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