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the day chennai turned communal...

last year during the chennai week i read articles by several people who have lived and worked in Chennai at different times and i promised that perhaps if time permits this year i will write and share some reflections on chennai...this is a long ramble about chennai, i decided that i will not edit this and continue to ramble as far as i can and then post! read it if you are 70s chennai kid and want to re-live some memories...

However, after writing much of the ramble usual memories partly crowded with nostalgia and partly crowded with recounting ones own story, i decided to write on top the most dramatic visual of chennai that has made a deep mark in me -

The Day Chennai turned communal  -

...it was one of those Sundays when we all hung around after the rover scout classes, played basket ball, then planned for one thing or the other that we do at the big street in triplicane where we all went to school. somehow why we hung out so late in the school i can't remember, but, it was almo…

My Music Season Calender for 2014

மத்திய சென்னை வாக்காளர்களுக்கு ஒரு வேண்டுகோள்!

மத்திய சென்னை வாக்காளர்களுக்கு ஒரு வேண்டுகோள்!


மத்திய சென்னை பாராளுமன்ற தொகுதியானது - அண்ணா நகர், துறைமுகம், ஆயிரம் விளக்கு, வில்லிவாக்கம், எழும்பூர், சேப்பாக்கம் மற்றும் திருவல்லிக்கேணி என்கின்ற சென்னையின் சில முக்கியமான பகுதிகளை கொண்ட ஒரு தொகுதி.  ஏறத்தாழ 12 லட்சம் வாக்காளர்களாகிய நீங்கள் சென்றமுறை  நாடாளுமன்றத்தில் உங்களையும், உங்கள் உணர்வுகளையும் எழுப்ப தகுதியானவர் என்று திரு. தயாநிதி மாறன் அவர்களை தேர்ந்தெடுத்து அனுப்பினீர்கள்.

சென்றமுறையும்,  அவர் தாத்தாவும், மாமாவும் உங்களிடம் ஆதரவு கேட்டனர். "அவர் ஆங்கிலம் நன்றாக பேசுவார்" என்பதினாலேயே அவரை டில்லியில் குடும்ப பிரதிநிதியாக அனுப்ப உங்கள் வோட்டுக்களை உபயோகப்படுத்தினர். அவர் நாடாளுமன்றத்தில் விவாதித்த நாட்களோ அல்லது உங்களுக்காக குரல் கொடுத்த நாட்களோ மிக சொற்பம். குடும்ப பிரச்சனைக்காக அவர் வேலை அதிகமாக செய்ததாகவே தெரிகின்றது.  இதன் முத்தாய்ப்பாக, தனது சகோதரர் கொம்பனிக்கான தொலைபேசி, இவர் மந்திரி பதவியை உபயோகப்படுத்தி இலவசமாகவே உபயோகித்ததும், இந்த ஊழல் வெளியே தெரிந்ததும், பதவி விலகியதும் நாம் அனைவரும் அறிந்ததே.

உங்கள் பகுத…

Chennai - the Indian Detroit - what lessons?

சென்னை  மாநகரத்தை இந்திய  'டெட்ரோயடு' என்று  மார்தட்டி வந்தவர்கள் இப்போது என்ன சொல்வார்கள்? 


Billions in Debt, Detroit Tumbles Into Insolvencysource: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/us/detroit-files-for-bankruptcy.html?pagewanted=all
...Detroit expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets.
“The worst thing we can do is ignore a problem,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We’re finally executing a fix.”
...a major concern for Detroit residents remains the possibility that services, already severely lacking, might be further diminished in bankruptcy. About 40 percent of the city’s streetlights do not work, a report from Mr. Orr’s office showed. More than half of Detro…

Ground Reality: Food Security: Let us talk of Amma's Canteen

Good to see a city based initiative to meet the hunger of the needy has caught some national level attention. Read the article below by noted Food Security Analyst Devinder Sharma!

Ground Reality: Food Security: Let us talk of Amma's Canteen: Food being served in Amma's Canteen in Chennai - Hindu photo  In the midst of all the heated discussion on the relevance of the p...

Celebrating 5 years of ReStore

ReStore (restore.org.in) is perhaps the best known organic food shop in chennai. it is run by an amazing bunch of volunteers with deep commitment to the organic farming movement.

organic food marketing in urban india has two significant problems -
1. how do you supply a basket of products to an urban kitchen through the year when these produce arrive at your shop only during specific agricultural seasons
2. how do you do that consistently through the years with shifting farmer base, changing consumer behaviour and ever present operational problems of staff, infrastructure, transportation cost going up and other issues
The scale of operation has to be significant for any organic food shop to break even in a urban centre as the overhead costs are high.

ReStore by adopting a part volunteer network to manage the shop has tried to address the issues above in its own. I have no knowledge of how it is managed in the day to day basis, but, the fact a volunteer driven initiative has managed f…

THE MONSTER CALLED THE SCHOOL BUS...

THE MONSTER CALLED THE SCHOOL BUS...
the speeding school bus to me often represents the first monster that the child encounters in the system of education, the angry and speeding driver is a representative of the system itself, intolerant, insensitive to the child's need, adhering to its own demands of pace and not at all in the interest of the child. 
in my morning walk with my daughter, i often see these monsters cruise past at break-neck speed, splashing the overnight rains that have become road-side slush on one and all, honking their multi-lingual, polyphonic horns in complete impatience, steering in and out of narrow lanes to pick up children, reversing into some, rushing into others, climbing narrow walkways to make tight turns so as to quickly pick-up that one child unwilling to go, but brought to the slaughter station of pick-up points by the faithful parents and grand parents - those who have faith in the system of education, that it will eliminate some unknown darkness…