“I’m in Love with all my Guests!”

On our walking tours at Storytrails, it is our Storytellers who bring a city, a site, a building to life. They are people who love people, live for experiences, are always after the pulse of a city, and revel in tales. In this series, we sit down with our Storytellers to dig a little deeper

Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai!

  India loves her festivals. Every few weeks, we find reason to indulge in sweets and break into song and dance. Spring brings with it a festival most associated with Indian culture – Holi. It heralds the spring season and is celebrated over two days in Feb-March. Think Holi, and you think of colourful people dancing

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!

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 and the

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 2016: India played the 5th Test against England at Chepauk Cricket Stadium. Over 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 why

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