The last week has seen a mix of disparate events: a book release, beginning of festivities with the advent of Sravan, a family get- together and the week culminating with an address to interns who were undergoing their internship with the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (A Govt. of Tamil Nadu Undertaking ). The sessions were organized by UNICEF at State Institute of Rural Development ( SIRD) situated near Marimalainagar.
Thirumurthi’s book ‘Chennai vasi’ was released to a packed audience comprising who’s who of Chennai, particularly from the Sports field (perhaps it is because the diplomat/author being the son-in-law of a former Tennis player) .The event was enlivened with the ‘poetic’ and humourous rendering by Gopal Krishna Gandhi (the chief guest) of the civic scene in and around where he lived in Chennai which was followed by the author reading the first chapter of his book, all to do with a visit to a Nadi joshyar who gives an accurate picture of the client’s past and when she wishes to know what the future has in store for her, leaves her question unanswered!
The advent of Sravan for the Telugu and Kannada community means the commencement of festivities, the foremost being the performance of Sri VaraMaha Lakshmi Puja performed with religious fervour in their homes. The morning comprises the religious part of puja followed by an elaborate festive lunch and the evening relatives and friends are invited for Haldi kum kum to celebrate the occasion.
Time for the NRI’s to visit Chennai and congregate at a convenient place for a get together hosted by their close relatives —which means again feasting and talking endlessly catching up with everything that has happened from their last visit!
In contrast to the above was my session with a bunch of interns from WCC and Madras University which I found very enjoyable though it meant traveling a distance of a total of 96 kilometres to and from the venue of the workshop. Just to break the ice I left the participants to find an answer to their question regarding the region I hailed from and it was amusing to hear their answers which ranged from –Malayali, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and what not. I said my name was pan Indian and my husband’s was South Indian and they all looked perplexed. Subsequently my pp presentation on Feature Writing invited some pertinent questions and when I thought I was done, there was one question that I did not answer, they all echoed, which was that I have not told them anything about myself!
n.meera raghavendra rao