Monday, December 31, 2007

On the Mada Veedhis

Time is ticking.
And we have been checking out the Mada Streets to ensure they are in some shape.

This fest has to live in open spaces. And that is indeed the biggest challenge.

The kolam registrations are overflowing; we have a waiting list now.
The Pallankuzhi contests are full.

The Treasure Hunt registrations are over 50. Thats wow and this hunt is going to be fun and testing too.
And we hope to see lots of Mylaporeans at the Quiz.

But the action will be on streets.
Fine arts students, though on hols, are ready to paint the street red, blue and green.

The Food Street will offer a good mix - Chettinad, Kerala and Tamil Nadu food and snacks. The kol-kottais may run out by 7.30pm, we fear so we told Sridhar of Taste IT Foods to bring lots more!

We have some colourful lamps all over East Mada Street.

So, bring your friends and families to the Fest.
And please tell us what else we could create on the streets.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa can be a spoiler!

Yes. This isn't the best of times to confirm participation in a fest.

Christmas hols can spoil parties you have in mind!

Stella Maris' Fine Arts Dept has always been a welcome partner in our Fest.
But the unscheduled hols during the rains and Xmas hols, the students scattered and colleague Revathi has been tugging the phone lines to form the team.

Its working. And we also have a few neighbourhood creative minds joining them to create the Art Street which is a colourful place when the curtains go up on Jan.3 evening.

If you are young, creative and want to be at the Art Street, drop us a line; we have some space left.

Mylapore Quiz: won't be easy!

Ashwin Prabhu is the Quiz Master for the Mylapore Quiz 2008.

Holidaying in Goa, Ash who works for a private bank and is an ardent quizzer and a more ardent Mylaporean, didnt refuse the assignment.

"But aren't all the questions on Mylapore asked?", asked Ash.

I shook my head. How can a quiz run out of questions.

I didnt want to spoil Asfwin's party in Goa and we left it at that.

Just now we have run up a bank of 102 questions including 40 pictures which the Mylapore Times photographer, Saravanan, pulled out of his library.

And on Christmas eve we had 31 teams signed in and we hope we will have at least 75 teams when the D day arrives - Jan 6, Sunday.

Its much easy to crack the standard quizzes but a localised quiz sounds easy but can show up a lot of your ignorance!

No, we dont plan to have a tough quiz. Ashwin should get some fun quizzing that afternoon.

So if you are a quizzer or a Mylaporean, sign on now.

This is the first quiz of 2008 in the Quiz Capital ( is Madras the capital anyway?)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sound and Light withdrawn;sorry!

We had to decide on this. 
With some components of the planned Mylapore 'Sound and Light' show  getting delayed we decided to withdraw it.

It was a difficult decision. But since it was a first time event and there were many strings to it, we said 'withdraw'.

But the project will build in 2008 and may even premiere in early 2008.

We hope to have with us folk troupes from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, courtesy South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur.

Also, Subham Ganesan has withdrawn from the Food Street.
For the Fest, we will have different kinds of food on offer from different sources.

Big attendance at Pallankuzhi Workshop

Five events were on at the P S School campus on Saturday, 22nd.
Ours was so different from the concerts and sales elsewhere.

And it throbbed with life.
I was good to see many children eager to learn more about pallankuzhi from resource person Dr. Balambal at the 2nd workshop.

We hope each contest ( there are two) will have at least 100 people.
That will indeed be a crowd to manage.

After kolam, it has to be pallankuzhi.

Is there some other game / art you feel we should promote next year?
Tell us here!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Contest for Cooking Smarties!

This idea came in a flash.

We were planning the Food Fest on Sundareswarar Street ( it is messy and we will need to sweat to clean it) and then this came up.
How do we involve people in this act?

Cookery Contest? We had one last year and the response was good.
But this time, its different.

We invite people to send their recipes to the Food fest organiser. Recipes on dry snacks - east to make, but daring in idea and keeps to tradition).
He will select a few and even had them made and served each day of the fest!

So, all you people who love cooking, take a shot at this.

Mail your recipes to - Subham Ganesan at 210, St. Mary's Road, Mandaveli, Chennai. You can even drop it off at his store.

The best will get hampers.

Spread the word. Lets get about 50 recipes.

Tell your grandma about this.

Monday, December 17, 2007

We need volunteers!

Yes, we need another dozen. Ten should do.

Revathi, my colleague, hosted a meeting of the first set of volunteers.
12 attended it at the Mylapore Times office on Sunday last.
All of them have been given assignments.

One senior woman who lives on the Mada Veedhi wanted to work all four days!
Great spirit.
She also wanted to take part in the Pallankuzhi contest!

Since some events need 2/3 volunteers, we'd love to have more Mylaporeans in.

Call Revathi now on 98405 44629.
(Avoid calling between 10 am and 1 pm; that time is for working on the December season!)

All volunteers get a Fest Tee. And some goodies.

Sound and Light Show

We hope this idea works.
It is new to 2008 at the Fest - a sound and light show on the core of Mylapore.

The focus is on the temple and the Mada veedhis.

Sounds simple but the butterflies are around and about!
For, there are many components to this show.
It has dance and music, it has video and docu-film, it has mime and narration.

And two dozen people are involved in it.

Sujatha Vijayaraghavan, scholar and arts activist, is working on the script.
Dancer Sashirekha Rammohan is directing the dancers and actors.

Dancer Priya Murle should have done the Mylapore kuravanji. But she's busy with the 'season' so she will guide another dancer with this delightful piece. 

Another dancer, Gayathri Balagurunathan, is also busy on stage and will present a piece on Goddess Karpagambal, through her dancer colleagues.

Mohan Das Vadakara has been out with her camera shooting. And if Nagaraj cuts the film well, there is a delightful cameo docu on one of Mylapore's colourful streets. Which one? Wait for the show!

I am hoping we will do well with this. Pardon us if we slip. Once sharp and smart, this is the kind of show we should have up every weekend outside/inside the koil.

The show is on every evening at the Fest.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2008 edition rolls

Pardon us for arriving late here.
The 2008 edition of the Mylapore Festival should be with us soon.

We have been keeping pace with the famed December season here in Madras.
And it is a challenge.

We started work on the Fest in late August.
Planning on paper is easy.
Making things happen isn't.

Some things have worked this year around.

RASI, that landmark store on Sannidhi Street, has made peace with us.
Its owner Jayaraman had a long chat and promises to lend a hand for the fest after holding it back these past years.
Which means there will be space for more seats in that quadrangle and a clear pathway for people who wish to shop at his store and those who head to the temple.
Thanks Jayaraman; it pays to work together.

The managers of RR Sabha on Sundareswarar Street have also promised to plan the construction work here so that we can have our famed Food Mela out on the street.
RR Sabha's  grand old hall was pulled down a year ago and a new one is coming up.

The Food Mela is a great hit and we will have Subham Ganesan back with us on the street.
The special menu list will be out soon. 

New at the Fest - Mylapore Quiz, Mylapore Treasure Hunt, Mylapore Sound and Light Show, Pallankuzhi Championships and a new heritage walk of old houses.

I've got to run off now to check out the owners of a few houses for the walk . . .
If you have suggestions to make, shoot them!