The best of Chennai Metblogs 2006 – my selections

The Chennai Metblog went live in March 2006 but much before that, a few of us in the group had started exchanging emails and establishing a rapport that would grow from comfortable formality to rip-roaring fun over the next few months. In getting to know the other authors and in writing for metblogs, I began to realize how little I knew my city and how much I underappreciated its spirit.

When CC mentioned a best of Chennai metblogs post, asking each of us to highlight our best posts, I thought I’ll use my turn to share the posts that struck a chord with me. I consider them as meaningful conversations, the ones I’d like to see many more of in the coming year. Read on…

It is a very interesting exercise to look back at each author’s collection of posts. On hindsight, it is always easy to make out patterns – the subjects that concern each author, how they approach them, what moves them enough to move us readers.

David’s posts are usually fond reflections of a Madras gone by or passionate pleas to highlight pressing infrastructural and daily living issues. I found his The Rape of Pallikaranai, a particularly important post. The Moore Market that was once Madras’ treasure trove comes alive in the description of darned army shirts and comic books.

CC’s posts have a dash of colour, an eye for the unusual, and play clever little tricks with words. The Madras Unlimited is a delightful series – a peek at architectural styles, a fantastic description of Thalankuppam come to mind. He also rides across the city and talks about dying beasts.

Nancy drops in now and then and writes posts that flash in your head when you cross the RTO or discuss the now debris Oceanic or gape at the new architectural monstrosities. She created in me the strongest desire to see the bell at the Armenian Church.

For a Chennai native, a lot of the city’s magic gets lost in the repeating monotony of several decades. That’s why when a BG comes along and tells you that 3s + 2t + 2r = Chennai, you sit up and listen. When he narrates the adventures of a day, it makes you roll in laughter. And when he asks if Chennai is conservative or not, you dust off your snootiness and think.

A few weeks ago some friends were staying over at my place and a little after midnight, we wanted to have cappuccino. We went to the usual suspects – Cafe Coffee Day, Barista – and found them closed. That’s when Nandhu’s mention of Chit Chat hit me. Off we went there to have great coffee and equally great conversation. While Nandhu likes to talk a lot about current affairs, it is his posts about rain and midnight eat-outs that I remember.

Keerthivasan’s post on Aavani Thallupadi was probably the funniest post in my opinion. And he has been the Chennai Metblogs’ lucky charm, starting off the posting brigade. Along with GVB, he has added a welcome visual appeal to the otherwise dry medium of words.

The very popular Thennavan has been deliberating on Chennai for a long time at his blog Chennai Central and has continued in that tradition here at the Metblog. Every time I read him, I am secretly pleased that there is someone who writes sentences that are much longer than mine! To me, his post on Chennai needing an emergency response system like 911 qualifies as one that raises the most vital issue that needs to be addressed.

Everyone gets to be someone’s guinea pig. Sometimes some people are unfortunate enough to be considered that way by three people all the time (if only you had a look at the Chennai metblog mail archives, you’ll send me loads of sympathy emails!) So I could talk about the posts of Chenthil, Prabhu and Vatsan, you know, but I wouldn’t be able to suppress the urge to be wicked. Therefore no frills only links to What happened to D’Monte Colony?, this is the story of D’Monte Colony, Nochikuppam as a tourist destination?, Where did King Thibaw stay in Chennai?, and of course the Madhu and Cheenu Madras Day banter (Prabhu made me role play Cheenu or something. sigh.)

What happened to Pavithra’s posts? Surely, Lavanya must have favourites there? Psst…I am starting a Pavithra Fan Club in January and calling myself its founder. So you better run now and read ALL her posts.

My, my, there is so much more to link to and this post is beeg already. I miss all the authors who dropped off the metblog for various reasons. I still haven’t linked to my picks from that group. Someday soon, they will be back (fingers crossed) and I will have a lot more to pick from.

Okay, lastly, I wanted to tell you the ones I enjoyed writing the most – a slice of childhood for Angloscapes, magnifying glasses for A Road, A Walk and much drooling wondering about Sambhars and Buckets.

It has been a newsy, tidbity year at Chennai Metblogs. If only a new guinea pig were to arrive, 2007 should be a joyride.

Happy New Year all of you!

3 Comments so far

  1. david (unregistered) on December 31st, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    Bravo Lavanya! Beautifully done across all authors, not forgetting yourself. Take a bow! And a very Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. thennavan (unregistered) on December 31st, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

    “The very popular Thennavan…”

    That’s a helluva lot of kind words that I am not sure I deserve. You are anyway right up there with Pavithra going by someone’s comment although I got luckily included in that elite list in another comment. Look forward to more online and personal interaction with you and the rest of the gang in 2007. HNY :-).

  3. Nilu (unregistered) on January 1st, 2007 @ 10:17 am

    I agree. Pavithra fan club. I am in.

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