Month: February 2017

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 realised 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

Of Temples, Gods and Saints …

Temple Gopurams, as integral a part of Chennai  as malli poo, filter kapi and checked lungis. That does not mean they are not found elsewhere – just that they are so evocative of this city. In a city where there are temples everywhere, three stand apart – the Parthasarathi temple in Triplicane, the Kapaleeshwara temple

What did they see in Chennai?

‘Chennai is a grand city where tradition and modernity co-exist. Well, that’s what everyone says, the guides… the books… the articles… generally every Chennai-vaasi. And that probably is also the impression that most visitors carry back with them today. But what about those who visited many eons ago? Many have come to these shores across

Temples in Mylapore, Triplicane, Adyar, and Thiruvanmiyur

Chennai has hundreds of temples to boast of, each accompanied by a host of wonderful traditions and intriguing myths. And hidden amongst the many well known temples are stories of lesser known temples or lesser known stories of what at one time were important temples. This article covers some such stories, and as with all

The city of St. Thomas

Chennai, a study in contrasts, where IT coexists with cottage industry, modern glass buildings live cheek by jowl with agraharams and orchids are sold along with the ubiquitous jasmine. So it really comes as no surprise that temple bells and church bells unite in their call for prayers. And as much as temples contribute to

Spicy Tales

Cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, coriander, chilli, cloves and pepper –common names in an Indian kitchen today, and internationally known too, as flavouring for food. Every chef, and housewife as well, knows that a pinch of this and a small fistful of that, in the right proportions, can raise food from the mundane to the sublime. Listen