Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Take a different walk

New Indian Express in its City Express supplement dated 23/01/2008 carried a report on the Chennai Photowalk

Azaadi Express

The Azaadi Express (a mobile exhibition covering India’s history from 1857 to present day) is here. Today, the central station was crowded with a different kind of population. A whole lot of people without baggage, one their way from office, long queues of school children. The Azaadi Express exhibition seems to be drawing crowds. The exhibition includes original vintage photographs, pictures, exhibits etc from India’s history. The idea has been conceived by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to mark the 150th anniversary of the ‘First War of Independence’.

Books about Old Madras

Old Madras! What a multitude of associations are called up by the simple words.What curious picture of the past flash before our eyes”

Those are not the words of a nostalgic old man today. That is the opening sentence of the book, Madras in The Olden Times – A history of the Presidency 1639-1702, compiled by J. Talboys Wheeler, Professor at the Madras Presidency College, in the year 1861. Somethings never change I guess.

Google’s Library project has digitized a lot of books from various libraries across the world. On a whim, one day I searched for Madras in Google Books. And felt like a kid in a candy shop. There are tons of books about old Madras, and though most of them offer only snippet views, there were some that offer the entire book. That is how I landed up with the History of the Presidency book mentioned above.

The Second, and lost bridge, of Saidapet

The right answer to my old question (which, I realise now, could have been phrased better to avoid the ambiguity) is

Coja's endowment There are two bridges on Mount Road, as it leaves the Teynampet/T.Nagar area and comes to Saidapet. The most famous and visibly seen, of course, is the Marmalong bridge built by Coja Petrus Uscano, and which bears the now not-so-visible and badly treated plaque.

The other bridge, and the one that concerns us in this post is the one that was built over a small canal (which subsequently became home to a hutment). A friend showed me this particular bridge and the memorial pillar that marks one end of it, a few years back. I’d since then tried finding out as much as possible. So, here’s what I know. But first, the photos.

The Chennai Photowalk – III

With Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan announcing The Second Chennai Photowalk on December 9, 2007, I thought its time to post the concluding part of the First Chennai Photowalk. (Earlier posts on The Chennai Photowalk figure in the Best of Metroblogging )


From Courier to Chronicle

Even in this age of internet, reading a newspaper in the morning is a habit that most of us are yet to break. For a person in Chennai, The Hindu is more or less The Paper. It might be interesting to know that Madras had a string of Newspapers right from 1785 onwards with The Hindu reaching its exalted position only by late 1950s.

The first Newspaper of Madras was The Madras Courier, the first copy published on Oct 12, 1785. It was started by Richard Jhonson and was published as a weekly paper. It was followed by The Madras Gazette and The Government Gazette. The Madras Courier survived for 36 years before folding down.

Rang De Basanthi

How many of you know the OTA? Yes, the OFFICERS TRAINING ACADEMY! I personally did not know this place and what it was even though i have driven past this place to the airport pretty much close to 500 times to drop and send off or receive friends and cousins…

This place as i have had the opportunity to experience is one of the best things that can happen to you if you are a vehement supporter of gender equality and women’s rights issues.

Chennapatnam or Madraspatnam

An interesting excerpt from the wikipedia on the history behind the name of Chennai. It seems Chennapatnam and Madraspatnam were two little villages. When the British established their base in Madraspatnam, another small village to the south of Madraspatnam also started developing. This small village known as Chennapatnam later joined Madraspatnam as one blossoming town and is today known as Chennai.

Muthiah’s magic

How many of you read him? If so, why do you like him?

Conversations with a Teacher – Part 1

On account of Teacher’s Day, you see. I thought I might write something that threw the spotlight on teachers.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
~ Carl Jung


“I’ve been in the teaching field for 36 years,” she smiles. “And I don’t think I shall ever tire of it. It’s the noblest profession there is – because it’s not just about you. It’s about the next generation you help raise.”

A beatific expression graces the visage of Eugenie Pinto, Principal of the Queen Mary’s College, as we sit opposite each other in her spacious office, which projects a soothing aura of contrasting presences: today’s world, and an olde worlde charm that is quintessentially QMC. I have just wound my way through old and statuesque buildings still bearing remnants of the British Raj’s aura, around a bust of regal Queen Mary, and up corridors that positively reek of history, to meet Eugenie – and am aware, at once, that here sits a lady who has taken to the profession for all the right reasons: a sincere love for the vocation, a talent for foresight, and a genuine wish to assist those around her.

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