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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 20, february 1-15, 2010
A festival to remember
(By Geetha Iyengar)

Mylapore is an enigma.

The action during the Mylapore festival.

Even as time rolls by and modernity and technology take over our lives, the timeless quality of this heritage town defies time and has a charisma that has to be experienced rather than be described.

The Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival that was on for four days in mid-January was a veritable fest for people of all ages.

What is incredible is that there is an ever-growing sustained interest by people who are otherwise addicted to their daily fare of TV and films. All these took a backseat. The outdoor ambience, with events happening on the streets, and an experience that is unique and happens only once a year, took over.

The carnival atmosphere added to the attraction in an age when common space comes at a premium and free fun and good times are hardly there for the asking.

Do computer games rule the roost these days? You had to be present at the Pallankuzhi and Dayakattam contests to see that this is anything but the truth. Over 100 people of all ages pitted their skills in the search to be crowned winners! These traditional games call for skills that have not been publicised enough and no one can look down their nose on them any more. The Mylapore Festival took care of that!

And what about Kolam? Does it have any relevance in today’s lifestyle and how many take to it?

Over 100 women and children took over the North Mada Street over a weekend and created fascinating designs with precision and perfection sans modern instruments and gadgets!

Talk of film music – vintage hits of the 1950s and 60s were very much ‘in’ as the final day’s programme by C.A. Rajah’s Pranavam Orchestra entertained a packed audience who vibed with the melodies and hits of yesteryear with as much Zlan as they would have at any other concert!

Vincent D’Souza, Chief Organiser, says, “We look forward to more involvement by the general public, local businesses, schools, State agencies, police and just about anyone who loves ‘tradition in modernity’. Making the North Mada Street a ‘walk only’ zone for a few hours during the kolam certainly was good. Making the entire Mada Street zone a place for pedestrians only, not only during the festival but, maybe, three or four times a year would provide an unparalleled experience for visitors.”

Let’s do all we can to spruce up this part of Chennai and see if it finds itself a place as a heritage site. Countries in the West have done it. Why can’t we?

You can view pictures, videos and reports of the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival if you log on to:


In this issue

They’re only transferring the road congestion
Great festivals – but they need greater promotion
The Sabha that made V.P. Hall its home
A landmark that’s gone
A festival to remember
Kuppams oppose expressway
Historic Residences of Chennai - 35
Other stories

Our Regulars

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


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