Indian Words The British Took And Made Their Own

English may be the defacto link language in many parts of the world, but it owes its ever-expanding database to loads of other languages. Of course, Indian languages played a huge role in building up the English word bank – India being the Crown Jewel of the British Empire and all. Now we would love

A story of two Indian festivals

One story, two regions Today is Rakshabandhan, or Rakhi, a festival that celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated all over India but is a bigger festival in the North. Did you know of a story that connects it with the festival of Onam that is celebrated in South India? This

Prisoner in Cuddalore, Prince in Sweden!

By S.V.Kaushik History is full of strange twists. Here is one I stumbled upon. Siege of Cuddalore About 185 Kms south of  Madras (now Chennai) is the quiet port of Cuddalore, where you can see the ruins of Fort St. David. Back in1783, Cuddalore was far from quiet: The French were entrenched in the Fort

Robert Clive and the Battle of Purasai

By S.V.Kaushik  I know what you were thinking when you read the title…. Really, did Robert Clive fight a battle in Purasai? Was he the Englishman who colonised the place we now call Purasaiwakkam? My response to the first question is: it all depends on which Purasai you are talking about. And the answer to

The Last Grand Nawab: Wallajah

By S.V. Kaushik December 2106: India played the 5th Test against England at Chepauk Cricket Stadium. Over a 1300 balls were bowled from the Wallajah End before England was crushed. Ever wondered why the Wallajah End is called Wallajah? Your response would probably be “That’s because, that’s where the Wallajah Road is, Silly!” Yeah, so

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

Chennai Kaapiright

Connect the dots – Coffee, religion, caste system, trade unions …… South India obsesses about coffee. Ask any one of our coffee drinkers and they would swear that we have been drinking coffee since the times the Gods walked the Earth, and that babies here go from mother’s milk to filter coffee, overnight. Much as

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

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

What do you make of Chennai?

Many years ago, on this day, a city was born. A city called by various names, that grew voraciously and, we believe, well. A city that houses the intelligentsia of the country and one that drives the race for many an invention and innovation. A city that has its roots in strong classical tradition, and