It is that time of the year, when the Chief hurries from event to event, spreading sweetness and light, and also telling many stories of the city that he loves. For that matter, so does MMM. Years ago, the Chief once told MMM that each of these events was a learning experience and while he, the Chief, did not know what the audiences got out of it, he, the Chief, came away a wiser man. MMM has always looked upon many of these events as grist for this column’s mill and so has rarely turned down any opportunity as well.
Of late, the learnings have got richer. MMM spoke at an event where everyone applauded except one gentleman who maintained a stony silence. At the end of the event he came up to MMM and said that while he enjoyed the presentation, he did not agree with MMM’s story on how the Marina Beach got its name. MMM in his defence said he had picked up the details from the Chief’s well-known book. To which the man clucked rather impatiently in a fashion that implied that the Chief did not know all. He said he would send in his findings by email. MMM reproduces it verbatim below by way of proof to show how the Chief has misled us all along.
“Another story what I heard is one of the British Governor’s sister name is Merina. When her husband died in London the Governor brought her sister to Chennai for change. During her stay usually evenings went and spends her time in beach during that time nobody was allowed. Hence people used to the beach is belongs Marina. From that moment onwards the beach called Marina Beach.”
Who would have thought of that, Chief? These are the same people who go around saying that the Nawab tethered his horses in a place called Ghoda Baugh, which became Kodambakkam. Now, if the Nawab lived in Chepauk, why would he keep his horses in Kodambakkam? Must have been quite a commute each morning. The same creative lot have been going around stating that Nandanam takes its name from being a garden to an ancient temple. But you, Chief, have always been harping on how the name was given by a Chief Minister of the 1950s. Makes you think, eh, Chief? Certainly The Man from Madras Musings ponders over all these topics quite often. And on that note he would like to wish all the readers a Happy Madras Week with more such colourful, if wholly untrue, discoveries.