It was in Oct 2004, just back from Mumbai, I went on to be a part of the festival of a neighbourhood in Chennai.
Mumbai's 'local' spirit was still high on my mind. Not just the trains, but the local and neighbourhood sentiments each area in Mumbai has for the people who live there.
Though we were in and out of Chennai due to official postings, we lived in Mylapore whenever we were posted in Chennai.
My family has a close connection with Arisikara Street in Mylapore, Raja Muthiah School in R.A. Puram, Venkatesa Perumal - Vedantha Desikar temple alongside Chitrakulam and the 'Andhra hospital' (Now Durgabai Deshmush Medical centre) too!
But I distinctly remember the Luz Church Road and Norton Road where I spent most of my memorable days.
After living in Mumbai for 6 years we were back to live in Abhiramapuram and that took me to the Mylapore Festival that the meighbourhood newspaper, Mylapore Times has been hosting.
Frankly, I had never done so much of talking in my life and career till then.
I had taken part in conferences, presented papers and spoke banking business at business meetings. My exposure to clients across the counters in the bank was very limited as I had spent most of my career in administrative offices. That too in large credit appraisal departments where speaking more was a bit dangerous and not warranted!
The experience of putting people and things together (the director of the festival calls it 'marrying the two'!) was new and challenging to me. But the end product was nice.
And all that started in 2004 continues for me and I am into co-ordinating the Mylapore Festival for the fifth year.
Every year the experience is different.
The entry of younger Orkut group two years ago, as volunteers added colours to the preparations and hosting.
The young keep up the spirits and I live in my 20s and 30s all over again!
A new set of 25 youngsters volunteer this year too.
The oldest neighbourhood of Chennai is getting younger day by day with the participation of young people in the festival!
Welcome to the 2009 edition on Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival!