editor's desk

Madras for our kids

A slow early evening walk on the promenade of Marina Beach can be an interesting exercise in ‘man watching’. If you have the time to slow down and see.
On Sunday evening last, at about 4.30 p.m. I was opposite the Presidency College, keen to observe one of many Madras Week events.
Revathi R. who is the person behind the Yocee website for children had promoted this event which would end with children participants creating a scrapbook.
Even at that early evening hour, there were thousands of people on the Marina’s sands and hundreds kept pouring in, from the subway, the roads and from elsewhere.
A small bunch of children and their guardians had assembled at the base of the statue of Kannagi for the Madras Week event.

The intent was to get the kids to walk southwards to every statue, which was erected on the Marina by a previous DMK government in connection with the World Tamil Conference in 1968.
Resource-person Krishma Shankar would tell the group short stories on the person whose statue the kids were looking at and the kids came up with their own stories.

As the kids hopped from Kannagi to G. U. Pope to Avvaiyar and finally to the Mahatma Gandhi statue created by the famed sculptor D. P. Roy Chowdhury they also took in the façades of the landmark buildings on the western side and of all the activities on the beachside at that time of the day.

Once the Walk was over, they gathered at the Children’s Club hall on V. M. Street in Mylapore and worked on creating a scrapbook from pre-photographed images of the statues and of the Marina, using light board, paper and thread. When they finally wound up it was 8 p.m. and none had murmured or yawned.
I assume that all these children must have learnt something about the people who made history and of the life on the Marina beach. Just imagine the thoughts that a scrapbook of this nature can evoke if the kids preserve it and pick it up again a decade or two later.

That evening, I felt the immense effect that a simple Walk and a Scrapbook Making Event can have on young minds. I thought of things we could do to get kids to know their city better.
This edition of Madras Week has seen a small increase in the events meant for children. But there is a need to ideate lots more creative events that can catch their imagination.

One wishes that the Heads of our city schools include the annual Madras Week season in their school calendar and pay some attention to educating our children on our city.
Some imagination, thought and initiative can produce great results.

more from editor's desk

To many, Mylapore is the centre of Universe

Many people believe Mylapore is not just the centre of our city but of their universe.

I know of people who have invested all their savings to purchase a box apartment where there is enough space on the terrace to sight the eastern gopuram of Sri Kapali Temple.

There are others who have bought box...

read more
How can we support local schools that need help?

There are some images that remain with you. Simple ones.

They remain because they are symbolic of a bigger act, a telling incident or a milestone.

Physical images get erased with time.

The image of a tiger painted on the wall of a Chennai Corporation school has remained me, well after the grease and oil...

read more
Summertime jobs in the Neighbourhood; offer them please!

Autodriver Jaykumar is our Man for All Seasons. And a newspaper like ours finds such people valuable. Today, three members of his family work on assignments for us. And one of them has just earned a summertime job.

Jaykumar is not your usual kind of auto-wallah. He has his hours of work. Four hours in the...

read more
Love messages on public sculptures

So why do young men demonstrate their romance with signatures on trees in parks, walls of heritage structures and washroom doors?

Someone may well trace it to animal behavior.

Teen romeos have all the time in the word to engrave their names and flesh out the symbol of two hearts on church furniture even as...

read more
Exploring Fort St. George: Madras Week 2013

My next two Sunday mornings will take me to an old and favourite destination - Fort St. George.
I have a date to keep with the 2013 edition of the Madras Week celebration.

For some years now, I have made sure that the people of this city who wish to explore its past and its heritage have the pleasure of...

read more
View Archives