Friday, January 08, 2016

Fest runs on volunteers!

Our colleague Bama who works at Mylapore Times chose to put together the Festival volunteers - some 15 of them, this year and you will see them wearing the yellow MF cap at the venues.
There are senior women, college students and others who make this group. This Festival runs on volunteers and that makes it kind of special. It doe snot run on an events management company or a whole time team of a dozen people. Even the people who lead Walks and host some events cme forward to do so because they are passionate about their interests.

Subramania Bharathi's Bharatham; a production evolves

We have followed the dance productions of Bharatanatyam dance guru Sasirekha Rammohan since she is based in the Mylapore area and the recitals are held at local sabha halls.
We first sat through her 'Bharathi kanda Bharatham' production at the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram campus in Chennai some six months ago. The music, scored by Rajkumar Bharathi, his great grandson was 'live' at that premiere.

Sasirekha then chose to tighten the production and record the music in a studio. This did the smart magic. The p[roduction value improved. And this showed at the Festival's evening show in Sannidhi Street. People sat through it as late as 9.45 pm - when the curtains where drawn on Day One at Fest 2016.

Old photos of Mylapore; Mani's contribution

Parantharami Mani works for the Central Government. For the ESIC. His day job keeps his busy. But every day, he delved into the World Wide Web to locate all sorts of old photos of Madras that is Chennai. And posts them online.
So we worked with him this Festival to locate and print 20 great and rare visuals of Mylapore.
You can enjoy these photo prints at the base of the chariot of Sri Kapali Temple. Photographer R Saravanan did the hard work and got up this show.
At the end of Day One evening, at least 2000 people would have seen this exhibition.

Thanks Mani. We admire your passion and commitment!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Mike-less concerts; the park has revived

The 'mike-less' concerts in Nageswara Rao Park were first curated for the Festival. They featured very young artistes and the soft music upped the quiet ambience at this popular park.
Sundaram Finance picked up the thread and has continued for many years the 'mike-less' concerts ( so there are no speaker systems too!) and soon may well make known a Indian Guiness Record of this concept.
But the deluge of December 2015 also sank the park - over time many shrubs died and some areas were clogged with muck and waste. It has taken some time for the park to liven up and hopefully, it will look fresh and green in the weeks that follow.

The Chess Square area where the morning kutcheris are held - Jan 7 to 10, starts 7 a.m. - is neat and clean. Hoepfully, many walkers and fitness enthusiasts will stop by to listen to the music.
- Photo is of the concert area in the park, shot a few days ago.


Here are our picks for the annual Sundaram Finance MYLAPORE FESTIVAL 2016. The cultural and heritage fest is on from January 7 to 10 in spaces outside Sri Kapali Temple and at Nageswara Rao Park. And it is open to all.

    Head to Nageswara Rao Park in Luz by 7 a.m. Go on your walk, do your twists then stop by at the Chess Square and listen to teenagers at the Carnatic music concert. Mikes and speakers are not used. Soothing experience for your mornings. Four in a row.

There are 5 Walks; two are for foodies - by foodie Sridhar! Celebrated writer and historian Ram Venky, as we know him has a huge treasure of less-known info on Mylapore and its stalwarts. How did Nageswara Rao Park change from a large pond? What did men fighting for free India plot in Luz? Which films burnt the box-office at Kamadhenu Theatre? How was Sri Kapali Temple tank built?
Ram Venky offers to take you on his Walk on Sunday morn.
If you love shooting pictures, join the Chennai PhotoWalkers.
And if you study architecture, design or cultural geography, don't miss out Anisha and Tahaer's Walk.

Prove it at the two traditional games contests being hosted. There is one in Pallankuzhi too. For adults and for children. Each year, some 100-plus people pit themselves in animated play. Weekend contests at Lady Sivaswamy Girls School. 

The Festival has some nice surprises for kids. Chess contest. Craft workshops in the park. Clicking photos with a professional. Pedalling on your cycle to gets a close look at old Mylapore in the margazhi mist!

This weekend event draws people from across the city. They turn North Mada Street's east end into a carpet of puli-kolams. And the fantastic wins prizes and certificates. Spread the word about this contest among people who stun us with their kolams at your doorstep.

Two great evening-time shows on the Main Stage. One that presents 20 vintage Hindi film songs ( Jan 9, evening). The other which swirls the Thamizh film hits of famed music director M. S. Vishwanathan all around you and your friends. ( Jan 10 evening). Open air. On the weekend.

Mylapore mada veedhis always have something to get your attention and draw you in. This margazhi if you wander around, you will be greeted by the variety of flowers on sale by hawkers, fresh veggies, crafts of Narikkuravas and temple sounds. The Festival adds to the zing. Soak in.

Mylapore magnets. Bet you have always wanted these. They are on sale at the Fest. As are cotton T-shirts, jute bags and cute key-chains and danglers which sport kolams, yalis and pottu-s. These souvenirs also make little gifts. All of them carry a Mylapore theme. Exclusively made for this season.

Detailed info at