Madras Week Special 2012

Mylapore – 4

The legendary flautist who epitomises all that is inspiring and noble is Dr N. Ramani who lives in CIT Colony opposite Mylapore Fine Arts music hall. A charismatic person, he was besotted with the idyllic surrounding of this area and decided to reside here. It used to be a tranquil retreat but now it is filled with noise, declares Dr Ramani in a pensive mood.

B Ramamurthi

You must be familiar with the renowned neurosurgeon, Dr B Ramamurthi, called Brain Ramamurthi, who was a messiah to many afflicted with brain-related diseases. A man of aristocratic bearing, he was an intellectual giant and a peerless surgeon. His wife Indira, also a doctor and eminent gynaecologist, is a perfect foil for him. The patients consider their house a temple and venerate the doctor-couple.

There are several distinguished persons who have made Mylai their home about whom I shall discuss later.

As we stroll from CIT Nagar towards Oliver Road, now called Musiri Subramaniya Iyer Salai, we catch a glimpse of a colossal building. It is Vivekananda College, which has nurtured many stalwarts from diverse streams.

The other famous educational institutions like Vidya Mandir, Hindu and PS high schools have contributed a lot to the educational field. The Universal Temple of Ramakrishna Math is a spiritual sanctuary which is perennially teeming with people.

There are temples, hotels, music halls, hospitals, etc., in Mylapore. I feel happy and comfortable sauntering in Luz in the evenings, beamed Leela. The shops are lined on either side of the road and make the place look like a mixture of George Town and T Nagar.

It is a world by itself during festival time, remarked Kamala who shops here for Deepavali. Clothes and crackers are in abundance here but what about grandma’s lehyam - Deepavali marundhu? Even hotels dish out delectable sweets, but Deepavali marundhu is synonymous only with Dubba Chetty Kadai, the reigning king of marundhu.

The shop on Kutcheri Road permeates with the aroma of herbs and spices well ahead of the festival. Dubba Chetty Kadai does not have a modern appearance and looks like a vestige from the past. Not only the locals, but also people from far-off places swarm this shop for marundhu podi.

I am a Dubba Chetty Kadai loyalist as I trust his concoction of ingredients for marundhu, declares Malathi.

What is amazing is that modernity slowly fades away once you enter Kutcheri Road. The stench of the Cooum and an old building in the narrow road make us wonder about the sea of changes in the adjoining places.

Talking about sea, Marina beach is just stone’s throw from Mylapore. Can we think of a Mylapore without a beach? We spend the summer evenings wandering joblessly in the beach, quipped Tara, a resident of Mylai. She was walking down memory lane when she recollected how there was hardly any activity in Luz and beach seemed nearer to Mylai. This is because the skyline was verdant with few high-rise buildings.

In the evenings, the breeze would set in promptly, bringing cheer to us, declared Vasanthi who always looked forward to the evening breeze. The sunset at the beach was a visual treat. Many people gathered at dusk especially to witness the sun which resembles a crimson ball on the opposite side of the beach. The endless stretch of sand has so much to offer and has a timeless appeal.

The urbanisation of Mylai has not been overnight but gradual and slow.

The unforgettable Shanthi Vihar and Poonam Restaurant are known for their gourmands’ delight.

After wandering in Mylai and exploring its beauty, we feel that there is much more to see and enjoy in this temple town.


(To be contd)

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Usha Raja

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