22nd August 2019
This being Madras Day, was delighted to to see the number of messages on social media, and the overall coverage in print as well. A friend sent a forward of a display at the San Francisco airport about Madras Day. As I am generally wary of WhatsApp forwards, I am not too sure about its veracity. But if it is true, good for SFO Airport.
Closer home I was bombarded by missed calls from a number which on answering turned out to be some Gobbledegook TV Channel that wanted an interview on Madras Day. I said if it is the same set of questions I was not interested. It transpired that they were not interested in those. What they wanted was a counter to some film director who apparently said of TV that those who are now celebrating Madras are doing so after having chased out those who really built Madras or words to that effect. I politely declined saying that the film director was entitled to his view and I am not just about to rush into a war of words over nothing.
Karthik Bhatt, whose stern resolve to keep away from all Madras Week events year after year rather in the manner of Balarama in the battle of Kurukshetra I admire, called in with some interesting info. Apparently the Kshatriya Kula Vellaalars have put up posters on Blacker’s Road celebrating Aug 22nd as the day to remember Damarla Chennappa Nayak, whose son granted the land to the English. I am happy for them and I hope they will soon meet the film director above and express their views to counter his.
In the afternoon, just as I was thinking that Madras Week is going on well with nothing to worry about, along came knowledge of a goof up – I had advertised Sunday 25th talk of Vikram Doctor at Radisson Egmore. It turns out it is at Radisson Blu, GST Road, Meenambakkam. Well at least it has been discovered now and not on Sunday afternoon. So got the corrected posters made and sent them out on WhatsApp. I do hope the audience turns up. The Madras Week sometimes can be as bad as the December Season. Cultural heartland for most people means Mylapore or T Nagar only.
In the evening to Savera for the panel discussion on water. Sushila Ravindranath was the anchor and Ashok Vardhan Shetty, IAS Retd, Ranganath N Krishna, MD Grundfos and Karthikeya Sivasenapathy of the Kangayam Research Foundation were the speakers. Good turnout with vulture, mammoth, penguin and racoon being in attendance. This year Owl is missing, as also Jackal. Penguin turned up in bright orange, looking more like a Flame Robin. Sleeveless Wonder was there, with a saffron (colour of the times) towel over his vest.
Join me on my two heritage walks: