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(ARCHIVE) Vol. Vol. XVIII No. 19, january 16-31, 2009
Our Readers Write

Time stands still

Time has remained  stationary according to the clock in the tower at the Pycrfofts Road-Whites Road-General Patter’s Road junction. It has been 10 o’ clock for the last few months(showing the correct time only twice a day!).
It is unfortunate that in this age of technology, when we rocket to the Moon, a clock remains out of order in a tall tower in a public place. Should not such structures be made to serve the purpose for which their founders erected them?

R. Janakiraman
14, 3rd Street, Goplapuram
Chennai 600 086

Unpopular house?

Further to V. Sriram’s brief account of historic Brodie Castle (MM, December 16th), I recall that in the 1940s, the large houses on Greenway’s Road were occupied by senior Government servants and Judges of the High Court. However, when the houses were offered to Indians, there was a marked reluctance to occupy Brodie’s Castle. It was a most impractical house to live in, a colossal mansion with large drafty rooms. The ground floor was raised on a plinth and there were spaces under it, perhaps store rooms or stables in days of yore. However, Justice P. Rajagopalan moved in without hesitation.

As he was a good friend of my father and one of his sons was of my age, I was often there. Whatever our elders thought, we found it a wonderful place for hide and seek. When someone asked him how he managed to live in that house, Justice Rajagopalan, a portly figure, said, “I am a large man with a large wife and a large family. I need a large house.” However, in a year or two, he built his own house elsewhere and moved out.

When it proved difficult to persuade any other judge to move in, Government decided that it would be an ideal official residence for the Premier, and Kumaraswamy Raja moved in. Those were the days when politicians behaved like ordinary human beings. He often took a stroll down Greenway’s Road, and I used to see him walk into our house (my father was a Secretary to Government and lived in a less intimidating house on the same road) to discuss something or other with him.

Raja was replaced as Premier by Rajaji, but Rajaji firmly refused to have anything to do with this building. He stayed in his own house in T’ Nagar, and the idea of having the equivalent of 10 Downing Street for the Premiers of Madras was abandoned. In course of time, the College of Carnatic Music became an appropriate occupant of the heritage house.

M. K. Mani
1, Kasturirangan Road
Chennai 600 018


In this issue

Elevated Corridor...
Improve Central Station...
If Bogota can do it...
The freedom struggle...
Historic residences...
Other stories in this issue...

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


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