Thursday, August 22, 2013

Piṟanta Nāḷ Vāḻttukkaḷ

Madras, that is Chennai, turned 374 today. In 1639, on this day, the British administrators Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, acquired a stretch of land from the Vijaynagar empire which went on to progress from the villages of Madraspattinam and Channapattinam to become Madras, nowadays known as Chennai. While 374 sounds like a respectable age for a city, strictly speaking Madras is much older than that. The temples of Triplicane, Mylapore and Thiruvanmiyur (the Parthasarathy, and Kapaleeswar and Marundeeswar temples) all date from the 8th century. Fort St. George, which was named in 1640 is a spring chicken in comparison.  Either way, good wishes are in order. So happy birthday, Chennai (that is what the header says, thanks Google translator, and we hope it got it  right). We hope to greet you again next year, when you turn 375, when you will hopefully be in better shape (don't start us off on the topic of the current potholes).

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.


AmOK said...

Thanks to Bollywood I finally understand the culture in Chennai. Chennai Express. I expect it is a "hit" in Chennai?

Neelima said...

Super hit everywhere! I haven't seen it yet. Should I ?
Rahul and I used to take the Chennai express all the time, and so I'm proprietorial towards this train.

AmOK said...

Yes - you should see it. Then explain here what she said. Express your feelings. Rahul did.


vbalki said...

Talking of potholes: As most of us know, some of the truly classic and iconic ("world-class") examples of this art form are permanent exhibits on the stretch of road between Rajiv Gandhi Salai and IMSc. I believe everybody has finally given up trying to get this state of affairs remedied. But there is, we are told, a positive side to anything. For me, this stretch is a reminder of how informed and politically savvy the ordinary citizens of Chennai are. Right after the US action in Afghanistan following 9/11, an autorickshaw driver informed me in all seriousness, as he picked his way through the rubble, that the stretch of road was an exact replica of post-bombing Tora Bora!