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Vol. XXXII No. 8, August 1-15, 2022

Madras Day is back

-- by The Editor

At last, after a hiatus of two years, Madras Day, and its adjuncts – Madras Week, Madras Month, etc, are all back. And in what is a true vindication of the vision of its founding fathers, namely S. Muthiah, Vincent D’Souza and Sashi Nair, the celebrations continued, albeit in a muted fashion, even while the pandemic raged. People moved onto a virtual format for their events and ensured that their tribute to the city was paid. Truly, it was the pandemic that demonstrated that Madras Day is here to stay after all. Let us hope that this year, with COVID 19 showing signs of ebbing at least in terms of mortalities, Madras Day is celebrated in the old, grand way, with live events.

The signs are encouraging. The Madras Day mailbox (themadrasday@gmail.com) and that of this publication (editor@madrasmusings.com) are filling up with messages. Schools are doing events and so are embassies – it must be pointed out here that these two constituents have been firm supporters of Madras Day from the time it was mooted as a concept. We are not sure as to how the hospitality industry, battered as it has been by COVID and only just recovering, will respond, but we are hopeful. There are plenty of heritage walks on the anvil, with lots of youngsters leading the pack. In short, after two years of barrenness, we are seeing green shoots. May they grow and prosper.

A call to Vincent D’Souza and a scan of his Facebook posts reveal the man to be in his element. He is planning ­numerous events – on the night life in Mount Road, something on theatres and something else on where the hopefuls of Tamil cinema stayed when they attended screentests at Kodambakkam, all of which sounds most exciting. Sashi Nair we are sure must be planning talks at the Press Institute in Taramani. We have not yet heard from the Roja Muthiah Research Library but we are sure something must be brewing there. Shubha Kuila of The Indian Twist creates fun, quirky, Indian useful gifts with a cause attached – products are created by neurodiverse artistes – and she is planning an event. We have not yet heard from Sujatha Tarakesan of Chennai Gaga but we are sure something is being planned there. Tripurasundari Sevvel, our girl from Anna Nagar is busy with events there and also at the Madras Literary Society. And there is Ramanujar Moulana, the Madras biking man who of late been doing a lot of work with the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, who has three events – a bike ride, a book launch and an exhibition. The Madras Local History Group founder Venkatesh Ramakrishnan informs us, has six talks, all to be held at the Arkay Convention Centre. Kombai S. Anwar says that he will be planning some events and will respond soon.

Oh, before we forget, let us add that Madras Musings will be hosting eights talks/events – of which just one will be virtual. We will soon be posting the details. For that matter, all event schedules will be available on the site www.themadrasday.in beginning from August 1. The site will be updated on a daily basis so make sure you visit repeatedly.

Madras Week this year is between August 21 and 28th, with Madras Day being 22nd. We must hasten to add here that this is a celebration of the city and not of its founding – we agree that there is no question of Chennai being founded on a particular date. The region has been populated since Palaeolithic times. But celebrating it is a good thing, for it has given us much – home, hearth and much else. Surely when we can observe Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc, sparing some time for our city is not asking too much.

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