Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Events at Main Stage

Here are the BIG EVENTS of the Fest. They are free, open to all and seating on first come first basis. Do invite your relatives and friends to attend.

Jan 21, 2010 - Thursday

Janani Jagat Karini - Dance Drama by 50-plus disciples of Sheela Unnikrishnan (Sri Devi Nrithyalaya) - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 7.45pm

Jan 22, 2010 - Friday

- Audio - Video stage show on M.K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar - presented by Vintage Heritage - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 7.45pm

- Theru Koothu by P. Renukambal Kattai Koothu Nataka Manram, Siruvanjipatti. Episodes: Arjunan Vilvalaippu, Draupadi Thirukkalyanam, Panjali Thuhil - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 8.30pm

Jan 23, 2010. Saturday

- 'Vazhi Nadaichindu - The Ballad of Arubathumoovar' presented by dancers Gayathri Balagurunathan and P. T. Narendran - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 7 .30pm

- Theru Koothu by P. Renukambal Kattai Koothu Nataka Manram, Siruvanjipatti. Episodes: Krishnan Thuthu, Karna Moksham, Padinettam Por & Darumar Pattabishekam - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 8.45pm

Jan 24, 2010 Sunday

- Tamil Play - Vittilgal : Directed by Dev Anand - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - starts 6.30pm

- C. A. Rajah's Pranavam Orchestra - 'Mayakkum Malai Pozhuthu' - Vintage Film Music Concert - In front of 16 Pillar Mandapam - 7.15pm to 9.30 p.m.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Srivatsan's Take on the 1st PhotoWalk

The photowalkers assembled near the 16 pillared mandapam of Kapali kovil on Sunday morning (Dec.13).

By the time I arrived, I was shocked by the turnout - over 60 people wielding cameras were there. They had taken over the entire space, much to the amusement of those all around us.

The entire group, which was too big to visit all the houses at once, was split into three.

The first group visited Ramans house on Sannadhi Theru opposite Rasi, while a second group visited Nagaraj's house on Pichupillai Street and a third group visited Nataraj's house on East Mada Street.

Nagaraj house amazed the photographers with exquisite carvings on wooden lintels and its courtyard. Nataraj's house had carved metal grill staircase which was a mixture of wood and plaster.

After visiting these two houses, the groups one by one visited Ravi's house and finally visited the wonderful Kannambal's house.

The latter house was the arguably a photographers delight with its lighting and shadows. The house also had a huge open terrace and a open courtyard which was a photographers delight. At the end of the walk, most walkers were waiting for next week to visit another set of houses.

These street houses are truly a remarkable piece of heritage in Mylapore, which sadly is now vanishing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fest Pre-Events

There will be a few Pre-Events in early January.

For kids - creating the best kolam they can imagine on a sheet which has dots that will be given to them on the spot at Nageswara Rao Park, Luz.

Another event for senior school students is to Colour a Design meant for a T-shirt. We give you the outline on paper on the spot ( again at the park) and you colour it up. Or even add a few strokes too. Hopefully, the best design will be used on a Tee

The third event will be the Mylapore Treasure Hunt - open to all and for teams. A clue sheet is given to you on the spot and you use the clues to reach each destination and look for answers to the queries we have about these places.

Since the Hunt takes you to the lanes of the area we suggest you should keep your car at home. We can't keep an eye on all the teams so we will have to allow cycles / bikes and light-weight gliders!

There are prizes for the winners in all these events. They will be given at the Mylapore Quiz event on Jan 24 afternoon

More info here in a week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

PhotoWalk 2: ideas please

Please get this word around - share with us the addresses and contacts of some great houses that we should cover in the 2nd Mylapore PhotoWalk.

Street houses, Madras terrace ones, bungalows . . . the area to cover - Kutchery Road, Bazaar Road and Mundakakanni Amman Temple.

This walk is on Dec 20 morning.

So if you know of relatives you never visited, your classmate's uncle's house or a place you adored when you walked by earlier this year, tell us please.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mylapore Quiz 2; go for it!

Here we go with Quiz 2 ( in preparation for the Mylapore Quiz - Jan 24, 2010 afternoon)

All correct stand to win - 3 T shirts ( lots drawn if more)
Deadline - Dec.17, 9 p.m. E-mail answers to - mylaporesfestival@yahoo.com

1. Who is the MLA of the area that also covers most parts of Mylapore?

2. What do 'R' and 'R' in R. R. Sabha stand for?

3. What is the link between Chennai Super Kings and Mylapore Club?

4. Name the Deputy Commissioner of Police for Mylapore zone?

5. What does 'Luz' mean?

Quiz 1 Answers!

Here are the answers to Quiz 1.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Bro. D G S Dinakaran Road.

Savitri Ammal Oriental School

TAG joined hands with the Academy to set up the audio archives and listening post.


P. S - Nobody got all this right. Try Quiz 2.

10 great houses to explore on PhotoWalk 1

Ten families said yes to our request to allow Photowalkers to shoot pictures on Sunday (Dec.13).
Ten more will be willing to open their doors too.

Now it is up to the group to document these places - architecture is the theme.

Next Sunday ( Dec.20), the Walk will explore the area on the northern side of Kutchery Road.

Lets see who posts some wow pics on flicker!

We welcome short experience notes on Walk 1 to be posted here. Or give us your web links.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Mylapore Quiz 1

Here is a teaser Quiz. In preparation for the Sundaram Finance - Mylapore Festival 2010 when the MYLAPORE QUIZ will be held on Jan. 24 afternoon.
Email answers to mylaporefestival@yahoo.com
Three winners get a T-SHIRT each.

1. Where would you find the bust of K.M. Munshi?

2. Brodies Road was renamed recently. What is the new name?

3. Name the school which celebrated its Golden Jubilee recently?

4. What is the link between TAG Centre and The Music Academy?

5. In which year was Mylapore Times launched?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Join the Fest Photo Walks

You need to love Mylapore to go on this walk. And you need a camera.
The theme - architecture of Mylapore.
Visits to heritage houses are included.

More info at -

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The SF role in 2010 . . .

Sundaram Finance, the only and long standing sponsor of the 'Mylapore Festival' that we run have lined up a few interesting things for 2010.

As the Copenhagen Climate Meet rolls out, SF wants to do its bit. It is sponsoring a few thousand cloth bags to be given to shoppers in places where plastic bags are being used.
Aiding this effort is the Chennai Social Service group.
The campaign will take place in January in the Mada Streets area.

SF has also designed the 2010 Fest Tees. An in-house effort again. We will post the design and product here shortly and start sales in early Jan. Will also try to have an online sale for Mylaporeans living abroad.

The base design for posters are also an in-house effort and posters will help create the buzz soon. If you love collecting posters and want this one, let us know in advance.

A few more acts are also planned. More in a while. . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Inviting Groups of Singing Teenagers

We are looking for groups of children who can swing people from the main stage with their music.
Classical-folksy music, a medley of 6 songs perhaps. . .
Every evening, we feature a group on the main stage.
If you are keen, contact now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Mylapore Song: Be inspired by A R Rahman

The Mylapore Anthem we produced for last year's fest became quite popular. It is still playing on the desk of some NRIs, I am told. ( you can listen to it/ watch the simple video) on the Fest web site - www.mylaporefestival.com

This year, we want to invite musicians to do their own thing.
Write the lyrics, compose the music and prepare for a 30min. studio recording.

So if you are ready with the creative, we will find a studio for you. The best studio.

Guideline - the song should capture the Mylapore spirit.

Everybody, at least every AR Rahman fan knows the Mozart of Madras spun the Mylapore Blues song 2 years ago ( you can catch it here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLdOlI-k2zk.

Surely, there are dozens of musicians of all streams - Carnatic, rock, pop, light, film, rap, jazz . . who can go out, sit on the steps of the temple tank and write a song.

Buzz your ideas at - mylaporefestival@yahoo.com

Talks: What subjects interest you?

For 2010, we have planned a package of talks.
On all 4 evenings at the hall at Sir Sivaswami Girls Hr Sec School on Sundareswarar Street.
We plan to have 4 different speakers to speak on 4 diverse topics.

Illustrated talks should be more attractive.

We have sounded out a few people.
One has suggested the theme to focus on the classical dance heritage of Mylapore.
Another may want to present the social history of Palathope, the colony of advocates.
A third theme on our mind was - Role of Studios in Mylaporeans' Life.

We want you to also suggest themes that we can explore. You can even suggest good speakers.
These are NOT academic talks. Keep this in mind when you suggest.

You can post your ideas here. A discussion is also welcome.
After all the Sundaram Finance-MYLAPORE FESTIVAL is all about involving the community.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Treasure Hunt & Mylapore Quiz Confirmed

These 2 events are confirmed for 2010.

The Mylapore Treasure Hunt. The Mylapore Quiz.

The first requires teams to trace a route using the clue sheet and finding answers to the questions related to the ques. The answers are of course found at each location!
Since some smarties used new tech devices to make life easy on the hunt, we will allow teams to use Twitters and Google Maps or any other gadget that may arrive in Jan.2010.
You can also drive around in cars - but this time, the clues will end in lanes and bylanes!
After all, we want you to know Mylapore well!

The Mylapore Quiz is a popular event. It brings families to the contest since the questions are a mix of local history and heritage and current news and info.
But the questions can be tough.
Like this one - How many religions are represented in the arch at the entrance of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan? Name them all.

More info on date and venue fill follow . . .

P.S. - Mylapore Times, the neighbourhood newspaper ( published every Sat. will carry a teaser Mylapore Quiz every week in December. That should warm you up. Look out for it. Should we reproduce it here?You tell us!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The 21 dots Challenge!

How big a space would a '21 dots to 1 dot' kolam occupy?
How many designs can come out in those specified number of dots?
Can small kolam patterns be combined to make it to a big 21 dots kolam?
A little research and expert opinions had to be gathered before drawing up a grid for 2010 fest kolam contest.
A set pattern starting with 21 dots in the centre line ending with 1 dot on either side will be the base for the contest.
This means all the participants would be keeping same number and pattern of 'pullis' and make designs on them.
This may be simple for women who draw kolams everyday in their front yards.
This may also interest math lovers and students as to how Fibonacci numbers play a role in kolam patterns!
Here is the basic grid and two simple patterns to make a start. Go ahead, and research. There are a numberof patterns waiting to sit on these dots and make a beautiful kolam of your own creation!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How do we make Mada Streets Bright?

Each year tests us.

We have done little things to add to the colour of the Fest. Designer Kuberan created the simple cloth lamps that lined the East Madas and Sannithi Streets in 2008 and 2009.

Sundaram Finance's MD, T T Srinivasaraghavan wanted the streets to be colourful at daytime. And that has set us thinking.

It isnt easy trying to colour the facades in a hugely busy shopping and religious destination - dozens of boards, dozens of lights, dozens of poles, wires and windows.

One trial is on - two artists are working on cloth that will be strung across walls in the Fest zone. Do you think this will make the place a tad colourful? We want your ideas too. And if you are a Fine Arts / Design student lend a hand. (Mail us your contact).

Kolam Contest will be a challenge

The 2010 Kolam Contests are going to be a challenge.

All contestants will have to start on a pre-set grid of dots ( how many? Wait for a few days to know all this).

That means you will need to plan, prepare and then design the kolam. You cant land up and design what you have in mind.

Log on - details will be out in a week's time. Then, grab all the kolam design books and practice. Prizes for the creative best.

Do you think this will bring out the best? Share your views here. Now!

Shoot Mylapore!

This is the idea. For Fest 2010.
And we are sharing it with the Madras Photowalkers.

In early December 2009, we will be organising a walk that will take people through a few streets and lanes of Mylapore. You need to have a camera ( any make, any size, any function) and you need to focus on the theme - Local Architecture.

We hope to exhibit the pictures at an exhibition to be held during the Fest.

Details will be posted here soon. Prelim work is on.
Want to suggest streets near the temple and Chitrakulam zone which are 'must see' places. Remember we are shooting local architecture - street and tiled houses, unique doors and locks, Madras terraces, thinnai and thalvarams. . .
We welcome suggestions.
And walkers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mylapore festival 2010

The organizers of the Mylapore Festival invite creative people who wish to participate in the many events of the fest to send us their applications. This invitation is open to individuals, institutions and groups. Submissions close on Nov.30, 2009.

1. CRAFTS EXHIBITION & SALE - We invite men and women of Mylapore who have specialised in traditional craftswork and wish to set up stalls on a streetspace on four evenings to display and sell small pieces. Tell us what you do and what your skills are.

2. PERFORMING ARTISTES - We invite teachers of classical and folk dance who also have students to present semi-classical and folk dance productions on stage for about 30/40 minutes. Mail us the story line and production details. Be prepared for an audition.

3. CRAFTS TEACHERS - We invite men / women who can hold creative workshops for children during the festival for an hour. Tell us what you can offer to share and resources required for the same.

4. CREATIVE MODEL MAKERS - We are looking for people who can create miniature models on themes related to cultural events / rural life / historical themes / religious or heritage places on an area of 3 x 4 ft. which can be used as part of an exhibition. Write and tell us the themes you are good at creating, materials you use and unique features you wish to present.

All those who wish to submit proposals may do so by Nov.30, 2009. You can e-mail them to mylaporefestival@yahoo.com or post to The Director, Mylapore Festival, c/o Mylapore Times, Alwarpet, Chennai 18.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rolling for 2010

The break from the Fest was welcome.
And we are back!

A few preparatory steps will be taken for Mylapore Festival 2010 now - to make good use of the summer hols.
Two projects will roll.

One - to produce five-minute docu-films on anything Mylaporean. Anybody who has a digicam and a group of creative people can sign up. (Leave your names, contacts at mylaporefestival@yahoo.com. We plan to have a simple workshop and move on from there.
The best films will be screened at MF 2010.

Two - to produce a stage show with children using professional actors. Story that will be based on Indian tales. Senior school students can sign up. Workshop in summer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ideas for Fest 2010

This is where you come in . . .
Tell us what you would like us to feature for the Fest in 2010.

It will help us shape our plans which have begun to roll.

Here is what is on on board.

1. To create a performance space at another venue, not far from the 16 pillar mantap and host shows in the open air there.  Visitors said that they would like to have alternate events.
Having events indoors is not the best if we have space options.

2. To create Sound and Light Show No.2.  The focus will be on Mylapore but it could be thematic. What theme would you like us to handle? It should be engaging, have to be told thro' narration, sound effects, lights and small acts and be about 40.30 minutes! Tell us. . .

3. To produce 2 shows with children. One will be led by a therukoothu artiste, another by a theatre artiste. Both have expressed interest. What kind of themes would you like children to present? The productions will star a few seasoned artistes and the children will rock the rest!
But those who are selected with need to work hard on 4 weekends in August. Look out for audition dates! We may have 10/12 children in classes 6 to 9.

4. To produce a cinema based stage show. Film clips, narration, talk. What is your fav theme? N. S. Krishnan? Early films of K. Balachander? The song and dance era? Tell us now.

5. To produce a docu on Mylapore. Not a linear docu but with a perspective. What do you think it should highlight? The temples and religious traditions? The evolution of a seaside fishing village into a heritage zone? 

Ideas wanted, and welcome. Tell us if there is a person / family / institution that is celebrating a landmark and how we at the Fest can focus on that.

By the way, one event which has received much and positive feedback is the 'Discover Mylapore' one. Look out for the 2010 edition - it will rock you all. It will be tough, engaging, crazy and fun. Thanks Karnik and co. who walked most of the way and gave us some insight from this experience. . 

P. S. : A visitor asked - why don't we use the tank space?

Check out this blog now and then. It doesn't look like it will be frozen today and come alive only in January 2010.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thank you, Sorry and Good-bye

Time spins you.
It is two days since the curtains came down on the Fest and there is still so much work left to do to wind up.
This the time to say Thank You to everybody who made the Fest what it was. To 'Sundaram Finance' led by T T Srinivasaraghavan, an active partner, to all the artistes who performed at the Fest, to the backstage teams who set the stage for the shows/events, to the state agencies that helped us stage the Fest, to the volunteers and to our small team. 

Special thanks to my colleague Revathi R. who joined us many years ago and has made a huge contribution to the Fest these past years.

It is also time to say 'Sorry' to those who strongly felt that some things had to be done but weren't, to those who experienced our slips and to those who felt they deserved better.

We say good-bye now.
And set the ball rolling for 2010.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank you, volunteers!

Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival has the tradition of having volunteers at different venues of the festival who happily come forward to manage the events. Many are young, a few in their middle ages, some studying, some working, some home makers . . .
It is the community spirit that brings all these people together.
It is time to say thanks to all of them!

Krishna, Ramesh, Suresh, Varsha, Anusha and Sindhiya was the team at the Nageswara Rao park who managed 200 kids (and their parents!) during the art contests, workshops and evening shows.

The dances inside the temple, including the one on Pradosham day which had to be started as late as 8 pm and went on till 9 pm were taken care by Vasini and Malathy.

The Tamil literary events at the Hotel Karpagam Hall, a little away from the main show area was under the charge of Srividhya and Karpaga Lakshmi. The team that joined the Pallankuzhi contests there on the weekends had Ganesh, Shyam, Devi and Kalavathy.

Keeping an eye on the happenings at the Arts Street where the students of a few women's colleges displayed their art materials was Balaji.

The food court was managed by a larger group headed by Srinivasan. Vijayakumar, Navaneetha krishnan, Chidambaram, Ramachandran, Jayachandran, Thiruvengadam, Rajeswari, Vijetha, Mythili, Gayathri, Giridharan, Gopi, Ramya, Bhargavi, Sridevi and Varsha. A few of them volunteered only during the weekend though.

At the festival office, seniors Jayaraman and Prabhakaran interacted with the visitors along with Ragini. Venkatesh updated the events and contest results and was giving away the information on the LCD screen on the spot.

The kolam competition on two days had Preetha (she has also been registering more than 300 participants' name over phone), Sundar and Mathangi as volunteers.

Rahul Joined the team for shuttling between the foodcourt and the volunteers at different venues on the weekend.

On the backstage, Meenakshi presented the events on the stage. Other team members were Shreya, Sharanya, Bhargavi, Rajeswari and Ram.

Thank you volunteers for all the help and the spirit you kept up all the four days, before and beyond the festival too!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

100 participants on Day 1 of Pallankuzhi contest!

The Pallankuzhi contest introduced last year (2008) as part of the festival is becoming more popular. About 50 teams - 100 participants - took part on the first day at Hotel Karpagam hall.
The senior citizens seemed happy just in playing the game.
Unlike the kids and youngsters, they are not keen on winning a prize. Playing the game which they did in their childhood was fun for them.
The rules for the contest was different from the format they used to play. Still they caught up with the rules quickly.
The kids enjoyed marking the games they won against their 'senior' partners.
The second day contest will be on at 2 pm today.
A quiz follows.
All the prizes - treasure hunt, kids kolam contest, quiz contest will be distributed after the Mylapore quiz at Karpagam Hall.
A docu on writer Su.Raa. will be screened at 6.30 pm

The Story so far . . .

10.45 pm. 
Part Three of the Mahabharatam act of Dakshinamurthy's therukoothu play comes to a close on the main on Day 4 of the Fest.
There are at least 250 people in the audience and that makes us all fell good.
There is still a goodly crowd for such shows.
And we hope we can continue hosting them.

Well trained students of our schools have made a good impression at the Fest. They may not have glitz but they perform well. Sivaswami Kalalaya and students of Radha Ramji set an example, of the groups I saw on stage.
They need to perk up their presentation though. . 

The food stalls ran out of food by 10 p.m.
There were many people who were disappointed.
We seem to run out of food even if we increase the inputs many fold every day!
If you did eat out here, please file your comments and give us ideas!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good start, smooth progress!

This blog can't keep pace with the Fest!
Admission One.

The Fest just cannot meet the demand of hungry guests!
Admission Two.

We had a smooth launch on Jan 22. 
And we had people in numbers we didn't expect on an opening evening.
Indicator - the food stalls sold out by 9 p.m.

The crowds swelled after 7 p.m. on Day Two.
Packing in for the Sound and Light show.
It got better on Friday.

The weekend should be a blast.
I gotta have lunch and refresh and take charge of the Kolam Contest.
Will look forward to all your comments on the Fest this week and our posts will be only next week. So will be all the photos of the Fest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kolam-poti thaaney?!

Whenever we walk the Mada veedhis and bylanes in the run up to the Fest, the people who recognise us are the vegetable vendors, the 'mallipoo' sellers, the fruit hawkers and households around this place.
'Kolam-poti aa?', a 'poo' hawker asks me.
I share the Fest dates.
She passes it on to her fellow-hawkers. 
Late in the night, the kulfi hawkers cycle in. 
A five rupee kulfi tastes heavenly after a hard day's work. 
I tell the kulfi-wallah to land up on the Fest evenings with lots of kulfi and his fellowmen.
He promises to be there.
Check them out. 
The Sundaram Finance Mylapore Fest is all about live and let live too!

If you come across toymakers and treats your parents enjoyed, share your stories here.  .  

Trial on Stage

On Wednesday night, when the quadrangle had emptied and the main stage was set, the final rehearsal of the Mylapore Sound and Light show was held.

There were some hiccups. Naturally. Lighting. Floor movement. Dance steps. And the projection folks arrived late. Traffic jam, they said.

When it ended, the effort was worth it.
The track sounds good. Now the act must fall in place.

We want you there so you can then mail us feedback.

If we were to run this Show with just sound and light, how best can be adapt this first show?
Ideas welcome. Practical and genuine. . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Coffee Mug design for Mylapore

As part of this year's festival, we had earlier held a contest for kids to create a coffee mug design for the festival.
About 50 kids participated in the contest. Artist V. V. Ramani judged the design coloured by K. Muthukumaraswamy as the best.
Muthu had come all the way from George Town to take part in the contest.
He was present at the Press Con held on Jan. 19 at the Nageswara Rao Park and gladly showed the design to the people and the Press.

The coffee mug is getting ready. A few will be available for the souvenir collectors for sale. At the Festival office near the ther (Opp. Rasi store).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watch Mylapore Geetham

Did you listen to the Mylapore Anthem we have put up on the website - www.mylaporefestival.com?
If not so far, do so now! The bonus now is the visuals that Venkatesh has created for the anthem.
Venkatesh, a Mylaporean has been volunteering at the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival for three years now. When he listened to the geetham on the Net, he came up with an idea of putting the pictures and lyrics alongwith the song.
The result is the YouTube video clip we have for you now.

Have any vintage Mylapore photos?

We have dug up a few pictures of Mylapore life.
I suspect some of them were exhibited at a previous Fest.

But we don't mind putting them up all over again.

Photographer Saravanan brought us a series of pictures of Kamadhenu Theatre which has been turned into a wedding hall now. Thank god, the facade will remain. That Art Deco style that theatres like Casino and Odeon sported.

We will post the Kamadhenu pictures. Maybe one of the Kapali Theatre on its last legs.
The show should be on near the 'ther' shed, opposite Rasi store.

Now if you want to give us a copy of a vintage Mylapore picture, even if its torn a bit, please do so. Time for nostalgia folks. . .

35 dancers on stage, wow!

One is just ten maybe. Another is out of ten. And there are a few teens too.

Dance guru Sujatha Mohan stars 30 plus dancers at the Mylapore Sound and Light show, to be staged daily. Runs for 40mins only.

Dance is part of the package. 

Imagine the crowd backstage then. Wonder how Sujatha manages these kutties!

We want lots of feedback on this show. So be there and mail your comments.

P S - Violinist Kanyakumari is putting 50 violinists on stage at IIT'M's Saarang - to commemorate IIT's golden jubilee. I will have to give Saarang a miss though we had a hand in helping put up the Madras/Chennai Express section . . .

Dance-team of Sound and Light Show

The team of dancers of the Mylapore Sound and Light show:

Samyuktha Sathyanarayanan
Gayatri Devi
Deepthi Shiva
Sadhvi Venkatraman
Anantha Lakshmi.M.K
Abhinaya Varadarajan
Reshma Bhanukumar
Shruthi Rangarajan
Varsha Srinivasan
Akshara Reddy.T
Shreya Balakrishnan
Pooja Lakshmi
Vaishali Jayaraman
Aashika Samir
Shilpa Samir
Mythili Sivakumar
Lakshmi Sivakumar
Sharanya Sampath
Barbara Dejung
Hansjoerg Dejung
Peter Horisberger
Livia Sauter
Guru Sujatha Mohan

Bring your Cams along . . .

Don't forget to bring your camcorders and Handycams or whatever you need to shoot events at the Fest. Make a short film out of the footage.

Post them on YouTube and send us a link.
Hundreds of people are bound to watch it.

We have just shot 3 little videos on the pre-events and hope to post them soon.
Our team will be shooting at the venues - if you see one pop up and add your comment live.

We hope to screen some shorts on the screen above the Fest Office near the ther.
Keep your eyes wide open.

Mayil is in! We invite our kids to give life to it.

Finally, we will have the mayil take its place near the ther.
And we invite kids to bring along cardboard / cloth pieces / paper and used CDs and any such materials which can help build this peacock.

Artist V V Ramani will be at hand daily, from 6 pm to about 8 pm to guide the kids.

Once it is ready on Sunday evening we may pull it along the East Mada Street!

Where should we install it? Its an art installation. . 

Your suggestions welcome. . .

Monday, January 19, 2009

Should Mada Streets be made 'one way' only?

Cast your vote please.

This is an issue I kick up at the Fest.
Not because we want to take over all the Mada Streets. But because some organised and well planned strategies like 'one way' and 'walk only' for this zone will help us all - shops, hawkers, devotees, tourists, window shoppers and genuine shoppers and residents . .
I want your opinion. . .

I also want to write to the Traffic Chief and the Police Commissioner. To debate this idea and take it forward if it is doable.

Write in!

Work begins on the streets

Pandu is the man who provides the infrastructure.
This year, he has taken off on top of the week and that is good.
We need the stage for a rehearsal on Wednesday night - please don't land up here and get a peek into this main show. See the real one!

Pandu is at the core of this Fest.
He provides platforms, stages and leg rests to all sorts of political parties. So you can't mess around with him.
Actually, he is a fun person and seems to enjoy working for the Fest.
On Monday he made the mayil project happen when he got us the right person to create it.

So all you kids out there are invite to head to a spot near the 'ther' shed opposite Rasi store after 6 pm - bring cardboard or paper or cloth or metal pieces and give live to this mayil.

Artist V V Ramani promises to help you along . . .he is at the arts workshop at the Park on Jan 22.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kutty kolams

Kutty kolams and Kutties' kolams!
Yes, these are kolam design made by young girls and boys!
When it comes to joining the dots and making a kolam, kids are not less creative than their mothers!
The art of dispensing the kolam powder through the fingers and making designs on the ground starts from a design drawn on a sheet of paper. That is the reason we thought of a kolam drawing competition on a paper for kids.
A set pattern of dots were given to the kids and they were asked to create a design of their own.
Butterflies, conches, roses, stars, flags, elephants are all that they made out of the dots!
Among many young girls were four boys who drew their bright and colourful kolams.

Teams discover Mylapore

About 65 teams of 200 people went around the roads and lanes of Mylapore this morning.
The 'Discover Mylapore' event flagged off at the Chess Square in the Nageswara Rao Park took the teams to the east and south ends of Mylapore.

The strategies were worked out by the teams after they received the briefing and the clue-sheet from Vincent D'Souza.

School kids, college students, office goers and retired senior citizens teams up for this event.
Some went on by foot, a few bicycled, some more biked and a few had smart drivers in their cars!
It wasn't a race. But there was a time limit to drop the answer sheets at the start point.
The teams started arriving with the answers from 8.45 am. Discussed clues, exchanged the experiences of the trip over a cup of hot coffee.

If you have taken part in this event, do share us your experience here.
Did you really visit all the places given in the clue sheet?
And any place you visited for the first time?
Do tell us!

Pallankuzhi attracts the young and the old!

The ancient Indian game of 14 kuzhis (pits) is still popular.
The Pallankuzhi workshop held on the evening of Jan. 17 at the P. S. Higher Sec School hall attracted about 75 people.

Three generations were seen together at the workshop.
As Dr. balambal, the resource person for Pallankuzhi puts it, this is a game that develops mind-eye-hand co-ordination and involves a lot of mental math.
The kids got the rules right and the seniors reminisced their childhood days.
While the terms 'pasu', 'kaasi' and 'peechai' used in the game brought smiles on the young faces, the older generation enjoyed recalling the forgotten words!
Preetha, who volunteers for registration of kolam and Pallankuzhi contests tells us that there are more than 100 people registered for each day's contest.

If you love playing Pallankuzhi and haven't yet registered, do so now. Call Preetha at 94443 81298.
If you just like to watch 100 enthusiastic people playing the game, drop by on Jan. 24 (5 pm ) and Jan, 25 (2 pm) at Hotel Karpagam Hall.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Should we have a peacock installation?

Just an idea.
Should we plan a art installation of a 'mayil'?
And start with a frame and get people, especially kids to give it life and then install it at some public space in the area?
I'd love to have your suggestions!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mylapore Anthem Team

The Team which helped to create the 'Mylapore Anthem'.

K S R Anirudha - lyrics, music, voice, percussion, co-ordination
S R Mytreyi - vocalist
Aditya Venkatesh - vocalist
R. Priyamvadaa - violinist
Anish Mohan - keyboard
Pooja Sivakumar, G. Janani and K. Maanasa - chorus singers
Baba Prasad - sound engineer

Mylapore Anthem is Live!

Yes. it is LIVE. 
On the home page of the Fest web site, right top corner.
Play it. Listen to it.
Share it with everyone around the world.
Not just Mylaporeans.
And tell us what you feel about it.
It is an effort of about 15 people.

And this is the story behind it.

The anthem, if one may call it, is not a stand-alone.
It is part of the 40min Mylapore Sound and Light show that will be presented at the Sundaram Finance MYLAPORE FESTIVAL 2009 event. Every evening.

We wanted the show to open and close with a rousing song and dance piece.
So K S R Anirudha began to play with words and lines.
He bounced them on his dance and music colleagues.
They had a lot to add to it.

That done, Ani began to put down the music and had a scratch track prepared.
We then went into Baba Prasad's studios in Adyar. . .

We had with us many Mylaporeans, all young, brimming and creative musicians and singers who had volunteered to be part of the Sound and Light show.
They recorded at Baba's warm place.
Late last Saturday, the anthem was born!

On Pongal morning, Revathi posted it on the Fest web site so the world could listen to it.
By the weekend, we should have a video of it! On YouTube.
Another talented Mylaporean is working on it. . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tayakattam Trials!

Pallankuzhi Contests are filling up.
And this year we felt we should also bring in Tayakattam.

There wont be contests but some friendlies shall we say - play for fun at the hotel venue, before the Pallankuzhi games begin.

Please buy some nice Tayakattam boards, or better, create one yourself and land up.

If you imagine these games are for the oldies. Sorry!
Half the contestants at last year's show were teenagers and kids.
This is serious stuff.
If you can't play, drop by to watch the games.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is it Sangamam or Mylapore Fest?

Ha ha ha ha!
When people began to mill into Nageswara Rao Park in Luz and joined in the cul events that were on here, there were a few whispers.
O! So this is the Chennai Sangamam!

Yes it is. CS is across many venues across the city. NPP is one.
The Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival will be on here from Jan.22.
And the best way to start a fest is with a mikeless, peaceful concert at 6.30 a.m. in the chill!

Walk across to the Mada veedhis and our well wishers ask us - shouldn't the Mylapore Festival be on now?
It used to be on Pongal eve.
Now, it is after Pongal.
The Sangamam needs to have its days.
Then, it will be ours.

Hands Up! We need 5 more volunteers!

We have 20 of them.
But we still need 5 more.
Young men would be the best because we need 2 great people to co ordinate the Hospitality Desk. To ensure food is got ready for all artistes and that they are fed.
The base is Hotel Karpagam.
Work time - 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm on all 4 days of the Fest.
Call Revathi at 98405 44629 now.

Come for the Walks! All 4 morns

Dr. Chithra Madhavan's walk is bound to be a sell out.
At least a dozen people wanted to sign up for it. You don't need to. Just land up and walk with Chithra! It is free.

We are having 90min walks of Mylapore on all four mornings. And we want school groups, women's groups and others who haven't been on such walks to join us.

K. J. Suriyanarayan will lead the walks. Vincent D' Souza will join him on some of them.
Start at Luz Church and end at Sri Kapali Temple area.
The route may be familiar but there are loads of stories we want to share and we want you to share too!
A nice filter coffee in Pitchupillai St is welcome - lets pool in! Thats the spirit of the Fest!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mylapore geetham

A part of the surprise is here. . .

Do you too feel all these are part of Mylapore?
Keep reciting this until we come up with more on this 'geetham'.
Come back to this blog; you will 'see' the geetham soon!

While Team Festival is busy putting the shows and events together, the Sound and Light show team is all geared up to present 'namma Mylapore' in visuals and stories and music and dance and more. . .

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Mylapore Show; Getting There

A Mylapore Sound and Light Show is the idea.
It has taken shape for the 2009 Fest.
And it will go on stage on all four evenings. 90 minutes.

I am in Baba Prasad's Digi Sound Studio in Adyar as we score, record, mix and do all we need to produce the tracks for this show. Artiste K S R Anirudha is in charge of the music. And we have a surprise from him too - let me not share this now. Early days.

When this bonus is ready we will have it on the Net for you. A must for all true-blue Mylaporeans.

More on the eve of the Fest. 
Don't miss this show. And send us feedback too. 
We hope to grow this show in the years to come.

Tell us - would it be great to have a sound and light show in the Rasi Quadrangle every weekend?   

How's the Temple area?

We did our first close round of the Fest area a few days ago.
We looked like real estate promoters looking for space!

The Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival is keen to use spaces here for the arts.
There is good news hopefully - the inner temple streets are being cemented and we hope these will serve us better.
The fine arts students, craftswomen and their friends pitch their tents here.

RASI store's promoter Jayaraman says he can share his garage space and a floor in a new property he has acquired. Wonder if he can lend the space above his crafts store to run a Fest Cafe - it a great location.

We have plans to light up the 16-pillared mantap well - it is a great landmark that acts as the backdrop to the events on the main stage here. And the entire managers at the Kapali Temple have been most encouraging.

Sundareswarar Street where the Food Stalls will come up stinks. 
When will people stop urinating against the wall of a girl's school? We will need three water tankers, lots of disinfectant and phenol and other such things to clean up the pavement. We did it last year, will do it this year too.

There are a few 'nooks' that are there to be taken. 
If we get a group of young artists to join us at the Fest, we should have a street corner art camp!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Temple Heritage Tour is on!

Good news.
The Mylapore Temples Heritage Tour is on.

Archaeologist, author and speaker Dr Chithra Madhavan, a Mylaporean has just confirmed that she will lead the tour.

On Jan 25, 7 am. Entirely on foot. Be prepared for at least 2 hours, 17 mins and 45 secs of touring. To temples on either side of Sri Kapali Temple ( more details on our web site soon)
(If you are not in the best of health, please do not sign up).

This is one heritage tour you cannot miss.
Chithra is passionate, involved and lively.
And if it turns out to be the best event of SF MF 2009, tell Chithra. Tell us too.

(Do you have any other heritage tour ideas for the Fest? Drop a line here!)

Discover Mylapore; Go South

We are hosting the 'Discover Mylapore' event on Jan 18 so that we can facilitate more on Jan 25!
And take the pressure off us!

We have completed the circuit plan no.1.

My tip - go south.
It is an open tip!

Yes, the time limit has been drawn to just 2 hours but you will have to crack lesser clues than last year so you don't have to sacrifice your life on our roads please.

I don't like to write Obits; but they are important to our local newspapers.

If you want to leave a tip on this event - maybe want to tell us how to run it best - leave behind a comment please . .

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Kolam Drawing contest for kids

Nearly 50 kids painted the design for the coffee mug on Dec. 27.
Here is another pre-festival contest for kids. For those kids who love joining dots and make kolam designs.
A simpler one when compared to the Kolam contest to be held for women on Jan. 24 and 25.

A specific pattern of dots will be given to the kids and they need to make a design on their own.
Go to the contest section of www.mylaporefestival.com to view a sample design done by us and the pattern of dots for kids to practice.

Open to boys and girls studying in class 4 to 7.
On Jan. 18. At 8 a.m. At Nageswara Rao Park - Chess Square.
No registration required. Just land up with your pencils and colours. Have fun!

Start Shooting!

My colleague Revathi has added a new feature to the Fest.
To get all those who have camcorders and digicams to shoot any of the many events of the Fest and post them on YouTube and let us link your work to our site. Look out for more info on the web site.
There will also be a contest for all VisCom students to produce a short docu on the Fest.
You will stand to win a cash prize. Await details.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Posters Arrive!

The posters to promote the Fest have just arrived.
Five different types with a master design running thro' them. They were created by the Ogilvy team.
Over the next ten days we should have the up across the city.
If you think this is indeed a collector's item - it would be if you love collecting posters - drop by at our base at 77, C. P. Ramaswamy Road in Alwarpet - the KutcheriBuzz.com office - and ask our colleagues to part with one!

The Tees will be with us soon - they are up for sale even before the Fest rolls out. More details soon.