Madras Week Special 2012

Mylapore - 3

The Adyar river, which borders Mylapore, bridges this temple town with urbane Adyar The MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) station here, Tirumayilai, connects various parts of Chennai to Mylapore. The overhead railway track is a space saver and the sound of trains whizzing past is hardly heard. The mammoth ticket counter is a boon to people staying around this area as they do not have to march to Egmore or Central stations to book tickets.

A railway station at Mylapore was a pipedream. But it became a reality when trains started plying on the elevated track, declares Raman who lives near the MRTS station.

The only eyesore is the Cooum which flows near the station. The Cooum is the bane of Mylapore.

The readers will not excuse me if do not mention about an illustrious person of Mylapore who was a lawyer by profession. His steadfast partnership with an eminent journalist created a niche in the hearts of readers. They are the Juno swans who founded Tamil weekly ‘Kumudam’ which is treasure by each and every one of us till date. I am referring to P V Parthasarathy, resident of Vedanta Desikar Agraharam for many decades, affectionately called ‘Kumudam’ Parthasarathy.

Along with his bosom friend, renowned journalist S A P Annamalai, he created a Renaissance in the publishing world. My association with Parthasarathy’s family spans almost three decades. Gifted with keen intellectual acumen, Parthasarathy mama is a cut above the rest. His simple lifestyle made him a role model for many.

He spurned extravagant living and embraced an austere lifestyle.

Luz

I am not exaggerating if I say that Luz is a microcosm of Mylapore. It was called Naini Thottam in the 1940s as a large part of the area was owned by Nainiappa Mudaliar. The name was changed to Luz because of the presence of a church – Our Lady of Light.

The important landmark which is an oasis of tranquility in a concrete jungle is Nageswara Rao Park. It is a mini botanical garden, opines Komala, a regular morning walker in the park, inhaling the fresh air. I compulsorily visit this park every day as the gentle swaying of the trees and the fragrant flowers is soothing and rejuvenates my spirits, confirmed Raghu who lives opposite the park.

The strong odour of a pain balm wafts in the breeze as we approach a massive building. My headache vanished as I inhaled the odour of the balm, acknowledged Meera. I do not want to keep my readers guessing: Amrutanjan is the pain reliever which is a household name.

Owned by Nageswara Rao Pantulu, it is a godsend for many of us suffering from chronic aches. The park is also named after him. A stroll around the two places is holistic healing, quipped Malu, who resides behind the park.

After sweating it out, the walkers treat themselves to tangy juicees. The fresh juice stalls and tender coconut sellers have a field day every day as people swarm them to cool themselves.

The avenue trees adjoining the park area form a green canopy which gives a feeling of walking in a forest. Are you surprised to see it, at present? asked Raman, who lives near this place. He was awash with nostalgia when he narrated how this area looked like years ago.

It used to look like a dense forest with scanty population. And we used to enjoy the elusive dawn as the trees camouflaged the bungalows, declared Raman.

It was a pastoral haven as the sun’s shafts struggled to pierce the thick foliage, asserted Velmurugan. There are many interesting spots around Luz.

The women’s trap which casts a magic till date is the celebrated Sungudi saree shop - Rangachari Cloth Store - which is synonymous with Madurai Sungudi sarees. Summer or winter is immaterial as the shop is swarmed by women. Madisar mamie turn up to buy their choicest nine yard sarees. Some years ago, it was housed in a moderate space, but now it has expanded on all sides to cater to the changing times.

The two hospitals, Devaki and age old Isabel’s are situated at a vantage point, easily accessible from anywhere in the city. Many eminent doctors visit the hospitals.

Oliver Road, now called Musiri Subramaniya Iyer Salai, is a fairly long stretch of road which houses an important music hall, Mylapore Fine Arts, which is abuzz with music activity during December music season. Many stalwarts have sung/performed here, claims Ranga who easily walks from his home from nearby CIT Nagar.

A legendary flautist resides in CIT Nagar near Mylapore Fine Arts hall. Who is he?

 

(To be contd)

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Usha Raja

 
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