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    At the Mylapore Festival this year, expect food walks, art exhibitions and a tour of  old homesKrishnan Thoothu

    It’s not really easy to celebrate and mourn at the same time. But as the saying goes, the show must go on and TT Srinivasaraghavan, the MD of Sundaram Finance, says that the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival that they have been organising for 14 years now, will be a “low key” celebration this year. “We wanted to cheer people up while being respectful of the pain that people have undergone recently,” he says, referring to the floods that shook the city by its roots a little over a month ago. “The Mylapore festival has always been about showcasing diverse talent. It is a modern day thiruvizha, and its heart lies in the volunteers and community that comes together for it,” he says, insisting that this festival is not about anything new or unusual.
    Walk the talk
    It is about bringing back, he says, citing examples of traditional games like pallankuzhi and dayakattam that are open for children and adults to compete in. As an afterthought, he quickly adds that there is one thing that they are introducing for the first time this year. “A tour of the old houses of Mylapore,” he says, referring to the heritage walk starting at the Ambika Appalam depot on North Mada Street this Sunday at 7 am. This will be a guided walk past houses that are well over 50 years old, with architects Tahaer Zoyab and Anisha giving you an insight into their architecture. Much like their food walks (today and tomorrow at 4 pm) being led by food walk expert Sridhar Venkataraman, that will cover the lesser-known messes in the area.
    Music in the park4:11:24 PMpallankuzhi
    As you must be aware by now, this festival is all about the community and even their main stage (outside the East gopuram of the Sri Kapali Temple on Sannidhi Street) that sees classical performances like nadaswaram and traditional arts like bommalattam (puppet shows) will predominantly see students taking to the stage. Besides these, expect a host of exhibitions, like the photo exhibition that encourages people to go through their family albums and contribute photos that portray old Mylapore. And while the four-day festival generally winds up with the Spirit of Mylapore award ceremony on the last day, this year, a second award titled the Spirit of Chennai, will be given out to the people who did “outstanding service” to the city during the recent deluge. But whatever you do, don’t leave without picking up one of the souvenirs (we especially like the coffee dabaras and jute bags) that will be available at the festival’s info desk on Sannidhi Street, from 6 pm to 10 pm till January 10. Details: mylaporefestival.com, 9444040748

    Do not miss
    ♦   The traditional kolam contest on the
    East end of North Mada Street. Will have nearly 100 women participating each day, on Saturday and Sunday. From
    3.30 pm, register on the spot.
    ♦   The crafts workshop for children, again on Saturady and Sunday, that will include wheel pottery, pot painting and zentangle. At Nageswara Rao Park,
    for 25 children on first come basis.
    ♦   The sari exhibition featuring 10 traditional designs of Tamil Nadu,
    by Co-optex. On North Mada Street,
    from 3 pm to 6 pm on Saturday
    and Sunday.
    ♦   The art exhibition by Chennai
    Weekend Artists. On Sannidhi
    Street, every evening.

    — Team Indulge

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