As part of the Mylapore Festival, I am conducting a heritage walk down Radhakrishnan Salai, from the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the beach to the Music Academy. Now what is heritage about this stretch you may well ask. After all the road is now known for endless traffic jams, the City Centre mall, a rather peculiarly shaped multistoreyed building, several other glass fronted concrete monstrosities and a surviving bungalow or two. But in its time, this was where upper-class Madras brahmins lived. This was a tree-lined road and set far behind the thoroughfare were discreet bungalows, each with a tale to tell.
There were film producers, financiers, path-breaking widows, philosophers, film actresses and item-number specialists, Carnatic musicians, top-notch lawyers, Brahmins who converted to Christianity, judges with many children and wished they had none and judges who had no children and wished for some. There were top-order industrialists and eccentric doctors. Throw in a couple of architects, a novelist, a scientist with a Nobel to boot and his musician sister, their close friend a pioneering Montessori specialist and you have the old Edward Elliots (now RK) Road. At last count there are at least 40 historic personalities and institutions whose story is worth recollecting. And now there is practically nothing to commemorate their memory! Such is the way of the world.
If you are interested, come along and be at the Gandhi statue at 6.00 am on Sunday 9th. No registration fee as Mylapore Times wants it that way. Walk concludes by 8.30 am at the Music Academy signal.