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Vol. XXVI No. 23, March 16-31, 2017

Our Readers Write

T’ Nagar has its Season, too

While Mylapore may be the main hub of the December music and dance festival, T’Nagar and surrounding areas are also active players. In addition to leaders, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (at the Nalli Gana Vihar hall) and Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (at Vani Mahal), Mudra conducts its festival at the Infosys Hall, Chennai Cultural Academy (earlier Nungam-bakkam Cultural Aca-demy) at Rama Rao Kalyana Mandap, Bharat Kalachar at the PSBB School, and Mee-nakshi Sounderarajan Fine Arts Academy at Meenakshi College in Kodambakkam. The Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (1944) and Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (1953) are the oldest sabha-s organising annual music and dance festivals. I have always felt that the concerts at these sabha-s receive poor media coverage even though all leading artists perform here, and the quality of music offered is often superb.

The Refurbished Vani Mahal – with its comfortable seats and Bose speaker system – offers an enhanced listening experience.

Over the last 22 years, Mudhra has experimented with varying formats like four-hour concert, one-raga one-kriti concerts, and thematic concerts. Its free webcast of concerts through Paalam TV has attracted a large number of rasika-s.

Grammy Awared winning ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayak-ram was awarded the Mudhra Award of Excellence on January 2, 2017. He presented a unique programme called Talachakram specially conceived for the day. The maestro played four gha-tams and many other vidwans participated in the percussion ensemble. It was an amazing programme for nearly two hours.

Concerts at Meenakshi College catering to rasikas in surrounding areas like Kodam-bakkam, Mahalinga-puram, Rangarajapuram, Trust-puram, and Ashok Nagar, besides some students and teachers, always draw full houses. The acoustics are good and the concerts are of three hours’ duration allowing sufficient time to present quality music.

C. Ramakrishna

Waterways sought

Thera busy blame game regarding encroachment of water bodies for human habi-tation. With the expanding po-pu-lation, this space is the obvious option for housing as it has been vacant for decades with repeated droughts and occasional heavy rainfall causing floods. These spaces had virtually -become unauthorised dumping yards and breeding grounds for insects.

What should have been thought of was the digging of new channels and lengthening the existing ones without -hindering the existing infrastructure to enhance storm water drainage.

Buckingham Canal played its humble role despite its poor maintenance during last year’s floods. It was dug in the 19th Century as a famine relief measure. Planners should now think of creating more such canals just as they think of coming up with ring roads, by-pass roads and highways to accommodate the growing volume of traffic.

Engineering technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Tunneling under a live city, bridges over the seas, and reclamation of land from the sea have all become a reality.

Newly created water channels using this technology could well provide intra-city water transport systems for ferrying cargo and rides for tourists. A canal-cum-sea cruise to Maha-balipuram could emerge as a tourist attraction. Water transport is enormously cost efficient, fuel efficient and less polluting, besides being less accident prone. A long sea coast has the potential to serve as a source for water during lean periods. Can Chennai take the lead?

R. Janakiraman
14/16, Gopalapuram Third Streeet
Chennai 600 006

Wanted a Pied Piper

I wank on the Marina on the well-paved road meant for pedestrians who want to go for long walks. It is a recent habit. The road is beautifully laid out, straight in long stretches and gently curving at others to relieve the monotony. The architects have done a splendid job.

I reach there a little before the sun sets. The sea is green and light and dark blue in some places and the few clouds above it are in shades of orange and pink. It is a glorious sight and since the sea is on the east coast, I don’t face the sun directly. The cool breeze keeps blowing all the time. I am told this is the -second largest beach in the world and, as the sun sets, traffic lights on the road come up, a circle of emerald green, breathtakingly beautiful. There is no other city in the whole of India I would rather be in than Chennai because of this wondrous gift of -Nature to us.

But the well paved road meant for pedestrians is strewn with plastic covers which are blown by the wind from wherever they were thrown. You have to avoid cow dung patches (mercifully not fresh, otherwise you could skid on them). As you walk, a plastic cover might just get wrapped around your foot or fly into your face. People eat chips, ground nuts and fried stuff and throw the plastic covers as soon as they have finished eating. Dustbins kept at several places are ignored. Coffee, you can have with milk or black, and throw the plastic cup where you want to.

On one side of the walk, grass struggles to grow on what perhaps was meant to be flower beds. Big holes in the ground reveal that rats are having a merry time multiplying in hordes with all the leftover food strewn around. If one rat can produce 75 rats a year, the number of rats living on the Marina is mind boggling. If a Pied Piper could be found to entice them to the sea to drown, what a sea of rats would be following him!

It is not the poor who dirty the place, but we, the middle class, who come there to enjoy the breeze and the ambience. And make a picnic out of the outing. The poor have no money to buy coffee, sundal and groundnuts.

I am too old to try and do something about this. Will the readers of MM?

Radha Padmanabhan

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