The Asan Memorial School kick-started its Madras Week celebrations with an exhibition of pictures and some exhibits of a Madras gone by. Randor Guy inaugurated and spoke about the Madras of old – a Madras he had grown up in and a Madras he knew very well. The raconteur that he is, Randor had many in the front benches listening in rapt attention to his stories of Madras of the 1940s and 50s when you could have two idlis and two vadas for three paise! However, students of the higher classes who made up most of the audience kept talking among themselves and it resulted in quite a bit of disturbance. There were hardly any teachers around and that was disappointing. Some of them could have controlled the students (they needed somebody to do that!) and their presence could also have enthused the speaker.
In any case, it was heartening to see that many of the students had taken the trouble of making charts and collecting information about old Madras. The enthusiasm shown by Suma Padmanabhan, principal, is commendable indeed. Weeks earlier, she, like last year, has put in place a team of students to oversee the celebrations there will also include a demonstration of the food, clothes, lifestyle, dance, music of the years gone by. If only there were more school principals like her!
The programme got off to a delayed start, thanks to electricity failure. Lights did not appear till the function got over, but Randor was able to speak because the mike system somehow worked.
Pictures (above) show some of the charts and exhibits and the general mood this morning.