August 28, 2006

Madras Day Celebrations - Randor Guy

Had been to one of the meetings in P.S.Senior High school, Mylapore. The meeting was organized as part of the Madras Day celebrations. It had Randor Guy, the learned gentleman speaking on Old Madras with timely old movie clippings.

It was an enthralling speech...I should say. For more than an hour, we were transported to the good old days of cleaner madras. The speech by itself was a treasure trove of Madras trivia..I sorely missed taking a pen and paper.

The clippings were from many pre independence movies like En Manaivi, Sabapathi, Thyaga Bhoomi and some oldies like Parasakthi. We could get a glimpse of old time Mylapore, Adayar, Kodambakkam railway station, Port, Egmore railway station and of course the famed beaches. The one thing that stood out was the near absence of traffic in those days. It must be have been great fun to have traveled by Trams in Parrys corner..Hmm..people really had a calm and relaxed life in those days.

I was thrilled, when one the clippings (En Manaivi - early 1940s movie) panned across the very P.S.Senior high school in which the show was being organized. Not much change. Good.
The grand finale had the song Enna paarvai undhan paarvai from the film Kaadhalika neramillai(1964). The song was extensively shot on the Marina beach with the regal Madras University, Presidency college buildings forming the backdrop.

The sadder part of the evening was the poor turnout of youngsters; of the 75+ people, there were hardly 10 who would be below 35. So much for heritage.


The government banned Thyaga Bhoomi, 1939 (written by Kalki) and said there should not be any further shows of the movie, the movie was kindling patriotic feelings amongst people. S.S.Vasan, the starlwart producer, decided to run continuous free for all shows in the erstwhile saffire theatre. The crowds were pouring in to see the continuous shows and the police could not technically carry out the ban; they had to resort to lathi charge inside the theatre. Randor Guy made a sarcastic remark that now days you see lathicharge outside the theatre to control the crowds.


prakash said...

suganthi, 75 + is a decent turnout :-). The person who controlled the projecting system sothappifyed a lot. If not we could have seen more clips.

Not only the pre-independence era, some films made in 60's & 70's has better coverage of madras. Try watching azhagiya mithilai nagarathilE from annai in full. Visual treat.

Pavithra said...

Hi Suganthi,

Came here via Gilli. Nice work here. Yeah, like Prakash said, 75+ is actually a nice turnout (the other lectures had far less.). And I too loved the show.

Pavithra said...

Lol, I think I misunderstood the 75+. True, there weren't many youngsters ... but hopefully, the few who attended will be the ones to take charge for the next generation. :)

sugan said...

Thanks Prakash & Pavithra..

True Pavithra..I was lamenting abt the low turnout of youngsters...

And..Prakash..I simply luv the song 'azhagiya mithilai nagarathile' is both an aural treat and a visual treat.

S. அருள் குமார் said...

hi sugan,
we have started a blog for chennai :)

visit when u find time...

Nagarajan Seshadri said...

The movie "En Manaivi" is available in DVD format from Moserbaer and I purchased it from Music World in Chennai. It is a good comedy movie. I am also a fan of Old Madras and Old Tamil movies and Randor Guy's writings.