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VOL. XXII NO. 8, August 1-15, 2012
Draw up your plans for
Madras Week

Madras Week, which started off as Madras Day eight years ago to celebrate the founding of the city on August 22, 1639, has become Madras Fortnight, if not Madras Month. Though Madras Week will be celebrated between the 19th and the 26th of August, the celebrations will begin by the second week of August itself and will carry on till the 31st. For the small band of volunteers who began this concept and now help coordinate the programmes, the response from corporates and public citizens of the city has given enormous satisfaction.

This year, the hotels of the city will, as usual, be enthusiastic participants. Some are venues for talks while others are hosting art and photographic exhibitions besides organising food festivals with Madras cuisine as their theme. Art galleries have also taken to this event in a big way.

The Chennai Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is also planning several competition programmes for schools, such as quizzes, elocution contests and debates with Madras as the focus. Mylapore Times too is organising a wide range of events for Madras Week. These include walks, quiz contests and other programmes. As has been the practice in past years, Chennai Heritage, publishers of Madras Musings, will be hosting eight talks at various locations on subjects related to the city. Plenty of heritage walks are also being organised this year. Further details will soon be available at the site

Perhaps indicative of the success of Madras Week as a concept is the number of institutions that have come forward each year to celebrate the city. We are also seeing several IT companies displaying interest. Rotary Clubs are also having several programmes. The celebrations have also spread to the suburbs such as Nanganallur and Tambaram. Private apartment blocks, schools and clubs are planning their own events.

Participation is purely a voluntary effort by those wanting to organise programmes during the Week. The role of the informal group of co-coordinators is only to encourage such participation, try to organise publicity for the events, offer advice and, where possible, arrange venues. For any assistance or information, please contact

Madras Musings lecture series
to commemorate Madras Week

19th August, Sunday: Dr. B. Biswakumar – Famous Doctors of Madras (GRT, Sir Theyagaroya Road, T'Nagar).

20th August, Monday: Ramanathan Krishnan in conversation with Nirmal Shekar: Tennis in Madras (The Hyatt, Mount Road).

21st August, Tuesday: Panel discussion with first-generation entrepreneurs of Chennai, anchored by Chandu Nair (Amethyst, Whites Road).

22nd August, Wednesday: Anita Ratnam – Changing Face of Chennai's Dance Scene (The Park, 601, Anna Salai).

23rd August, Thursday: Mike Nithavrianakis, Dy High Commissioner, UK – My time in Chennai (Savera, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai).

24th August, Friday: Suresh Balakrishnan – Some famed lawyers of Madras – Special tribute on the 150th year of the High Court of Madras (Accord Metropolitan, GN Chetty Road, T'Nagar).

25th August, Saturday: Mohan V. Raman: The Tamil forms of Sivaji Ganesan – Special tribute on the 100th year of Indian Cinema (Park Sheraton, TTK Road).

26th August, Sunday: Vipin Sachdev and Chef Willi in conversation with Geeta Doctor – Cooking for Chennai (Burgundy, MRC Nagar).

Note: Schedule on all days except 22nd August: 6.30-7.00 pm tea, 7.00-8.00 pm programme. Schedule for 22nd August: 7.00 to 7.30 pm tea, 7.30-8.30 pm programme.

Madras Musings Heritage Tours
to commemorate Madras Week

Saturday 18th August – 6.00 am – Tracing the old fort wall of Madras. Tour by van and foot for two hours, followed by breakfast. Guide: Sriram V. Charges: Rs 600 per head.

Sunday 19th August – 6.30 am – The vanished and surviving theatres of Mount Road. Tour by van and foot for two hours, followed by breakfast. Guide: Mohan V. Raman. Charges: Rs 600 per head.

Saturday 25th August – 6.30 am – The heritage of Alwarpet. Tour by van and foot for two hours, followed by breakfast. Guide: Sriram V. Charges: Rs 600 per head.

Sunday 26th August – 6.30 am – How the harbour developed. Tour by van, foot and boat in collaboration with the Royal Madras Yacht Club, followed by breakfast. Guide: Sriram V. Charges: Rs 850 per head.

Optional: Lunch at the RMYC and a sail boat journey in the sea at Rs 200 extra. Bookings for this walk close on 19th August. Those interested must furnish copy of proof of identity along with payment.

Bookings for all walks to be done by email at

Nizhal's Tree Walks

Nizhal celebrates institutional campuses of Madras this August, with tree walks in English and Tamil. Trees in a city are sentinels of history and need to be preserved as part of our heritage. Celebrate these old trees, be it the stately Arjuna tree at the St George's Cathedral, the majestic Baobab at the museum, the spreading Rain Trees of the Little Flower Convent and Queen Mary's or the fragrant Maghizham trees in Kalakshetra.

The walks will last for 90 minutes. The morning walks start at 7.30 am and the evening walks at 4.30 pm. Come with friends and family and re-discover your city!

Date Venue Timings/Language Starting point
August 17th (Friday) Madras Museum, Egmore 7.30 to 9.00 am (Tamil) Ticket counter
August 18th (Saturday) Kalakshetra, Thiruvanmyur 7.30 to 9.00 am (Tamil) Main entrance
August 18th (Saturday) St George's Cathedral, Cathedral Road 4.30 to 6.00 pm (English) Parking lot
August 19th (Sunday) Queen Mary's College, Marina 7.30 to 9.00 am (Tamil) Main gate
August 19th (Sunday) Kalakshetra, Thiruvanmyur 4.30 to 6.00 pm (English) Main entrance
August 24th (Friday) Queen Mary's College, Marina 4.30 to 6.00 pm (English) Main gate
August 25th (Saturday) St George's Cathedral, Cathedral Road 7.30 to 9.00 am (Tamil) Parking lot
August 25th (Saturday) Little Flower Convent, Gemini flyover 4.30 to 6.00 pm (English) Main gate
August 26th (Sunday) Little Flower Convent, Gemini flyover 7.30 to 9.00 am (Tamil) Main gate
August 26th (Sunday) Madras Museum, Egmore 4.30 to 6.00 pm (English) Ticket counter

Registrations can also be done online. For more details and to register by phone, please call: 9003011372 between 10 and 6 pm. For further details visit:

Please click here to support the Heritage Act

In this issue

Where are those water bodies?
Marina to undergo yet another facelift
Homes of yore
Draw up your plans for Madras Week
Changing face of the game
Ravi Varma's heroines come alive on stage
A cityscape and a chronicle
The day Dara Singh was arrested
The return of the Redvented Bulbul

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan


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