My name is Krish Ashok, and I will be hurling all forms of nouns, verbs, adjectives, disjointed similes, questionable metaphors and thanni-illaa-kaadukku-transferred epithets at you, the Chennai Metblogs reader, from now. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been invited to hurl aforementioned items at unsuspecting readers of this blog. That is of course, reason #1. Reasons #2 through infinity go “I am strangely attached to this city, from the Kaiyendhi Bhavan outside Brilliant Tutorials to the strangely unreadable “Music Academy” lettering spelled using musical instruments that only partially resemble alphabets inside that venerable hall of Carnatic virtuosity and elitist pomposity. I love the fact that this city has 2 meteorological seasons – hot summer and lukewarm summer, two commercial seasons – pandigai (festival) shopping and thallupadi (discount) shopping, and 2 cultural seasons – The Carnatic season and The Rest of The Year.”
And it has some quintessential residents. And I don’t mean the celebrities like chess grandmasters, actors/actresses and music composers. I am talking about those people that every one in Chennai knows and yet, they are not celebrities in that sense of the word. They don’t live in palatial houses in Poes Garden or Besant Nagar and they are not on TV all the time or featured in The Hindu every other day. Here are three of them that come to mind.
1) P James
Legend has it there were 2 copies of the Rosetta stone. One in Egypt, found in 1799 during the Egyptian campaign of Napoleon. The other, unknown one is said to have been unearthed in Chennai, but was considered to be of no use because of some graffiti scribbed in black ink.
I have known P James from when his ubiquitous grafitti used to read “P James” followed by a 5 digit phone number. It then became 6 digits and eventually a mobile phone number. I have even had the opportunity to watch a show of his a long while back. He is not quite PC Sorcar, but a kindly old man who could impress the rare breed of kids who could still be impressed about anything, what with TV, video games and the internet changing the very definition of the term “childlike wonder”. But I am told he tried forming a company to promote his own brand of magic shows and that more or less ruined him financially.
2) Asana Andiappan
The yoga guru, with a name to match.
Asana Andiappan greets you with folded arms and a leg that seems to be conducting a conversation with his head after having twisted itself around his neck. He is rather famous and he even has a spiffy website!.
3) The Non-laughing dudes of Golden Beach
Many years ago, a cousin of mine came very close to making one of these gentlemen laugh, but at the very last moment, the man let out an aggressive grunt meant to scare my cousin and proceeded to walk off his pedestal while his replacement took his place. Apparently his shift had ended. Have any of you managed to make one of them laugh?
So readers, who else comes to mind?