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Silver Years of Madras Musings

Madras Musings (MM) completed 25 years of publication. The brainchild of the historian and chronicler of Madras, S Muthiah, MM has been instilling in its citizens a sense of pride and belonging to this 377-year-old metro. IE has been carefully following the rich contribution of MM. The very many campaigns conducted on preserving our heritage and nurturing interest in the city’s great history have been commendable.

 

I remember the disappointment and poignancy of Muthiah when Madras did not celebrate its 350th year even while Kolkata celebrated with fanfare 300 years of its birth in 1990. In the Madras metro of migrants, there was little effort to applaud its rich heritage. IE presented in 1990 a feature on the history and evolution of Madras written by Muthiah. The additional bonus was the liberal drawal from the photo archives of the brilliant photographer Narayanachari.

 

Happily, the persistent campaign of Muthiah helped celebrate Madras Day in subsequent years. Starting with a week-long celebration, it was extended to a fortnight and now, to almost the whole of August. What an array of lectures, reminiscences, walks, discussions, culinary delights!

 

At one point, Lokvani Hallmark Press, which graciously footed the bill in earlier years, could not continue to do so. Muthiah sang the swan song and announced ceasing of publication. N Sankar of Chemplast stepped in. Apart from extending his support, he ensured commitment from a dozen other entrepreneurs of the city that ensured MM’s continuance. (Sankar had striven to save another icon of Chennai, the Aside magazine of Abraham Eraly, which was published for a while as a prestigious news magazine of Madras. Sadly, it did not succeed.)

 

With veteran Muthiah at the helm, MM has been expanding its coverage and reach. Its fortnightly issues are looked forward to for a rich fare of Madras’ heritage in arts, culture, literature, music, sports, media, civic issues et al.

 

IE wishes MM an even more impressive march towards its golden jubilee.

 

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