Chennai First

a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Chennai, Tamilians and all the People of TamilNadu – here at Home and Overseas
  • scissors
    M Nannan

    M Nannan

    Chennai :

    M Nannan, who kindled an interest among people to learn Tamil through his famous ‘Tamil Karpom’ programme on Doordarshan in the 1980s and 1990s, died at his residence in Chennai on Tuesday due to aged-related illnesses. He was 94.

    Nannan, who was a Tamil professor at Presidency College in Chennai, had written several Tamil textbooks. He was the recipient of Tamil Nadu government’s Periyar, Thiru Vika and Anna awards.

    Born in 1924 in Cuddalore district, he started following Periyar and later joined the DMK. He participated in the anti-Hindi protests in 1965.

    Political party leaders condoled the death of Nannan. “Nannan’s death is a great loss for the Dravidian movement. Apart from being a Tamil teacher, he was also involved in propagating Periyar’s teachings,” said DMK working president M K Stalin in a statement.

    Stalin said DMK chief M Karunanidhi had entrusted him the responsibility of propagating the Tamil language and Periyar’s teachings in the party.

    PMK chief S Ramadoss said, “Nannan was a famous Tamil professor and a good friend of mine. He started his career as a primary teacher and later he became the chief of Tamil department in college. He also created a separate type of teaching called Nannan Murai.”

    AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran tweeted: “We have lost a Tamil expert in the death of Prof Nannan. His death cannot be replaced.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Chennai News / by Abdullah Nurullah / TNN / November 07th, 2017

  • scissors

    MadrasSchoolCF07nov2017

    The East Indians, as Anglo Indians were known till 1911, were well served by schools and churches in almost every locality where they were in numbers. In New Town and Vepery areas, near where they served in the General Hospital and Gun Factory, the German missionaries representing the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge had done their bit. In Royapuram, the railway and harbour employees were well served by St Kevin’s and St Peter’s. And in Perambur, the railway hub, there was the Railways School and the Lourdes Shrine, all serving Protestants and Catholics. But where the poorest East Indians lived, in the Narasingapuram, Chintadripet, Pudupet and Royapettah areas there was nothing between St Mary’s in the Fort and St George’s Cathedral for those who worked in stables like Waller’s, coach-builders like Simpson’s, as printers in Addison’s, and sales-clerks in Spencer’s and Higginbotham’s. That was till the Rev Henry Taylor arrived in 1842 and was temporarily posted to sahibdom’s St George’s.

    Struck by the poorer East Indians’ conditions in the Round Tana area, Taylor rented a room there in July 1842 and commenced worship and primary classes. That will on November 26, be celebrated as the 175th anniversary of Christ Church, Mount Road, and its school. Growth followed thanks to Thomas Parker Waller who owned a large stable and coach rental here. When a building and compound he offered the new institution was deemed too small, he negotiated exchange of a part of his estate for an adjacent property and gifted in perpetuity the latter, then worth ₹ 12,000, to the new church. Here, Taylor’s successor, Rev Robert Carver (Miscellany, February 6) established in 1843 two schools called the Mount Road Male and Female Schools, to be duly called the Christ Church School. Another building in this property was used for worship. Work on the church began in 1850 to John Law’s design and Christ Church, Mount Road, was consecrated in 1852. The Church, including furniture from Deschamps, then a leading furniture maker, cost ₹ 37,000.

    Remembered in the Church with a memorial tablet and in the name of a primary school opened in 1986 is TP Waller. Another tablet, one in the porch, remembers his son, a veterinarian, who died in 1830. Connected or not, another Waller name figures in the School’s history; Bishop Edward Waller (1922-41) helped the school considerably with Diocesan funding.

    Funds were till the 20th Century a constant problem for the School. Typically, an 1854 note showed expenses being ₹90 a month and school fees only about ₹30 from around 120 students! It was a poor school with poorer children. This lack of funds was to over the years affect the character of the school, which kept shuttling between being a middle school and a lower school.

    The history of this period is too depressing, not to mention full of upheavals, to record. But what seemed like a closed chapter became a new chapter with Waller’s infusion of funds and support from St George’s Cathedral, St Mary’s in the Fort and St Matthias, Vepery.

    This made possible a new block in 1928 at a cost of ₹40,000 and recognition as a High School in 1947. In 1949, when St George’s Cathedral School closed, Christ Church welcomed its students, as numbers meant viability. Today, with over 2,000 students it is a co-educational higher secondary school from 1905 with good results and many a university entrant, a far cry from 1930 when it reported “After years of barren results, it is refreshing to find one passing in the Middle School examination”! That was a School that changed from 1936 after the previous 25 years had recorded “hardly one per cent in passes”. Since then it has been recording 90-100 % passes and students joining India’s most prestigious services and institutions. Among them is Dr John Varghese, principal of St Stephen’s College, Delhi.

    The mystery of the missing award

    My mention on August 27th of the Jagirdar of Arni’s Gold Medal for Physics/ Chemistry not having been awarded for years, has brought intriguing information. In letters to the Arni family in 2005, Presidency College categorically stated their records showed no such awards. Yet, in 1992, plaques were seen in the College’s Central Hall listing Arni Award winners in Physics and Chemistry.

    Still more intriguing is that the CVs of many leading Indian scientists mention them as having received the award. These include Dr CV Raman in 1905, Dr Govind Rao (‘Father of Chemical Engineering in India’) in 1921, and Dr S Chandrasekhar in 1930. Later winners found include in 1956 (Physics) Dr TR Viswanathan, a Director of Texas Instruments after stints at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford and Berkeley, in 1974 (Chemistry) Dr N Pattabhiraman, Professor of Oncology, Lombardi Cancer Centre, Washington DC, Dr N Gopalaswamy (1977, Physics) who was with NASA, and Dr S Moorthy Babu, Anna University.

    With so many winners, listed as late as 1986 (Dr Babu), how could an award vanish into thin air? Be that as it may, would the College like to start all over again with the help of the Arni family?

    The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places, and events from the years gone by, and sometimes from today

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society> History & Culture> Madras Miscellany / by S Muthiah / November 07th, 2017

  • scissors
    John Pennycuick’s grave in England.

    John Pennycuick’s grave in England.

    Film-maker traces British engineer’s roots in the country

    The famed British civil engineer John Pennycuick, who built the Mullaperiyar dam, may be extremely popular in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu for building the dam and his life may have inspired actor Rajinikanth’s Lingaa, but he is reportedly practically unknown in England.

    Having grown up listening to stories about John Pennycuick in Uthamapalayam in Theni district, Santhana Beeroli, a documentary filmmaker, wants to change it by making a film about the illustrious British engineer who constructed what is generally called an engineering marvel.

    “In my home town, Pennycuick is a massive hero. Ever since I was a kid, I grew up listening to his story and was interested in knowing more about him. This is one of the reasons why I came to the U.K. to study. My wish is that Mullaiperiyar dam should become a famous tourist spot in his memory,” he says.

    Despite John Pennycuick’s popularity in Tamil Nadu, finding Pennycuick’s family roots proved to be difficult, confesses Santhana Beeroli, who currently lives in Croydon, London.

    After failing to find any leads, Mr. Beeroli says that he had to approach a professor at the History Department, University of Chester, where the film-maker was pursuing his Masters in Business Administration.

    “I only knew that he died in Camberly, where he had his family home, which he reportedly sold to fund the dam. The professor recommended that I look for leads in the British Library in Euston. Luckily, I found valuable information about the Mullaiperiyar dam, the designs, financial aspects [balance sheets], his own appointment letter, which gave me an idea about the kind of engineering marvel that it is,” said Mr. Beeroli.

    He adds, “Over nine years’ time, during which he built the dam, he didn’t take a single day’s leave so as to ensure that people who worked on the dam were not going off track. It was a complex engineering feat – to divert a westward flowing river towards the east to irrigate the plains. Apart from these information, I also documented the oral history about how the dam was built by speaking to people whose grandfathers and fathers worked to build the dam.”

    While the library had documented important information, Mr. Beeroli says that it proved almost impossible to trace his family members. “The British lifestyle values privacy and since almost 100 years had passed, it was very difficult to find his family. But through a website that helps find family trees, I was able to gather that he had at least four daughters and a son. I was able to figure out that his great grandson was John Hope.”

    Asked about how Pennycuick’s descendants reacted, Mr. Beeroli said that most of them were surprised and inspired by the story of their illustrious ancestor.

    “The people in the church where he was laid to rest didn’t realise how important and revered Pennycuick is in Tamil Nadu. My wish is to take his family to the dam. The film is 70% complete already and soon will be ready,” he says.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Udhav Naig / Chennai – November 02nd, 2017

  • scissors
    November 4th, 2017adminRecords, All, Sports

    Chennai:

    “I always get to hear this question: Why boxing? May be because, I am a girl. Well, this is the only venue, where I can beat somebody and not get into any trouble,’” grins A Pavithra, a resident of Aadhanoor, who is being trained at Railway Institute Tambaram Boxing Club, located at Railway Ground, East Tambaram.

    PavithraCF04nov2017

    A class 8 student of Adi Dravida Higher Secondary School, she is a national and State-level boxer and has won several medals.

    “Mohammad Ali is my role model. There is a lot to learn from his tactics and follow it,’” said Pavithra, who is trained by coach P Saravanan.

    In the recently held State-level championship for boxing in the under-15 category, she won a medal. She has also won several medals in 200 and 400 metres athletics.

    “‘Pavithra is one of my most obedient students, who does not miss her practice like others of her age group do. And, above all, she often does it with a smile and willingness on her face. She’s an inspiration to some and a role model to many,”’ said coach Saravanan.

    On how she took up boxing, her uncle S Balaji said, “‘It all started at the age of 9. She was strong enough to defend her family members and seeing it, I enrolled her to karate, which she discontinued due to lack of interest. Later, given a choice, she chose to learn boxing and also showed interest in athletics.”

    An average student in academics, Pavithra finds it hard to juggle between her passion and studies. Also hailing from a middle class background, it becomes a challenge at times for her to pay for the expenses and get good accessories for the sport.

    Fortunately, she has been recognised and is being supported by Tamil Amudhan, who is extending all help. Pavithra is taken care of by her uncle Balaji and he can be reached at 98845 43839.

    source: http://www.newstodaynet.com / NewsToday / Home / by Konda Somna / Nov 04th, 2017

  • scissors
    November 3rd, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Records, All

    Neeru’s, a leading ethnic wear retailer is opening its first family store at Anna Nagar. The store will be inaugurated by actress Shruthi Hassan along with Neeru’s family. Alongwith Chennai, Neeru’s has also expanded its footprint in Kochi and Kanpur.

    Apart from opening in Chennai, Neeru’s has also made its mark in MG Road Kochi and Lucknow

    Apart from opening in Chennai, Neeru’s has also made its mark in MG Road Kochi and Lucknow

    The store features an inviting and inspiring design which exudes the sophistication of the brand.

    The store showcases Neeru’s extensive range of clothing which redefines and modernizes Indian attire for women. Right from innovative silk lehengas to stylish Banarasi sarees, suits, mix-and-match, accessories and the signature Neeru Kumar collection. The store also houses Little Neeru’s which is dedicated to children up to 14 years of age. Ranging from everyday ethnic wear to festive wear, the brand caters to a spectrum of discerning audiences with varied tastes and style.

    Neeru’s has an exclusive 1,000 handpicked silk saree collection and is all set to revolutionize silk with a bouquet of ensembles from silk collection from Kanjeevaram, Banarasi, Uppadas, Pochampally, Coimbatore, Gadwal, Rajkot Patola and Pure Zari.

    Apart from opening in Chennai, Neeru’s has also made its mark in MG Road Kochi and Lucknow.

    The store also caters to the young fashion trends with an array of ethnic attires for the little ones. The kid’s collection is on par to the men and women’s collection when it comes to designs and style.

    Stating the USP of the brand – Selling the latest and the best of Indian ethnic wear at a reasonable price tag, Director, Neeru’s, Avnish Kumar said, “We are delighted to open our first family store in Chennai and will be expanding our presence with three more stores, taking the count to five stores. Our aim is to serve the clothing demands right from everyday to D-day of the mass, thus our collection rejoices the finest craftsmanship and grandeur of luxurious fabrics with just perfect blend of traditional Indian finery with contemporary styles.”

    source: http://www.indiaretailing.com / IndiaRetailing.com / Home> Fashion / by India Retailing Bureau / October 30th, 2017

  • scissors

    Trichy :

    The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam has bagged an award of merit from Unesco for protecting and conserving cultural heritage, thus becoming the first temple from Tamil Nadu to grab the prestigious honour from the UN body. The traditional method of renovating temple premises as well as re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and the historic drainage system in preventing flooding are the two key parameters that earned the temple the award.

    Launched in 2000, Unesco-Asia Pacific awards for cultural heritage conservation programme is aimed at acknowledging the efforts taken to restore and conserve historical structures without affecting their heritage value in the region comprising 48 countries. Unesco had invited applications earlier this year to submit conservation projects either taken up by individuals or in public-private partnership model in the last 10 years for the awards. Subsequently, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department of Srirangam temple applied for the awards in May. As the results of the awards given under four categories were disclosed by Unesco Asia-Pacific on Wednesday, Srirangam temple was the only religious centre from south India to find a mention under ‘Award of Merit’ category.

    HR&CE sources said that the temple had received the international recognition for the Rs 20 crore (from HR&CE and donors) renovation project taken up prior to a consecration ceremony in November 2015, especially without affecting its centuries’ old architectural design. “The communique received by us cited the traditional construction method involved in reworks and re-establishment of the historical sewage system as parameters for receiving the international award,” P Jayaraman, joint commissioner of the temple, told TOI. In 2015, restoration work was carried out in the entire temple complex by craftsmen who had in-depth knowledge in traditional architecture involving the usage of limestone and chemical-free construction practices.

    Similarly, the flooding problem in the temple was overcome by re-establishing historical water harvesting and drainage system, and the waste water after re-treatment was used for watering the garden within the temple.

    There were 43 applications from 10 countries for the 2017 Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Mumbai’s Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House were the other monuments in India that received the Award of Merit this year.

    The awards are classified under four categories — Award of Excellence, Awards of Distinction, Awards of Merit and Award for New Design in Heritage Context. They are being given to encourage the efforts of all stakeholders and the public in conserving and promoting monuments and religious institutes with rich heritage in the Asia-Pacific region. A jury comprising nine international heritage conservation experts reviewed the documentation of the conservation project taken up by Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple management.

    In Video: In a first in Tamil Nadu, Srirangam temple bags Unesco award

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Tamil Nadu / TNN / November 02nd, 2017

  • scissors
    Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas

    Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas

    Chennai :

    More than 50 years ago when many doctors were leaving India in search of green pastures, Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas returned home. The clinical neurologist, who had ensured free or subsidised but quality care for all his patients since then, breathed his last in a private hospital at Mylapore at 6.10am on Wednesday. He was 84.

    “He went into coma on Sunday and never woke up,” said his son Dr Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy, a neuropsychiatrist.

    Senior doctors, patients, industrialists and several eminent people paid their last respects to Dr Srinivas who had always looked into his patients’ eyes and listened to them.

    After landing in Chennai with three FRCPs and intensive training in Canada, Dr Srinivas worked in Voluntary Health Services, a hospital founded Dr K S Sanjeevi, and in the Public Health Centre at West Mambalam.

    “I started my training in July 1959 at Montreal, Canada. Fifty-six years have passed since I entered neurology. Essentially, I am a clinical neurologist with interests in the welfare of patients, especially in patient care, in clinical diagnosis and teaching. I follow Sir William Osler’s obiter dictum—placing research after the above are done,” he wrote for a commentary in Neurology India journal in 2015.

    Dr Srinivas belonged to the rare breed of doctors who encouraged patients to speak more in his consultation room.

    One of his students, senior neurologist Dr AV Srinivasan recalled how he would tell his postgraduates. “Hurry, hurry, listen to the patient, he is giving us the diagnosis.”

    He sent them for tests and prescribed medicines only if was convinced that they were necessary. “It is not that he did not believe in scans or other diagnostic tests. He used technology only to enhance his clinical skills,” Dr A V Srinivasan.

    Though research came last, he has authored several papers in peer reviewed journals. He loved teaching and worked as an honorary professor at the Madras Medical College and in several other medical colleges.
    He set up the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the VHS and brought eminent scholars in neurology to speak on fascinating topics such of the brain and mind that would interest not just doctors, but members of the public as well.

    On Wednesday, as he bid adieu, one of his patients, 74-year-old R Venkatraman, said, “His work is done. He may now rest forever.”

    The last rites will be held in the Mylapore crematorium at 5pm.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / Pushpa Narayan / TNN / November 01st, 2017

  • scissors

    Choir01CF31oct2017

    There have been several Chennai-based individuals and groups from different fields who have put the city on the global map with their exceptional achievements over the years. And this time around, three choirs from Chennai — Madras Musical Association (MMA), Sargam and Bank Employees Art Troupe (BEAT) — have made the city proud, competing in the 4th Asia Pacific Choir Games in Sri Lanka, an international-level competition that featured choirs from nine different nations, and winning accolades.
    For the Madras Musical Association (MMA), which is more than a century old, taking part in this competition was a first-time experience, though it had earlier performed in several prestigious international events, including 2012 Pre-Olympic music events in London. Its conductor, Augustine Paul, says, “MMA is participating in a competition for the very first time. All our overseas travel so far had been for mega concerts, performed as mass choir, presenting western classical music. This time, one of the main challenges was to do all the pieces from memory. Generally, MMA meets for practice only once a week, but for this, we rehearsed nearly for three months and closer to the competition, the choristers met in small groups for extra practice sessions to perfect each of the pieces.”

    Choir02CF31oct2017

    The 60-voice choir of MMA won golden diploma and silver diploma in Musica Sacra with Accompaniment and Adult Choirs categories, respectively. Augustine says it was an eye-opening experience for the choir. “Many of us got to see the standard of choral music across different Asian countries. The results have given us satisfaction and happiness. Our choir has gained a lot of confidence and I am sure that our members will pursue classical music with much more passion in the years to come,” he shares.

    Sargam Choir won silver diploma in Folklore A cappella and its conductor, Dr Sudha Raja, shares, “It was in 2011 that Sargam started as a children’s choir. Once parents started coming to drop their children for practices, they developed an interest in singing and I started adult choirs for men and women as well. Now, Sargam consists of 150 members, including kids, men and women. We meet for practice every Sunday. In the choir, there are many kids who learn Carnatic music from me. In fact, Uthara Unnikrishnan, the National Award-winning singer, is also a part of our choir, and was also present in Sri Lanka for the competition. The youngest member in the choir is around three-and-a-half years old and the oldest is 68.”

    Dr Sudha, who has a doctorate in Indian choral music, adds that it was a matter of pride to represent the country.

    “If you look at choirs from other countries like Indonesia and China, they are all supported by the government, with the conductors on the payroll of the government. The children and adults are paid to come for rehearsals and performances. It’s only the Indian choirs that do it for the love of it without any monetary gains. For this trip to Sri Lanka, each member of the choir, including me, spent money from our own pockets. I hope our government realises the importance of choir competitions and support singers and conductors, and also host such events in the country. With Chennai being a cultural hub, the city should host Asia Pacific Choir Games some time,” she opines.

    EAT won bronze and silver diplomas in the two categories they competed in. It’s conductor, Rajarajeshwari Sivaramakrishnan, says, “BEAT is more than 25 years old and we believe in meaningful entertainment. BEAT members meet every Sunday for practice. We feature songs which highlight patriotism, national integration, social themes such as women’s liberation, environmental awareness, unity, equality, religious harmony, world peace, culture, etc. Poems of Subramania Bharathi, Bharathidasan and other renowned poets and Thirukkural are also adopted.

    Choir03CF31oct2017

    For a native flavour, we feature some folk songs also. We sing not only in Tamil, but also in the other languages like Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Assamese, etc. We follow the legacy of the Late MB Srinivasan, the pioneer of choir music in Tamil Nadu.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Chennai News / Ashish Ittyerah Joseph / October 31st, 2017

  • scissors

    My Binny story last week had me recalling the life the early 19th Century sahibs led, as reflected in John Binny’s and Thomas Parry’s wills. Discussion of that lifestyle is sure to generate a plethora of views, but one view I don’t think can be denied, namely, that they had a conscience and a sense of obligation. But discussing the morality of the times is not my intent today, I merely present the gist of two fascinating documents.

    John Binny, a bachelor, died in Madras in 1824. His last home leave began in August 1816. In his 1823 will he left a legacy to “a child now of the age 5 years and 5 months named John William Crouchley and boards with one under the charge of Mrs Wicklow…” Make of that what you will. Rather different is the record in India. The Company kept paying 8 pagodas (about ₹25) monthly in Binny’s name to each of two children. They each also received an annual clothing allowance of ₹105 and the elder, Charles, got ₹11 monthly from 1821 for education in the Madras Free School. In later years, the Binny records list a clerk, Charles Binny, who seemed of modest means. Was the second child his sister Belmina who received a marriage settlement of ₹3000, making you wonder whether that too had been left by John Binny? F De Souza, who wrote The House of Binny 50 years ago, leaves you wondering – particularly for answers.

    Thomas Parry

    Thomas Parry

    Thomas Parry, in Madras from 1788, nine years before Binny, has a better recorded life, judging by his will, curiously also dated 1823. He too died in 1824. He left ₹110,000 in investments to Mary Pearce, whom he’d married in 1794. She went back for good to England in 1807 with their two children, both dying young there. Unfettered in India, Parry seemed to have enjoyed a home at every place he had business in on the way from Madras to Cuddalore, judging by his will. His legacies started with amounts to young George Parry Gibson (who travelled with him) and Emma Louisa Gibson, both left in the care of a Mrs Dowden. Compounding the mystery, he also left something for two Army captains called Gibson and Dowden!

    A little clearer is his relationship with Mary Ann Carr, an Anglo Indian, by whom he had Thomas William Parry and Edward Moorat Parry in the early 1820s. Both probably died young, for only Mary Ann is remembered in the will. But then so are Elizabeth Chinnery, Charlotte Myers, Mrs Weehedie of Tranquebar and the son of Babkismah Candy. Parry certainly enjoyed the good life, even as he built a business empire that still flourishes.

    To Parry and Binny India owes its industrial beginnings. While Binny’s is no longer a name in business circles, Parry’s is a respected one, the name remembered in a major junction and the firm’s headquarters building, instead of giving way to new highrise, remaining a landmark in Madras. But where the Parry’s name is endangered is in San Thomé. His home, Leith Castle, near his industrial unit, the first in the country, a tannery and a leather goods ‘factory,’ is a threatened heritage precinct.

    * * * *

    What’s happened to the prize?

    Nobel Prize time reminded 90-year-old Ramachandran (Chandru) Arni of Hyderabad that long before CV Raman and S Chandrasekhar won Nobel Prizes for Physics, they’d won the Jagirdar of Arni’s Gold Medal for Physics/Chemistry at Presidency College, Madras. Why isn’t the College awarding the medal nowadays, he wonders. I look forward to hearing from Presidency, but meanwhile my correspondent’s surname struck a chord.

    Arni Palace today

    Arni Palace today

    I first heard of the Jagirdar of Arni when writing a book on the West End Hotel, Bangalore, that, mysteriously, never got published. The West End was the second home of the then Jagirdar, Srinivasa Rao Sahib, the father of my correspondent who lists him as the 12th and last Jagirdar of the 211 sq miles zamin near Vellore. I’d written that the Jagirdar had stayed there occupying a three-room suite for over 36 years and that he was a regular at the Crazy Horse Bar at boisterous post-race parties. His son tells me horses and gambling were very much part of his life, but his “magnificent obsession” was cars. He bought his first car in 1923, when 19, and by 1948, when the Jagir was abolished by Government, had bought 182 cars! He kept the cars in immaculate condition, drove them himself and never lost on a sale of any of them.

    Arni House Front view

    Arni House Front view

    The Arni Jagir dates to 1640, when this Maharashtrian Brahmin family received it from Shahjee (the father of Shivaji) for services rendered in the Carnatic. It was the 10th Jagirdar, also Srinivasa Rao Sahib – a name the eldest generally took – who created the endowment for the prize at Presidency in 1877.

    A footnote Chandru Arni adds is that his mother was the great great grand-daughter of Purniah, Dewan to Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and the Mysore Royal Family. An old Presidencian himself, he says he is the country’s first games developer and the first, in 1953, to a win an official meet in a self-built sports car.

    The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places, and events from the years gone by, and sometimes from today.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / Madras Miscellany – by S. Muthiah / October 30th, 2017

  • scissors
    Vipulananda Adigalar

    Vipulananda Adigalar

    Film throws light on unknown facets of Vipulananda Adigalar’s life

    Tracing the unknown aspects of a prominent personality in the world of Tamil literature is quite a challenging task and Mu. Elangovan, a faculty in the Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Post Graduate Studies, Puducherry, has travelled across the sea to do exactly that.

    After a year of research, documentation and interviews, Mr. Elangovan has brought out a 50-minute documentary to depict the life of Vipulananda Adigalar, who wrote the famous Yazh Nool (a book of stringed musical instruments), a principal research treatise on Isai Tamil.

    “I wanted to know more about his life. While I began collecting his books, manuscripts, photographs and letters, many unknown facts about him attracted my attention. I felt that a documentary film would be the proper medium to bring these facts before the public. SivamVeluppillai, who works in a private firm in Canada and Kasupathi Nataraja, an elderly person in Sri Lanka helped me complete this work,” said Mr.Elangovan.

    Taught in T.N.

    The famed Tamil scholar and educationist, who was born in Karaitivu near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, in 1892, edited several magazines, translated works and played an instrumental role in establishing several academic institutions in Sri Lanka. On the invitation of Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar, the founder of the Annamalai University, Vipulananda Adigalar even served there from 1931 to 1933 as Tamil Professor.

    While teaching in Annamalai University, he translated Vivekanandar’s Gnana deepamKarma YogamRaja yogam, Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutram. He was a pioneer in teaching and propagating Bharathiar’s Poems in the academic circle during the British rule. “He was the first scholar to recognise and appreciate Bharathiar’s poetic genius. He protested the visit of the English Governor to Annamalai University by hoisting black flag at his residence,” he added.

    Vipulananda had his early education at his native place Karaitivu, Kalmunai, Batticaloa, and later he studied Technical Education at Colombo, got his B.Sc Degree by passing the Cambridge University Examinations, and also ‘Pandithar’ title of the Madurai Tamil Sangam at the age of 24; served as a teacher at Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, received Mahatma Gandhi when he visited Jaffna and also hosted Maraimalai Adigal at Jaffna.

    Mr. Elangovan travelled to Sri Lanka and Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Chennai, Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Mayavathi (the Himalayan foot) for making the documentary.

    “This documentary will remind the future generations about the excellence of Vipulananda Adigalar. It has interviews of those who have been his co-workers, friends and relatives, and addition to his writings, photographs. This film will be released first in Sri Lanka.”

    In Sri Lanka, he visited Colombo Tamil Sangam, Sri Lanka Ramakrishna Mutt Branches, Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies at Eastern University as well as his relatives and many other places including Karaithivu, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mandur, Thetratthivu, Colombo, Rosalla, Kandy, where evidences of his life and works are available.

    The documentary also depicts Vipulananda’s association with Ramakrishna Math and his visit to Chennai where he had his ascetic training from 1922 to 1924. His Brahmachariya name was Prabodha Saithanyer and got his spiritual initiation from Swamy Sivananda in 1924 and later he was called Vipulananda Adigalar. Vipulanandar established and superintended various schools in Sri Lanka from 1925 to 1931. He founded Sivananda Vidyalayam in memory of his Guru who initiated him in the spiritual order and thereby paved way for several thousand poor pupils to receive education.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Puducherry / by S. Senthalir / Puducherry – October 30th, 2017

  • « Older Entries

    Newer Entries »