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Showing posts from April, 2006

Who Needs a Menu Card?

Who Needs a Menu Card?!

Some weeks back I read that the latest trend in the hotel industry is to "throw away that Menu card." If you have a menu card, the thinking goes, you should have all the items printed in the card ready, for one wouldn't know what customers would order for! The inventory increases, workload increases, profits nose-dive. On the other hand, the thinking continues, if you prepare just a few selected items, the chances of success gets increased!

I saw this "latest" (!!) thinking in operation yesterday, when Vijaya and I were strolling down the Mada Streets of Mylapore. Next to the Kapaaleeswarar Temple, we saw there was a crowd jostling around a window. Curiosity taking over me, I approached the window and I saw to my amazement that there was a house on the other side of the window; and they were selling bajjis.

Just urulaikkizhangu bajjis and vazhaikkai bajjis. Only these two items. Persons, most likely Brahmin women, were making hot-hot bajjis…

Arupaththu Moovar Festival

Aruvathimoovar Festival

Every year, during the Tamil month of Panguni, on Uththiram Star, the "Aruvathimoovar" festival is celebrated in Sri Kapaleeswarar Koil, Mylapore.

To honour the 63 naayanmaars; some of the more famous naayanmaars are Appar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, (thirugnana) Sambandar, Kannappar. The decorated 63 idols are taken in procession around the four mada veedhis, followed by Sri Kapaleeswarar Himself. This is the most important festival in the ongoing Panguni Utsavam of the Koil.

Today (April 11th, 2006) was the festival. Myself and Vijaya went to RK Mutt road on some other errand, and when we hit the road we couldn't believe our eyes - was it the same old RK Mutt road on which we walk daily? No, it can't be ! The road had transformed totally into a mega Mela, with thousands of men, women, and children ambling about. Mostly women and children, in their festival best !

For those who don't know RK Mutt road, this is the road that runs North - South,…

Say NO to autos

Say NO to autos (in Chennai)

Myself and Vijaya went to Coimbatore on 5th April for one day. During this outing we outclassed ourselves - even otherwise, we are two frugal people - not thrifty, but ecnomical, definitely. Yes, we count our paise and think twice before parting with it. A habit for over 60 odd years in my case, and 50 odd in Vijaya's case, does not wash off, you see, in a single monsoon drizzle!

We would have decided to travel by autorickshaw, but when we see the difference between the MTC fare in Chennai (they are downright silliest in the World) and the auto fare (they are the downright atrocious in the world), we change our mind and travel in MTC bus. Or, even better, WALK (if ihe distance permits) ! It has happened a lot of times. Ditto for many other purchases, eating-out, etc.

This visit to Coimbatore was just for a day, we had less luggage to carry; so our minds refused to travel by auto to Central Station (65 - 70 rupees) - we took instead bus No 21 (just 7.00 fo…

PV Parthasarathy

Mr PV Parthasarathy passed away yesterday (Sunday 2nd Apr) at his Venkatesa Agraharam (Mylapore) house. He was 81. Known popularly as PVP, he was the co-founder of Kumudam.

When studying in Law College, he forged a friendship with one of his fellow students - SAP Annamalai (chettiyar) - which lasted a life-time. These two youngsters shared a dream for a more informed society and national fervour and the two decided to start a magazine in Tamil.

They met two other like-minded eager youngsters - Raa Ki Rangarajan and Ja Raa Sundaresan - and the foursome put in their collective efforts and started KUMUDAM - that was in 1947. It was decided that SAP Annamalai would look after editorial (and financing the venture) matters with able inputs from Raa Ki and Ja Raa and PVP, very adept at commercial matters, would be the publisher.

Kumudam started coming from 1947 and its first issue had a print run of 2000 copies. It had to compete with well-established magazines like Ananda Vikatan, Kalki, Kalai…