Margazhi, Mylapore and memories

Having in the heart of Mylapore as a child, all the hullabaloo in the papers about the “magic of mylapore”, the music festival attempting to create a hype and recreate that magic catapulted me into that time when there was no hype, no need for all the publications to draw the attention to the so called culture, no advertisements, no obsessive sponsoring…there was the real thing. I was young, really young, around 4 or 5…before I was packed off for the mandatory paattu class…so my recollection of that time is not very vast…quite hazy in fact…

I remember waking up early in the mornings, finishing up my bath and waiting in the  balcony…all bundled up to fend off the “pani”…then they’d make an appearance…the old men singing bhajans…I’d dutifully and solemnly take my fistful of rice….empty it into their sombus…and fall at their feet….now why I found this so fascinating is really beyond me…but I would faithfully do this…every single day that those thathas made an appearance..I did not understand the significance of this..but I followed the routine pretty strictly…we then moved away and this childhood memory faded until a couple of years back…when I was the lazy lump and the only reason I was up at 6 am and in Mylapore was to attend my CA classes..and I saw a bunch of thathas…with their clanging instruments… Obviously these men were some twenty years younger when I had my first brush with the bhajana ghoshtis and were possibly working at that point…and after their retirement have decided to do what their fathers and uncles did…I was fascinated that the tradition is still living!

Another memory I have is that of travelling by bus number 21 from the Devanathan street stop in Mandevali to Luz corner to do all our shopping…my world started and ended there…my trips to school near Mount Road were routine and did not hold too much of a novelty…but these trips to Luz Corner were real treats….Of course came the occasional trip to Parry’s corner to visit the tailor with my paati and uncle…these were ultimate for me for it meant such a nice long bus journey…instead of getting off at Luz, the bus took us all the way to the terminus…and we had to take a little walk to reach Shumm Tailors where my uncle would be measured and cloth given to the guy to create his magic! I tagged along happily and was rewarded with a cone ice cream for being a good little kid!The Allen Sollys and Louis Philips have taken over now and the fancy ice cream pubs have invaded…but that childish fancy that these trips held for me will always be a part of me..

Fresh vegetables, rich colours, plenty of haggling, holding patti’s hand tight and carrying a tiny bag, we’d walk up and down South Mada Street, long before these vendors were cleared for encroachments, long before broccoli and bell peppers made an appearance in our supermarkets…we would take a cursory glance at all the vendors and check on whose vegetables were the freshest and settle on one of them to start the process of haggling..great drama would ensue and paati would act as though these were the worst of the lot…she’d throw the vegetables back and declare that she would never buy from him..and he’d match her…saying that she was damaging  her vegetables and that single act of throwing a tomato would wipe out his entire family…a lot of fun later we’d walk back laden with all the loot..I still find buying vegetables therapeutic and will never say no to a trip to Suriya Sweets and Greens!

Oh to be 4 again! Why do things change so much?


3 Responses

  1. how do I unlove my soul mate, who knows my heart and reads my mind and drinks my tears (literally), inspite of having a very severe mouth ulcer!! Its very difficult to steel myself and not feel being drawn towards him…I will not elope…my best friend eloped and I have seen what parents go through when daughters elope..i dont have the heart to do. I love him enough to do that, but I cant…

  2. I know re…that you did not mean that way..even I have thought about it many times…but like you said its not right…even I want this mess to clear up, so that I can get on with my life..but he is so yummy that I just cant forget him! 😛

  3. Hi,

    you spoke my mind out!
    even i was born and brought up in mylapore only, i love the place and miss it every minute.
    yups by the way where do u stay. we live in singapore now, and looking forward to blog friendship.
    Visit my blog to know me more at “”


    GDS: Thanks for stopping by! I live in Chennai only..shuttle between Bangalore and Chennai though!

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