Sunday, 22 August 2010

Happy Madras Day



Celebrating its 371th Birthday my birth city of Madras/Chennai has lined up a host of activities. School children and adults have made August 22nd 2010 a day to remember with exhibitions, Design a T-shirt contest,( photo attached) parades music and noisy parties galore. Why am I three thousands of miles away rejoicing? Well, Madras is my birth city and fond nostalgic memories of my school days and university life come flodding back but there is another link. It was arrival of the two Scottish young men Andrew Cogan and Francis Day agents of the John Company who came to get cheap calico cloth that laid the foundation of the East India Company and the start of the Empire. We in 'Chennapatanam' were the kind hosts who welcomed the foreigners to our land. The sound of the waves crashing on Madras Beach, the sweat, the heat and dust of my city, the crazy traffic, the tasty hot food and the fabulous silk sarees of Nalli's all vie for my attention in my mind's eye. Thoughts crowd the mind of my family, both happy and sad incidents and traditions long forgotten that was part of my twenty years of growing up in the sub-tropical city and made me what I am today. Good Shepherd's High School, Stella Maris College and Madras University that shaped my educational life and helped in my teaching career in Glasgow and the resilience to adapt to a new country all those years ago. I am truly lucky to have two cities that I can call my home, Madras and Glasgow.

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