents to watch a film by ourselves and treat ourselves to ‘tiffin’ at Woodlands Drive In – a restaurant that operated from what is now ‘Semmozhi Poonga’ on Cathedral Road. That our weights and voices were unaffected by Drive In’s best sellers – the deep fried channa bhatura, vegetable cutlet and poori-potato,
As we climbed up the stairs to enter the exhibition, we were welcomed with such warmth by Mr. R.V. Ramani, who bade us observe the works of diverse artists. His exhibit displayed the works AL Aparajithan, Muralidharan Krishnamoorthy, Asma Menon, S.S. Kalairani, K.M. Adimoolam, Subha De, Lykim Lent, Karun, C. Douglas, Indrapramit Roy, Ulrike Arnold, Manu Parekh, Bhagwan Shankar Chavan, Ashwini Bhat, Tozhikazu Kanai,