Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stella Maris' PR Team is Out!

We are happy to have a team from the PR Studies Dept of Stella Maris College.
Their Head, Prof. Sundari was glad to let her girls work on this event.
A set of girls are doing the rounds of the mada veedhis distributing the Fest invites to all the stores and households. A personal touch here.

Another team will invite women who design great kolams but never get to read about the Fest, to sign up this year for the grand Kolam Contests (Jan 8 and ( afternoon).
A promo on a bullock cart and some nadaswaram would have made a huge impact this margazhi - we may think of this next year.

If there are other creative college groups who wish to work alongside this Fest, buzz us now.

Want to Volunteer?

The volunteers are having a meeting on Sunday, Jan.2.
We always get a cheery bunch of 60yearolds, 30yearolds and the odd teenager.

If you want to devote 3 hrs a day for four days at the Fest sign up at -
Revathi is the co ordinator.
You get a Tee and a cert. No big cash!

Two Contests on January 2. Come over!

We just finished fine tuning the clues for the Discover Mylapore contest.
Could we have made it a tad tough?
You tell us after the test on Sunday afternoon. Lets meet at 3.30 p.m. at Nageswarar Rao Park, Luz.

Three to a team. Come in with your friends - this can be fun when you bike around with a clue sheet to check out landmarks and pop spots in the area and find answers to our queries.

There is another contest at the Park. For kids who draw well with kolams.
A sit-design-think-colour kind of creative test.
We were astonished at the creative juices that came up last year.
Come over and watch this event.

A Green T-shirt. And another with a Peacock Motif!

There will be two Tees on sale at the Fest.

One created using the prize winning design, a orangy blue peacock.
And another that our sponsor, Sundaram Finance has created with a green, green theme.

Both should appeal to you. So when you are at the Fest buy both.
The peacock motif will be available in black and in white base colour.

We have not decided on the prices. But you can afford them. And your friends abroad would love them as gifts!

Walking with Kids! And GSLV goes up in flames

I didnt have a decent Christmas party!
I always celebrate it with Pongal or thereafter - well after the 'season' and the Mylapore Fest is done.

We had a Photowalk for Kids on Christmas Day.
Eleven kids came along - with their cameras.
We started off at the 16-pillared mantap outside Sri Kapali Temple, with Revathi as the team leader.
And the kids soon found that there was a lot to shoot.

Then suddenly, we caught up with a group on Ponnambala Vadyar Street which gazed at a huge spiral of smoke and fumes in the skies. Word came in that the GSLV launch from Sriharikota had been aborted and the launch vehicle destroyed. Some of the kids captured this on cam.

Whew! What a slow walk it was. And what a wonderful end at a heritage house on South Mada Street where Kalathi's rosemilk was served and the best pictures downloaded on to a Mac.

Look out for the photo exhibition at the 'theradi' during the Fest.

Please Note: The senior Chennai PhotoWalkers are offering some of their best photos (framed) as souvenirs at the Fest. Classic pictures taken in Mylapore. Check them out at the Info Booth.

Slow start on Blog

Now why did I neglect this blog when the Fest preparations had rolled 2 months ago?
I dont have an answer.
Perhaps we got swamped with the December season (
We pulled up the Fest dates because we felt margazhi is the best time to have such a Fest.
We hope we are right.
And we are harrdly a week away and cant think of a decent New Year celebration!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


We enjoyed the cycle-rickshaw tour you organised for the ' Mylapore Festival'. Getting to know our city and it's history and culture is one way of appreciating it. The knowledge and experience empowers and motivates us for the conservation and protection. We intend to make our kids a part of this campaign / movement.
- Uma Naren, Chennai.

I am proud I am a Mylaporeian. I am regular visitor of the 'Mylapore Festival' from the year it started and have enjoyed the core events.
This year there was a human sea in the Food Street. I was also a part of it. On 22nd, I was having my snacks sitting near the Food Token Counter and could see the young girls efficiently handling the issue of tokens and handling cash simultaneously. I could see the plight of one girl who gamely did her work though she did not have five rupees in change.
I promised her that I would bring 5 rupee coins the next day and kept my promise - I gave her 40 such coins.
I am happy became part of this pretigious festival by doing this very, very, very little voluntary service.
- K. Renuja, Mylapore.

Congratulations to Vincent D' Souza and the team for the funtastic (pun intended) festival.
My list of things I enjoyed at the festival - All the talks at Lady Sivaswamy School, the variety of food, the first day show of the grand dance of 'Janani Jagat Karini' and the last day show of vintage film classics and the kolams in plain white maavu as usual tops all these!
Here are some cribbings - these may be of value to you.
-Pitchu Pillai Street is too narrow and the construction materials strewn all over adds to the congestion. You can think of alternate street.
-Lady Sivaswamy school hall is not suited for talks as it echos hugely.
- You can have volunteers posted on the southern side of the main stage to help temple goers head to the temple smoothly.
- A complete synopsis of what happened where at the festival in 'Mylapore Times' will be good reading pleasure as many events overlap each other. We could not visit the park in any of the four days.
- The contribution by your lieutenant Revathi needs a mention. Our family, myself, my wife and two grand children alone called 10 times and all the times we received correct and patient information. It is hard to find someone who works only with the identity of a phone number and not his or her name nowadays. Our sincere thanks and kudos to her.
- The festival team can also conduct more walks around this area under a banner 'Celebrating Mylapore' throughout the year and finally culminate in a grand walk during the Festival time. Residents of this locality can be invited to participate in the walk and share information.
- Brig. M. Gopalakrishnan, Mylapore.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Cribs . . .

A Fest of this magnitude does have its share of cribs and critics.
Here are 2 early arrivals . . .

One person wanted the chess tourney to be held under a canopy since the morning sun hurts the kids. He also wanted more participants to be accommodated.

Another said pricing snacks at Rs25 was stiff. 2 iddlis and kostu at 25 bucks is costly, he said and wished snacks could be subsidised. Hmmm!

You too are welcome to add yours. Value cribbing helps us do better though.

Velachery Balu's Pictures

Velachery Balu is a regular at the Fest.
He belongs to a community which loves to take pictures and the Fest is happy shotting ground for Balu.

Here are some nice shots to share - on Flicker -

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thank you volunteers!

A festival of this magnitude definitely requires more than 2 dozen pairs of hands to make all the events and activities flow smooth.

The team of Priyanka, Sindhuja, Viswanath assisted by Priya in the evenings saw that the events at the Nageswara Rao park went on very well. The team had the bonus of enjoying their time with young kids painting on the spot and made colourful crafts in the evenings apart from the music kutcheris and plays.

The backstage team of Srividya, Rajeswari, Lakshmi and the emcee Janani received the artistes and their groups, helped stage the performances go on time all the days and saw the performers off with a warm smile.

The food and hospitality team of Rahul, Ganesh and Sharanya doubled up at the food counters and on the kolam contest areas. The team at the food counters selling the coupons to the visitors had to grow in numbers day by day. Gokul, Aishwarya, Varsha, Ganesh, Rahul, Sharanya, Prashanth, Raghav, Bhargavi, another Gokul joining the team on the weekend really enjoyed tearing the coupons and collecting monies, while the seniors Prabhakar and Saravanan couldn't believe their eyes seeing these young people smiling all through with heavy cash transactions at the counters!

The front desk lead by Jayaraman had Bhanumathy, Usha, Ragini and on the computer information was Saravanan.

The dance inside Sri Kapali temple was another event away from the buzzing streets. The groups of dancers each with more than a dozen kids, the guru and their orchestra were hosted by Sridevi.

Harikrishnan, a hosteler at Vivekananda College helped in organising chairs for the artistes on Pitchu Pillai Street, the handicrafts women and the Tamil book stalls and then hopped across to the talk show to assist Deepika there and then to the food counters. Harihara Sudhan, a student of class 11 also spared his time amidst his busy schedule of studies and classes.

The weekend shows are a challenge at the festival as they are all conducted one after the other and the major contests - kolam, pallankuzhi and dayakkatam attract more than 100 participants. The team of volunteers at the backstage, talk show, food counters, info desk multitasked to be at the kolam area and then moved on to their respective posts. Joining the team is Sundar who sees to the kolam event till the prize distribution. He has been doing this for six years now.

Kalavathy, another regular volunteer for the weekends, helps out at the traditional games contest every year and she did so this year too. Kamala, a young girl in class 9, registered with us to volunteer on weekends this year and she promptly reported at the traditional games event running about for chalk pieces for drawing dayakattam on the floor, spreading the mats and placing chairs for senior participants, distributing scoring sheets and collecting them back!

We thank you all, volunteers! Without you the festival wouldn't have been possible.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Three more videos. Watch and Spread the word!

Here are three more videos on YouTube - from the Navin-Vignesh duo who are working hard at the Fest. Please do watch them, viral promote them among family and friends and post comments - these encourage the artists at the job!

The three videos are of dances inside the temple, dance drama on the main stage and music recital by students on the main stage - all on Day One.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rickshaw Tour Booked, Temple tour open

We have closed registrations for the Rickshaw Tour. 15 people are in.

But Pradeep Chakravarthy, who heads the Infosys Leadership Center, writes extensively on temples and heritage and will soon release a book on Tanjore's Cultural History is open to take you around Sri Kapali Temple and share with your less known info based on inscriptions there.
Gather at the 16 pillar mantap outside the east gopuram of the tempe. Tour starts at 7.30 am Sunday. For about 60mins.

Parcel Service Irukku!

Yes, all the food stalls are offering to parcel snacks and food that you can take home for your folks who could not make it to the Fest.

The Chidambaram team, offering idlis and kostu and adai-kurma yesterday were flooded with offers and that gave us the lead. . .

Yes, parcel service is on. . . Be an early bird at the Food Street ( near Sivaswamy school). Open from 5 pm onwards.

Kids Writing Camp Cancelled

Sorry children.
We have to cancel the weekend writing camp because the editor who was to supervise it is bereaved.

Hopefully, we will have it at Fest 2011.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Creative Writing Camp;Jan 23 / 24

The Creative Writing Camp ( open to kids in class 4 to 12) is open for registration.
Rs.100 is the fee - to be paid at the Mylapore Times office ( 2498 2244 - ct Prema here).

Choose the Jan 23 camp ( 3 to 6 pm ) or the Sunday one ( 10 am to 1 pm). You think of a story idea, flesh it out, write it and illustrate it with your colleagues.

Editors will guide you. Your work of fiction will be printed as a book in 48 hrs.
This event is held in conjunction with Prodigy Books.

The venue - Lady Sivaswamy Girls School, Mylapore

Thamizh Writers Chat!

We have an exhibition of Thamizh Books. So writers too are welcome.
And so our friends at New Horizon Media are hosting 3 writers every evening at 6 pm at Lady Sivaswamy School hall for talks. Interaction is on the cards.

This event runs for an hour.
Jan 21 to 23. Open to all.

P. S. The Daily Talks are at 7 pm daily.

Rewind Mylapore Memories

Two evenings for all those who wish to narrate stories of the life and times of Mylaporeans in the 40s and 50s.

Jan 21 and 22, 6 pm daily. For an hour 3 Mylaporeans share their stories. We video record them for a Social History Project.

Want to tell your Mylapore story?
Can 98410 49155 now. Space for 3 people available.
Happens at a hall behind Bhuvaneswari Jewellery Shop on North Mada Street. Can seat 15 people. Please 'adjust' if late.

Grab a cloth bag

Sundaram Finance, through volunteers of CSS is circulating cloth bags in Mylapore as part of a eco drive and is timing it with the Fest.

Look out for the volunteers and ask for a bag.
Handy one for South Mada Street shoppers.

Kids! Work with French Artists!

Hey kids, we have two surprise visitors.
Two artists from France who are here as part of the Bonjour India Fest.

Antonio and Jose-Maria specialise in creating art in public spaces.
They use photos, paper, artworks and the written word in various forms to create works on public walls. And they have done this in many places outside Paris.

The two, who are now working with the College of Fine Arts, will also work on space around the ther at Sri Kapali Temple.

The action starts at 4 pm on Jan 23, Sat. if you like to draw/paint land up with pads and pencils and paint brushes and create a work of art that will go up on 2 walls on jan 24 evening.

You don't have to register but your creative designs must be local, Indian, traditional.
See you at the 'ther' corner on Sat!

This event has been made possible by the Alliance Francaise team in Chennai led by Ms Jean Marie.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cycle Rickshaw Heritage Tour; Last Call

On Jan 24, Sunday. The Cycle Rickshaw Tour from Luz Church to Sri Kapali Temple is on.
We have space for a few couples.

Only 15 can be accommodated.
It is free and so we don't want those who register to back out even at the last minute ( you must be considerate to volunteers and the rickshawmen who are offering these services).

Register at - now. We will ack your reservation.

The other walking tour on the same day ( Jan 24, 7.30 am) is of Sri Kapali Temple. Pradeep Chakravarthy will run it. Assemble at the 16 pillar mantap. No advance regn for this.

Videos On YouTube

Two young men are covering the Fest closely.
Navin loves to take pictures, in black and white.
Vignesh works on his videocam.

The two covered the Fest's pre-events and here is their first co-production.

Check the link at -

You too can post pictures and videos wherever you wish to but do send us the links and we will post them here!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Calling School Students to Video Report

Here is an opportunity for senior school students to report the Fest on video.

This is the way it happens.

It is open on Jan 23 and 24, when the Fest buzzes with a dozen plus events.
You stop by at the INFO Booth next to the 'ther', opposite Rasi and register and tell us what you wish to cover/ have covered. The Art Street or Classical Dance or the Kolam Contest or the Food Street or the nadaswaram.

Go for the event, make small notes and come back to the booth at 8 p.m. Our videographer will be there and will open the camera for you for 45 secs for you to read your report!

This opportunity is open every day to 10 kids (you can report in Thamizh or in English).

The video will be posted on YouTube

Do some homework and come prepared!

Four Evenings of Cool Talks


Jan 21 - ' Classical Dance Legacies of Mylapore' by S. Janaki

Jan 22 - '`Sculptures and Inscriptions of Mylapore Temples' - by Dr. Chithra Madhavan

Jan 23 - ' Papanasam Sivan and M K Thyagaraja Bhagvathar' - by D. V. Balakrishnan.

Jan 24 - ' Palathope - Lawyers' Enclave' - by Shobana Ramkumar

Each talk will be for 15/20 mins and will be illustrated with slides / photos / videos. This will be followed interaction for 20 mins.

Venue - Lady Sivaswamy Ayyar Girls School, Prayer Hall.

Open to all.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pre Events Contests off to a Nice Start!

About 30 teams in the Discover Mylapore Contest and about 50 kids in the Kolam and Tee Design Contest made for a nice warm up to the Fest on Sunday.

The winners will be intimated in 10 days and they will receive their prizes at the Mylapore Quiz event on jan 24, 5 pm ish.

Vignesh is shooting the events and promises to have small videos up on YouTube. Look out for links!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Wanted: Community Media Volunteers

Volunteers make a Fest like ours.
We have 25 of them meeting at the Park on Sunday at about 8.15 a.m. (Jan 10).

SF called - w0ndering if the rain could dampen us. It would be fun cycling in the rain to discover Mylapore. (Revathi, the Fest Co Ordinator has promised great coffee. She is also co- ordinating the volunteers).

How will the kids draw and paint for the contests?
O! Under the canopy of tarpaulin and green leaves!

We have a need of the hour - to get a small band of people who can shoot pictures and post them on Flicker daily, create 2 minute videos and post on YouTube, stick mikes into enthusiastic visitors and record the comments . . .

Vignesh from Ashok Nagar promises to take his video cam around. The first volunteer. His friend has plans to do a photo-docu. Navin?!

Wonder if the smart VisComm Mylaporeans can band up.

Buzz us at 98405 44629. The first assignment is on Jan 10, 6.47 am.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Four evenings of Classical Dance

This is the schedule for the four days of classical dance recitals held inside Sri Kapali Temple.

Jan. 21 - Students of Kanagasabai School of Fine Arts, disciples of Sasirekha Raammohan

Jan. 22 - Students of R. S. Bharatha Natyalaya, disciples of Parvathy Mohan

Jan. 23 - Students of Bharatha Kalalayam, disciples of Hemalatha Ramachandran

Jan. 24 - Students of Kaladarshana, disciples of Jayanthi Subramaniam

Dancing in the temple precincts is unique and special. More so at this temple where the flow of devotees never stops and many stop by to enjoy the performances.

This year, the troupes are also from outside Mylapore which is good for the Fest.

Friday, January 01, 2010

MYLAPORE QUIZ 3; go for it!

(This is a teaser to prepare you for the Big One on jan 24 afternoon)

Three winners get T-shirts.
Mail answers to -
Deadline - Jan 10, 9 p.m.

1. Two legendary Mylaporean restaurants exist today. One is Karpagambal Mess. Name the other.
2. What is an odd feature of the gopurams of Sri Kapali Temple?
3. Where would you find St. Rita's Church?
4. Name the famed artist-actor-classical musician who lives on Nadu Street?
5. What is 'Rain Tree'? A store, a club or a hotel in the neighbourhood?

Suggest Great Heritage Houses please

For the first time, the Festival organizers are to acknowledge the people who have maintained well houses which are over 50/75 years and sport a vintage architecture.

A short list of houses in the areas of Sri Kapali Temple, Chitrakulam zone, Nadu Street zone and North Mada - Kutchery Road is being drawn out.

Those families who own houses that deserve to be recognized can mail a short note on their names and addresses ( we prefer owners of houses to correspond) and a few lines on the age and special features of the house.
The organizers plan to honour the best with plaques during the Fest.

Send us your suggestions -

Pre Events Contests Info - on Jan 10

Next weekend, on January 10, Sunday your family is invited to three pre-events that set the tone for this year's fest.

A Discover Mylapore Contest, a Create a Kolam Contest and a Colour a T-shirt Design Contest.

While the first is open to adults and teens, the latter two are specifically for school children.

Later that day, the Open House will provide space and time for participants of the Kolam, Pallankuzhi and Dayakattam events to chat with the resource people and clarify doubts and make enquiries. (at P S School hall, 4 pm, for an hour)

The Discover Mylapore Contest should generate a great amount of excitement and steam as it did last year when 51 teams scurried around the neighbourhood with clue sheets.

At 7 a.m. at Nageswara Rao Park in Luz, there is a briefing session. Clue sheets will be given to teams (3 members). The clue sheets have two functions. First, it leads to various popular and less known destinations. Once you get there, the section also has a question and the answer of it can be got by looking around that very place.

So if the clue takes you to, say the Anjaneya Temple on Luz Church Road and that place is the right one, you look for the answer to a query related to the place. Perhaps you need to get the year in which this temple was built and jot it down.

There are 15 destinations, some easy some tough and the organizers do not want teams to use cars to zip around.

Teams get two hours to crack this contest. Registration is not required.

The aim of the event is to get Mylaporeans to know more about their local landmarks and people.

The Create a Kolam Contest and a Colour a T-shirt Design Contest will start at 8 am at the same park. Open to kids in Classes 6 to 12. 45mins. Which means you cant take part in both - so decide. Designs on chart board will be given to you - you need to bring art materials please.

Prizes will be awarded at the Mylapore Quiz Contest finale - Jan 24 afternoon at Lady Sivaswamy School hall.