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Special Madras Week Issue | VOL. XXII NO. 9, August 16-31, 2012
Vincent D'Souza's thoughts for Madras Week

Do your bit for the city...

An interesting production is on the cards at AMM Matric School in Kotturpuram.

Well-known dancer Nirupama Nithyanandan, who grew up and learnt classical dance in our city, and then moved to France to learn and perform, and is now an international artiste, is leading this project at the school.

V.R. Devika of Aseema Trust broached the idea after she watched Nirupuma lead a project while working with senior school students in France.

The duo are trying to get the teenagers at AMM express themselves on the theme of 'Cosmopolitian Chennai'.

Where are you from and what brought you to this city? What are the influences that the city has had on you and what have you assimilated and what have you bypassed? Who are your friends and neighbours and how do you relate to them?

Since we have also set the ball rolling for the 2012 edition of "Madras Week" celebrations which celebrate the founding of the city and all that it stands for, we are hoping that Nirupuma's work at AMM can be staged at a few venues later in August.

At one level, Madras Day/Week ( is about events. At another level it may also set the tone for something more substantial.

Nirupama's effort is in that direction.

There are others too.

Writings on the city have begun to get published. The city has been the stage for a few books of fiction and non-fiction. A book titled Chennaivasi has just been launched. Bishwanath Ghosh's Tamarind City was published some months ago.

A few music bands have over the years composed songs with threads based on the city, its life and its idiosyncrasies. A compilation of these songs and some fresh ones on a CD sponsored by a city-based business would make a nice gift or a memento.

Elsewhere, a script is being readied for a short film on an Anglo-Indian family of Madras.

There is also an increasing volume of photographs on this city. They remain on Flickr or in Seagate hard drives. Perhaps, it is time to collate them for coffee table books or direct them to online data banks.

Perhaps this is the time for you and your group to do your bit for the city.

...& do a destination or two yourself

There are many interesting destinations people of the city are still to explore though some of us take these for granted.

On my list is a trip to the hill which we all know as Saint Thomas Mount. The hill which greeted you not so long ago as you approached Kathipara roundabout in Guindy and the space you swing past on your way to the airports.

Choose to do this on a Sunday morning when the world is happy to laze at home. If you are driving down, enter the area from the Garrison Church side and not from the Butt Road end, the road that leads you to Porur, Poonamallee and Bangalore.

If you take my suggestion, then crawl at the foothills, or pause to take a closer look. The church, the English-era bungalows . . . some in good shape, some crumbling. . . this was the area where the British set up a Cantonment outside the Fort when the latter got a tad crowded.

Swing past the gate of the OTA (Officers' Training Academy) to approach the hill from its western side. The road can take your car or bike but a walk is recommended. You may huff and puff doing this but the sights of the city at various levels are special.

Besides the heritage church atop the hill, where Christians believe Saint Thomas was killed by his enemies, step into the crannies to explore other landmarks here.

Open your picnic packs, refresh and take the steps down, on the eastern side of the hill.

You too may have your 'must do' things in this city that you share with guests or friends.

At our end, for Madras Week ( we are putting together a compilation of '51 THINGS TO DO IN CHENNAI'.

Now, there are three listings on a blog – at

Do send us your 'must do things'. Mail to – Or post at the Madras Day space on FaceBook ( (Courtesy: Mylapore Times)

Please click here to support the Heritage Act

In this
Madras Week

Seeking a place in World Heritage
Will Union Finance Minister keep his promise?
Vincent D'Souza's thoughts for Madras Week
A thought from Singapore in time for Madras Week
Two at the top
Madras that is Chennai – in today's writing
Namma Madras Nalla Madras – Madras Week 2012

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Quizzin' with Ram'nan


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