Mind your language

Connect the dots… English medium schools, Lord Macaulay, Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle, Madras university It’s only been a few days since the government ‘suggested’ the use of Hindi over English in social media platforms. This reminds us of another story, but from a different era – the story of how we ended up making English our own in the first place. If you are able to … Continue reading Mind your language

Akshaya Tritiya

Today marks Akshaya Tritiya, the day when Chennai buys lots of gold, apparently. But we got to wondering what more this festive occasion could actually signify. We delved into research and came up with quite a few interesting if amusing interpretations of the day. Gastronomically, Yuddhishtr was presented with the Akshaya Patra ensuring that the Pandavas, especially Bhima who ate everything in sight, would never … Continue reading Akshaya Tritiya

On Bharatanatyam

The next time you enjoy a Bharatanatyam performance, and are enchanted by the elegant movements and expressions, make sure you thank Lord Brahma. “Why him?” you say. Good thing you asked! Listen to this story: You see, after the four Vedas were written, Gods and Goddesses realized that the four Vedas were too difficult for the common man to comprehend. It was so highly philosophical, … Continue reading On Bharatanatyam

Of Temples, Gods and Saints …

Temple Gopurams, as integral a part of Chennai  as malli poo, filter kapi and checked lungis. That does not mean they are not found elsewhere – just that they are so evocative of this city. In a city where there are temples everywhere, three stand apart – the Parthasarathi temple in Triplicane, the Kapaleeshwara temple in Mylapore and the Murugan temple in Vadapalani. And what … Continue reading Of Temples, Gods and Saints …

What did they see in Chennai?

‘Chennai is a grand city where tradition and modernity co-exist. Well, that’s what everyone says, the guides… the books… the articles… generally every Chennai-vaasi. And that probably is also the impression that most visitors carry back with them today. But what about those who visited many eons ago? Many have come to these shores across centuries, some to visit, some to stay on. How might … Continue reading What did they see in Chennai?

Temples in Mylapore, Triplicane, Adyar, and Thiruvanmiyur

Chennai has hundreds of temples to boast of, each accompanied by a host of wonderful traditions and intriguing myths. And hidden amongst the many well known temples are stories of lesser known temples or lesser known stories of what at one time were important temples. This article covers some such stories, and as with all such stories based on faith, it would be hard to … Continue reading Temples in Mylapore, Triplicane, Adyar, and Thiruvanmiyur

Chennai’s Wonder-wear -The Saree

“While in Rome, do what the Romans do.” And when in Chennai, you cannot go wrong with a saree. Look around you and the ubiquitous saree is everywhere, carried with elan by women of all ages and hues. If you were to look for a place that would be a testimony to the resilience of this garment, Chennai would be at the forefront. The young and … Continue reading Chennai’s Wonder-wear -The Saree

Sundal and suchlike

We’ve just seen the end of one festival. Kolu padis are being dismantled, dolls are getting packed away, fancy lights disconnected and friends and relatives will again be relegated to the background of busy daily life. The city is limping back to reality after a surfeit of sundal and holidays. Good food, renewed ties among the family and friends, and a time to thank a … Continue reading Sundal and suchlike

Tales of Diwali and Deepavali

The last of the crackers have been burst. The haze is beginning to lift, and the noise levels are considerably lower compared to the previous week. And as you pack those decorative lights and the fancy ‘diyas’ away for re-use next year, you might just wonder why these elements have come to be so closely associated with this festival. Why do you burst crackers during … Continue reading Tales of Diwali and Deepavali