“Chen­nai: Of peace, beauty and spirit” by ed­u­ca­tion­ist and artiste Madhuvanthi Arun.

India Today - - INSIDE -

Iwas born in Madras and my son was born in Chen­nai. Yet that changes noth­ing in my mind about this city. The life and en­ergy it ex­udes amazes me all the time. Its strong char­ac­ter is some­thing that I have not seen any­where else in the world. Chen­nai is a true mix of tra­di­tion and tech­nol­ogy. It’s global yet lo­cal, sub­tle yet strong.

My favourites in this lovely city are all housed in My­la­pore, es­pe­cially the four streets around the mighty Ka­paleesh­warar tem­ple. The smell of cam­phor, fra­grance of flow­ers, and vib­hoothi (sa­cred ash) and kungu­mam (ver­mil­ion) en­tice me all the time. I am one of those lucky few who get to work in the area that I truly love and adore. My­la­pore is also home to my school, Cal­i­bre Academy In­ter­na­tional, and my arts and me­dia com­pany, MA­HAM. Thanks to this, I never have to look for ex­cuses to visit this lovely eigh­bour­hood. I get to be here all the time.

The ever re­gal Kapleesh­warar tem­ple that stands tall in the mid­dle of all this hus­tle bus­tle reminds me to reach within and main­tain my calm, ir­re­spec­tive of the ten­sion that life and work can of­ten throw at me. I can­not not talk about Raasi, Sukra and Ran­gachari cloth stores—the tex­tile icons that rep­re­sent the very essence of My­la­pore. And barely five min­utes away is the much-loved My­lai Karpagam­bal mess, where I sa­ti­ate my ap­petite with steam­ing hot Pon­gal—a del­i­cacy to die for.

One gets the best of ev­ery­thing here— the de­sired stan­dard

EV­ERY­THING I NEED TO GET IN­SPIRED, IS IN THE SOIL HERE. THIS CITY RAISED ME AND IT DE­FINES ME.

of liv­ing, beauty and spirit, ac­ces­si­bil­ity, peace, and the list goes on. No mat­ter where I travel, this is the place I yearn to come back to—the won­der­ful My­la­pore and the city of Chen­nai that houses it.

I find ev­ery­thing that I need to be in­spired in this soil. It stim­u­lates me to keep work­ing hard in what I be­lieve in and main­tain stan­dards, no mat­ter what. This is the city that raised me and this is the city that con­tin­ues to de­fine me.

Madhuvanthi Arun is an ed­u­ca­tion­ist, the­atre per­son and founder of MA­HAM En­ter­prises, an arts and me­dia com­pany.

Madhuvanthi

Arun

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