HALF-CENTURY PARTNERSHIP (& counting)

Chennai / 15th May ’18

Dear Family,

UNBELIEVABLE BUT WE’RE 50 & COUNTING !


It’s unbelievable, but true that 50 years have
rolled by since that hot day in JAMSHEDPUR
at Madrassi Sammelani on 24th May 1968,
when the two of us tied the knot,with all the
hard work & blessings from our parents. In
our 3rd Generation of Dores, being the first
couple to have married (also first-born) has
its’ own responsibilities & rewards ! In a way
the two of us have completed a CENTURY of
partnership( Kuch Tere Dil mein 50 ; Kuch
Merey Dil mein 50, Zamana hai Burraa !)- ref
Geeta Dutt song from C- I- D (1956).

Over the years, it has been a Roller-Coaster
ride,at times breathless & at times trying for
us, with many milestones, places, people, &
opportunities – as also some hits & many
misses (puns intended) ! Perhaps it’s a case
of sheer survival ( meaning each other !).

Family and friends, as also people in general,
have always meant more to us than career
or tangible milestones…we’ve benefitted a
lot from the guidance of elders, care-givers,
teachers, mentors, friends & Gurus in our
lives,who inspired us to be what we are 2day.

We acknowledge, accept & cherish with
humility & gratitude all that we received and
continue to receive in life. In particular, we remember the love & care given by our parents, the DORE, NATARAJAN & TDN (short for TD Narayana Iyer) Elders/family members.

Our global family tree extends from Palakkad,
North Arcot (Vellore) & Mayuram to Irvine, San
Francisco, Dubai,Southampton,Dallas,Chicago, New Jersey, Mumbai,Jamshedpur, Seattle, Torrance, as also to Pleasanton, Pasadena, Puduchery,Bengaluru,Tucson & Panchgani.

In the elders circle,we’re grateful to Ammaji,
Appaji, Natarajan mama(whom we miss so)
and to Radha Chitti,Premchittappa, Gippy,
Rupathai & Babu Chittappa, Viji Periamma, Balai Chitti & Lalitha Mami ,whose blessings we seek ( and also advice, on occasions).In particular, we have to mention the trade- mark DORE humour, which keeps us smiling & going. In fact laughter & music have always helped us so !

In this journey of decades, we remember in our generation Ganesh-Kanchana,Sam-Vanitha, Bobby (Sr),Radha (& late Janardhan), Jaggi-Geeta , Suki – Shashidhar, Satisch – Suchitra , Srinath-Shyama, Sriram – Chithra, Ravi- Kanchana, Sukanya – Narayan, Paramesh – Baby, Rani – Ramakrishnan, Mridu – Shekhar, Aruna – Suresh, Ramanan – Chitra, Anandhi – Sethuraman, Dorai – Malini,Murali- Mythily, Sumita -Saroj (Roy) , Geetha- Chandru, Parvathy (& late Nana) , Mallika – Rajan, Nandu & Suresh – Priya, Hari – Sudha, Ramu – Vidya & Kumar- Vijaya, Ajita – Chander & Shalini ( the list goes on….)

We feel blessed to be reasonably healthy to enjoy some comforts & places;and that
itself warrants a celebration. We hope to
celebrate the next 12 months by visiting
places and meeting as many associates
& family members as we can, subject to
health and Divine Grace. In the first stage,
we’ve planned 12 days this month at West Coast of India at select resorts.Hope to send some pictures periodically.

Do keep us in your thoughts & prayers.
A short acknowledgement will also be
welcome.

With luv & regards, Kartik & Lakshmi

END OF AN ERA WITH VIMALA ATHANGA MAMI – Overflowing tributes

 

  • MEETING THE AWE-INSPIRING VIMALA ATHAI :

 

 


Vimalathanga

Met my Vimala Atthai, a few days ago. She is Appanna Thata’s 89 year old niece – daughter of his second youngest sister, Bala (Balatthai to all the younger Dores).

She is Vimalatthanga to the Dores. She is a year older than Ramanna so that makes her our clan’s oldest living member!

Five photos too.

Love,
Suguna / Atthai


I realised last week that it’s been more than two years since I met Vimala Atthai. This is a shame because we live in the same city, Chennai and we have always been good friends. She is also my father’s only living relative from his generation. (I count the Dores as my cousins, not my father’s – though they are that. Those who do not understand this complicated and somewhat inbred relationship, go figure…or go to the family tree in the ToD archives). Most of all, she is a lively and warm person and a great conversationalist.

I called Atthai a couple of days ago. We were both very happy to talk to one another after such a long gap. We fixed a time to meet the very next day. Off I went and there she was, ready with her lovely and welcoming smile.

She has been suffering from a weak heart since 2006. A salt-free diet has made her very thin and frail. Probably because of osteoporosis, a few of her vertebrae have got fused as a result of which her spinal column is bent and painful. She also said that the bones around her left shoulder have ‘dissolved’ – ‘karanji pocchu’ . She gets up from bed only to go to the bathroom and to get a little exercise walking around the house or in good weather, in the spacious garden.

Her daughter, Pattamma, whose home is five minutes away, spends all her spare time with her. Vimala Atthai also has a 24-hour companion and help, a bright and friendly young Tamil girl. A young Bihari boy cooks for them. Atthai’s daugher-in-law Padmini, who divides her time between her son’s home in Philadelphia and her own home in Chennai with Atthai has thoughtfully made all these arrangements.

For all her illness, Vimala Atthai is as spirited and hospitable as ever. She even had tiffin, coffee and a gift bag filled with goodies ready for me (at just a day’s notice – I have no idea how she put it together so quickly). No complaints, none of the cynicism one associates with old age, just brimming with affection and goodwill, with eager questions about my family, my brothers, their families and my Dore cousins – even as she just kept on feeding me with Gokulashtami batshanams.

She asked me about my husband and my boys. When I mentioned that my younger son Nikhil and his wife lived in the US, in Seattle, she said with a big knowing smile, “Oh, Seattle!” I thought she was only being polite.

But she shamed and astounded me by adding, “I know Seattle, it is in the Pacific North…Padmini has a relative there, Dr Ramamurthy, with an American wife… Caroline Ramamurthy she calls herself. They used to have a house facing the ocean – I have visited them! Their daughter is named Kanti Caroline Ramamurthy!”

I was flabbergasted! (‘Pacific North’!!). I hope I have such a keen memory when I am 89, which is how old she is. At 68, I am often unable to remember names of places and people from six months ago.

I took some photos and told Atthai I was going to post the pictures and an account of my visit on the ToD. (Please do notice the photo of the goddess Saraswati in the backdrop in the photo of her and me. She was delighted to see it had figured in the picture).

This prompted her to take out a photocopy of a childhood picture of hers. (She knew exactly where it was among her many papers and folders). It was taken when Atthai was seven years old, in Hyderabad Sind. She added that Ramanna had given her the copy years ago.

She went on to tell me the back story to the snapshot. When it was about to be taken, her mother Balachitti (Appanna’s sister) decided to line her eyes with ‘maii’ (a traditional home made kohl made with castor oil soot). The little Vimala had never worn ‘maii’ before. Her eyes started to sting and tears rolled down her cheeks. Appanna chided his sister and told her to leave the child alone and went on to take the picture. “That is why I look so serious and tearful in the photo!” explained Vimala Atthai, laughing at the memory and her immense love and regard for Appanna.

My father Annaji used to say of my aunt Leela Chitti that she was such a good person that she was worthy of worship in a puja room.

I think the same can be said of Vimala Atthai. Such a zest for life, such unconditional love for people, such courage in the face of serious ill health, such genuine and all-embracing kindness towards everybody is indeed rare.

She has said to convey her love and blessings to all the readers of the ToD, especially the senior Dores. So here you go! Suguna Swamy


 


THE RETURN OF VIMALATHANGA
(LIVING LEGEND To TOD, OLDEST DORE ALIVE)

By Suguna Swamy

 


    • MORE SNIPPETS FROM VIMALA ATTHAI :

Vimalathanga Part 2

After my last visit to meet her and the last ToD feature, I dropped in on her again with my iPad to show her the article and photos online. She loved it!

She gave me many new interesting tidbits.

  • She was born to Balachitti on 25th May 1925 at 7.30 pm. at their home in Singapore. Her father, M. Kuppuswamy Iyer, a linguist, had a job in that polyglot city as an Interpreter in the Police Court. (Balachitti was his second wife as his first wife had died in the course of a fourth childbirth).
  • The attending nurse gave Balachitthi a shot of brandy after the birth. She recalled that Balachitti said that she had felt woozy soon afterwards. The orthodox family became very nervous as they feared that her brain had been addled by alcohol: ‘’moolai kalangiduttho ennamo?’! Of course it was no such thing. Just the neat brandy doing its job!
  • Atthai had had an older sister, Leela, who fell very ill with double pneumonia at the age of about 18 months. A neighbouring Christian family suggested a diet that involved eggs, for the frail baby but the Brahmin family couldn’t dream of it. Soon after that little Leela died; before Vimala was born. The family felt miserably guilty for years wondering if they had done the wrong thing by not accepting the suggestion of feeding eggs to the baby.
  • Leela was said to be a beautiful and smart child. Relatives kept comparing Vimala Atthai to her and found her wanting. I, for one, cannot imagine a child who could have been more charming than our Vimala, she of grace and a sunny temperament!
  • In 1929 her father died. He left a legacy of $10,000 for his unmarried son and daughter’s education and weddings. He was against taking or giving dowry so this was for their expenses alone; and for the upkeep of Balchitti and young Vimala. Before he died, he made Vimala Atthai’s kind, loving and generous step brother, Dr N K Sharma promise to take full care of Balachitthi and little Vimala. This gentleman seems to have been a person of great integrity as Atthai says he was as good as his word.
  • In 1936, Dr Sharma, an ophthalmic surgeon, had to go to London for higher studies. War clouds were looming so he decided that Balachitti and her daughter would be safer in India. They sailed for Madras and he set up a household for them with a relative in Kodambakkam. Vimala was taught at home by an Iyengar lady till the 2nd form.
  • It was her first trip to India. I asked her about her young impressions. She said she just loved travelling in a bullock cart. She also found it curious that men wore earrings (kadukkan)!
  • My father Annaji , her much older first cousin, visited Madras around this time. He drove from Pune in his new Wolseley car. (Must have been grand!) Vimala, about 10 years of age, had just passed the 2nd form. Annaji gifted his little cousin a Blackbird pen; and an alarm clock to encourage her to time her studies! He then drove her to the Marina Beach for a treat. A friend joined them there. She recalls wearing a sky blue frock and enjoying the ride and the beach hugely. The friend said in surprise, Why, Subrahmanyam, I didn’t know you had such a big daughter! Annaji laughed and said, She is not my daughter, she is my Chitti’s daughter, my young cousin.
  • In 1937 she and Balachitti went to Hyderabad Sind for two months. Rajah Chittappa escorted her and Balachitti back and had her admitted to the Lady Sivaswamy School in Mylapore where she went on to study in the 3rd and 4th form. They stayed in the house of Dr N K Sharma (who by that time had probably returned from London?) in Solayappan Mudali Street in Mylpore. Appanna sent Rs. 60 every month (a generous sum in those days, when rice cost under a rupee per maund) to Balachitti for household maintenance.
  • When Vimala Atthai was 14 there was much anxiety that she may not find a suitable bridegroom as she was born with sevvai dosham (i.e.under the malevolent astrological influence of Mars; a Manglik ). When a proposal came from a fine man with the same dosham, V G Krishnamurthy, Appanna and other older members of the family considered it seriously as two such doshams cancelled one another! So they went ahead with the marriage even though VGK was 14 years older than young teenager Vimala. She recalls that Appanna gifted her a beautiful green georgette saree with full zari for the wedding!

-Suguna Swamy


Notes on some of the photos

  • Murali was a nephew of Vimala Atthai in Singapore. The bride is his Chinese wife Gloria whom he married in 1970.
  • The book launch referred to is that of Balachitti’s volume of poetry titled ‘Garland of Verses’. Vichanna, along with C R Pattabhiraman,eminent advocate and politician, Vimala Atthai’s sambandhi and a leading figure of the North Arcot community was present at the launch.
  • Seethamma was Vimala Atthai’s daughter in law Padmini’s sister. She and her husband Thyagu (‘Burmah Shell’ Thyagu) were drowned in quicksand in Marwe Beach near Mumbai on 17 September 1958. The photo shows the couple and VGK and Vimala Atthai, in happier times.
  • Incidentally, Thyagu was the son of a not very honorable judge named A K Ramachandran. One should not speak ill of the dead but this is now history so I take the liberty of saying this: apparently my father Annaji referred to this person as ‘Akrama Ramachandran’!

 

Family pays Tributes to Vimalathanga

END OF AN ERA WITH VIMALA ATHANGA MAMI

CHENNAI/ 20TH APRIL’18

DEAR PADMINI, DR ASHWIN & SHARADA,
     It’s with a heavy heart that I watched
     Mami’s grand-nephew Suresh Kumar
     complete her cremation 3 days ago.
     Dr Nanditha, Dr Chinni Krishna, Krishna
     Kumar, Subramanian & Manohar were
     there among others at hand, as moral
     support to Ramaa, Pattamma,Nagu,
     Bhawani & young Siva. An era ended
     that day.
     Today Pattamma called to inform about
      the ‘Shubha-Sweekaram’ to be held at
      Mami’s residence on Sun 29th April.We
      shall certainly attend & pay our respects
      to the departed soul.
     Ultimately we’re overwhelmed by what
     the Almighty has chosen for each of us.
     And we have to accept that verdict in a
    state of “surrender”.
    With her endearing kindness, charming
    transparency & embodiment of child-like
    love ,Mami won & ruled our hearts for
    decades; and shall remain a role model
    for our lives.Equally notable was the total
    dedication and love showered on her by
    you, Ramaa & Pattamma to look after her
    at The Grove over the years.
     We close with a prayer and hope that we
     all get strength and courage, to deal with
     the irreplaceable vacuum that Mami has
     left behind.May her ‘Atma’ merge into the
     ‘Paramaatma’.
          Yours in mourning,
                                           Kartik- Lakshmi
                            ( with Poornima- Sourav )

Padmini Balagopal

2oth April 2018

Dear Karthik and Lakshmi,
What kind words, expressions and thoughts have been expressed by you , Karthik. Thank you and thank you both for always treating her with such respect that she always felt very good about her family and their treatment of her.
She is being sorely missed every minute of the day
Ever fondly
Padmini


Nandu Dore
20th April 2018

Very rich tributes my dear Anna.

She was very popular within family circles


NEWS CLIP FROM SURESH DORÉ:

THE TIMES OF INDIA. CHENNAI WEDNESDAY. APRIL 23.2014

NEVER MISSED AN ELECTION

Every poll has their mark

A Handful Of Senior Citizens Has Voted In Each General Election Since 1951

Vimala Krishnamurti rarely steps out of her house on Eldams Road in Chennai, but the 88-year-old has been doing her physiotherapy exercises twice a day so that she can make it to the polling booth on Thursday.  “I want to be fit enough to go there using my walking stick,” says Vimala, who has not missed casting her vote in any election since 1951. “I remember how excited I was about casting my vote for the very first time,” says Vimala. who first voted in Mumbai for Congress.

Vimala admits she is today confused (about which party to vote for). “I want a good administrator who will work for the people and the welfare of senior citizens and respect women”, says Vimala.


More photos from Suresh Doré:

 


Taken on Mother's Day May 6, 2016. On her left is Geeta Rao Nyapathi. She is Ashwin's wife Sharda Modur's grandmother. She and late Vimala mami are great-grandmothers to Padmini's grandson.


Jaya Mami

 

Jayalakshmi Sitaram
(?? 1926 – April 16, 2018 )

Dear family
It is with great sadness I am writing to inform you that Shashi and Kanchana’s Ammaji, Jaya mami to many of you, passed away a couple of hours back in Los Angeles. She will be a huge loss to us all.
Love
Suki



Shalini Doré – Apr 17

 

And this morning we woke up to the news that Kanchana and Shashi’s mother, Jaya mami, passed away overnight due to pneumonia. It caused a second heart attack.

Shalini Doré

 


Ganesh Doré – Apr 17

Subject: Mrs Jaya Sitaram passed away a short while ago

My Dear PremChithhappa

Mrs Jaya Sitaram passed away a short while ago.
A pioneer bridging the path to modern life from rural Vellore. And a truly nice person.
She was 92.

+++++++++++++++++
Shashidhar is here.
Malavika is here from Los Gatos.. Jaideep from Torrance. ( Uma and Shyam also. They have left for Torrance.)
+++++++++++++++


Kartik Doré – Apr 17

 

Chennai/ 17th April ’18
Dear Shashidhar & Kanch,

We’re sad & shocked to learn that
Jaya Mami is no more.Words seem
to fail us, for a lady who thought &
acted ahead of her times.She was
always composed & dignified, even
during difficult times & her own
ailments.We’ve had wonderful times
and conversations with her.We shall
certainly miss your ‘AMMAJI’.

We all pray for her soul.

Kartik Anna-Lakshmi Manni
(with Poornima & Sourav)

P.S. It’s a double tragedy that we’re losing
two worthy contemporaries on the
same day. We’re both going to Vimala
mami’s home at Teynampet shortly to
pay our respects.

 


Srinath Doré – 17 Apr

 

Dear Ganesh Anna and Kanchana
Shashi and Sukki
We are so sorry to hear the sad news . We pray that her soul rests in peace. We will always remember her as a lady full of energy and zest and am glad she didn’t suffer too much in her last days .

Regards

Srinath and Shyama on behalf of Prem Chitappa

 


Nandu Doré- Apr 17

 

This news took me by surprise for sure as Jaya mami’s most recent pics showed her up and about without any external aids.

Reminds me of my own troubled times when we lost my Appaji and Priya
manni’s father within days and I do share the pain.

Its a sad loss indeed and its their everlasting smiling, cheerful
faces is what I’ll remember them by.

 


Ganesh Doré – Apr 17


Two stalwarts from the 1920 Era

 


Suresh Doré – Apr 17

 

Dear Ganesh and Kanchana,
We are deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Jaya mami also known as Ammaji. We have met her a couple of times during Malavika’s and Brian’s engagement function at Madras Gymkhana in 2007 and Jaideep’s and Uma’s Meet and Greet function in Bengaluru in December 2009. We got opportunities to really know her well only during these instances since she had already migrated to the US.

She was a bright lady with a refreshing smile and always ready with a a family anecdote or two to build an instant bond of friendship. Priya also remembers her as an excellent singer doing several group bhajans as part of satsangs. It is amazing that both the matriarchs who passed away today, Vimala Krishamurthi and Jaya Sitaram were at ripe old age of 92 across the continents.

May their souls rest in peace.

Affly
Suresh and Priya

Kanchana and Jaya mami(partly hidden) watching Jaideep-Uma ceremony

 

VIMALA KRISHNAMURTHY


OBITUARY


Vimala Krishnamurthy

( May 25, 1925 – April 17, 2018 )

17th April 2018 / CHENNAI

Dear Family,
              We just got the sad news that Mrs Vimala Krishnamurthy, w/o Late VG Krishnamurthy passed away a few hours ago, at her ELDAMS ROAD residence. She had been ailing for months.She is survived by her 2 daughters Ramaa & Rukmini( Pattamma) and daughter-in-law Padmini Balagopal.

Further details are awaited.

We pray for her soul. KARTIK-LAKSHMI



Rupa Dore&acute – Apr 16

 

A great lady! May her soul rest in peace.

Famous quote from my father and Vimalathanga .When she got married and
was about to leave she asked Appanna to give her some “nalla buddhi”
and he said ” Just keep your own buddhi!”-That is all you need!

Thanks for the rare photos, Suresh. She was very pretty all her life
till the end.

Rupathai


Shridhar Subrahmanyam -Apr 16

Kartik,

A wonderful woman who was always smiling and our last link to that generation. My condolences to the near relatives. May her soul rest in peace.

Shridhar


Suresh Doré – Apr 16

k-anna, sad news indeed. She was the only north arcot link between my father and mother prior to their marriage. My condolences to the bereaved family.


Caption: Vimala mami, Padmini Balagopal(Vimala mami’s daughter-in-law) and Priya unable to decide on the menu at Creams Centre restaurant August 2009

Vimala Krishnamurthy and singer Parimala Gurumuthy share a quiet moment together in Saraswathi Akka’s centenary celebrations in December 2010 at Eldams Road


Shalini Doré – Apr 16

So sorry to hear this. Condolences may be sent to Rama Rajagopalan.


Satisch Doré – Apr 17

A great and graceful lady blessed with wonderful good cheer, mirth and laughter. Her Eldams Road residence was a must-unannounced stop for Babaji on our returns to Venus and the doors were always open. I have only good memories of my time with Attai and family, not just in Eldams Road, but also in Tarrytown NY with Padminiji and family who were kind enough to host me in the 80s for a brief visit. It’s a huge loss! Condolences to the family, may her soul Rest In Peace.

Satisch


Raj Doré – Apr 17

Sorry to hear that please convey heartfelt condolences.


Srinath Doré – Apr 17

Sorry to hear Appaji and all of us send our condolences and we pray her Soul rests in peace


Sameer Nagarajan – Apr 17
So sorry to hear this. Our heartfelt condolences.


Sharat Wins Award

SHARAT CHANDER WINS AWARD AT AT&T


By Sharat Chander 

For helping get 5G done in a hurry.
5th Generation of Mobile Wireless.
The next step to your 4G & LTE and such that you use on your mobile.
All due to your blessings!
Thank you, Ammaji, Mami (Mrs. Jay)& Mama (Dr. Jay).

 


Rupa Doré - 10 Apr

 

I am bursting with pride! Bless you !

 


Nandagopal Doré - Apr 11

 

I think you got the rough end of the stick.
I would not have settled for anything less than a Noble prize!

Good job regardless.

 


Sharat Chander

 

Novel idea, yaar.

But, it wouldn't be the Nobel Prize, it would be the No-Bull prize - haha!

On second thought, it would be the Full-of-Bull prize 😂


 

Swach Bharat Abhiyan

 

 


KS Ramadorai

 

Dear Suguna,
Very proud to read this write up in “Adyar Talk”

It is commendable that Chander has found time
to do this thankless public service .
Pl convey my appreciation to him.

Best Regards
KS Ramadorai

 


KS Ramadorai


Dear Nandu,
I am forwarding an article in local Adyar magazine
Appreciating the good work done by Sri Chanderswamy (Suguna is his better half)
There is a connected website which further give details of tiruvanmiyur beach cleaning initiative taken by Chander.
I thought u could include these details


Suguna Swamy


Dear Nandu,

Here is the link to Chander’s CSR project.

http://rialto.co.in/CSR

There are photos (as well).
Thank you so much for your interest, especially in these times.

Love,
Suguna Atthai

The

Swachh Beach project

Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

How it works, why it works

 

The biggest learning

 

From the PM to senior CoC officials all authorities are candid in stating that the country’s Swachh Bharat objectives cannot be achieved by the government alone. Citizens and corporates have actively to support civic bodies in their efforts.

The new, improved New Beach Road area is an example of this new ecology. Rialto Enterprises, the residents of the neighbourhood all work in a spirit of collaboration and amity. There lies the success of the project.

 

Recognition from the PMO

 

The Thiruvanmiyur Beach CSR initiative was listed among the six most dynamic Swachh Bharat (‘Clean India’) citizens’ projects by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office in 2015.

A team from the PMO paid a surprise visit to the area again in 2017 and reported that not only was the project alive, it had grown even more robust since the team’s first visit two years earlier.

Beside the second longest beach in the world, in Southern India, stands the tropical city of Chennai. Chennai generates 3,200 tonnes of waste every day.

Spearheaded by Chander Swamy, CEO of Rialto, the effort very soon gained momentum. A number of residents signed up voluntarily, contributing generously in time and resources.

In February 2015, Rialto Enterprises, a global partner of Procter & Gamble Co. chose the neighbourhood of New Beach Road, a densely populated area of one sq. km by the Thiruvanmiyur beachfront for its Swachh (‘Clean’) Beach project.

Beach sands after deep cleaning

 

Garbage management

 

  • 72 small and large garbage bins have been set up on the beachfront.
Re-usable trash sacks on sands
  • 18 large garbage bins have been placed on the residential streets. A compactor truck completes clearance of the bins, every night.
  • The bins are numbered to make it easy to monitor clearing.
Numbered bins, designated spaces
  • In Indian cities and towns, trash is thrown around bins, never into them. As the garbage piles up it becomes loathsome for anybody to approach the bins. The Thiruvanmiyur beachside neighbourhood was no exception to this problem until three years ago. The Rialto crew takes special care to keep the bins and the area around them clean. The bins also get a fresh coat of paint every six months. All this enables residents, their house help and visitors to the beach walk right up to the bins and toss garbage into them, not outside.
Natural green cover, with litter
Natural green cover, litter removed

 

Trees and shrubs

 

A total of 415 trees contributed by Rialto employees and the Forest Department were planted in 2015 in the entire area.

Lush, healthy beachfront trees, Dec 2017
Re-usable plant shields for the windy season
New greenery planted after the 2015 floods
High-mast lights for beach safety

 

Rainwater harvesting

 

In December 2015, Chennai was hit by torrential monsoon rains, causing devastation not seen since 1918. Shock waves ran through the entire city and suburbs, including Thiruvanmiyur which being a low lying area was heavily waterlogged.

Plans were presented to the Corporation of Chennai in the construction of a new system and re-laying of the road. During the following monsoon New Beach Road was completely dry within a couple of hours of heavy rainfall.

Porous tiling, grates for water harvesting
Well-maintained toilet

 

Safe weekend traffic

 

A designated vendor zone and a weekend car-free beachfront was created in 2016, with the help of Chennai Police.

Barricades for car-free zone
A coat of paint for the benches
Simple signposts to raise eco-awareness

 

Funds

 

Residents contribute generously towards miscellaneous monthly expenses at an average of Rs.48,000 per month.

Read here the news report on 25/07/2016 in Chennai’s leading paper, The Hindu Metroplus
 

DEEPA ARUNKUMAR- Veena Artiste

By Koratti Ramadorai

Email: Koratti Ramadorai

 

deepa1

 

My brother Nagu’s daughter Deepa was born on march 3 rd at Vellore under the grand paternal care of Narasingha Rao & Saraswathi. Deepa might have derived the inner inspiration from both paternal and maternal side. Neeraja & her sister were well groomed towards musical lines, and so were her aunts(athais). Deepa started her liking for Veena at the early age while she was in 7th std. Her first Guru was her mother’s cousin sister living in Mylapore( Heart of carnatic music). Later due to Nagu’s transferable job in the bank, she could not persue until her graduation in 1992. Thanks to Mrs Jayalakshmi in West Mambalam, she resumed from where she lefy.  Jayalakshmi maami and her husband Narayanaswamy  maama were family friends to us for years . When  her marriage was fixed with Arunkumar, it was a pleasant surprise and a wonderful coincidence that Arunkumar’s father and Narayansawmy maama were close friends from their college days.

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Deepa continued her Veena learning after the marriage and also while she in Bayarea, USA where Arun moved in 1997. After their return from US in the year 2002, she started to look for a new Guru as Jayalakshmi maami passed away. After finding Dr.Shobana Swaminathan (her Guru till date) she continued further. Deepa’s husband persuaded her to take up academic course when  Dr Shobana insisted her to do Masters in music  in Veena from University of Madras.  Dr. Shobana ‘s guidance and  full encouragement and support from Arunkumar and Bharathi maami (Deepas Mother in law) she was able to successfully complete MPhil as well from Vels University, Chennai.

Her earlier school education was from Vellore/Dindigul/Chennai & Madurai.   She completed her degree from Fathima College with destinction. The finer point is that she commuted to Madurai from Dindigul everyday, since Nagu was working as Lead Bank Manager in Dindigul.

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More interestingly to share with all is that she did her School final by correspondence studies studying from Musaffarpur where Nagu was working between 1985-87 & writing her exam at Guntur, from Andhra University.   

This made her to face any odd situations firmly at any odd times. After coming back to India to look after her father-in-law Kalyanaraman & Bharathi mami,    she still continued her journey through Veena, thanks to her teacher Shobana and full support from her husband. She had joined many concerts along with her teacher & her group, performing at various vantage places. One of them at Vandalur where Sri Sri Ravishankar guruji of Art of Living convened huge MUSIC MASTERIO of all instruments including veena besides local artists in 2015.  There was another gala program arranged by Lakshman Shruthi & group in 2017 where she played veena along with her teachers & students and this was covered by TV channels.

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Very recently she travelled along with her Guru and others to Madurai on 26th Jan, 2018 & performed Veena concerts with 69veenas (to celebrate 69th Republic Day), at Madurai Meenakshi Temple.

They were well received by the devotees of the temple. The same was telecasted by SANKARA TV & interview conducted by them.

Deepa joined with her teacher Shobana under the trust founded in 2015 “KALASANGAMAM”, Centre for Classical Arts conducting Carnatic music exams  both vocal and Instrumental music  where she is also trustee. She teaches veena at home and also in a nearby college as a part time faculty in veena.

She has also presented several papers which were published  and has written articles for musical journals.

Her article ‘Music Therapy ‘ in the book’ Samakalika Sangeetham’ is a noteworthy one.

It is worth mentioning that her first daughter Mrudula after her schooling in Chinmaya Vidyalaya & graduated from School of Social Work specializing Psychology, and currently pursuing her Research Masters in Cognitive NeuroScience from Rodbound University, Netherlands.

Her twin daughters Manisha/Maanasa also finished their schooling from Chinmaya Vidyalaya, now persuing degree courses Chemistry and Visual Arts in Stella Maris College as per their interests.

All the three are well trained in carnatic Music for more than 12 years besides Divine chantings, duly encouraged by her parents & Bharathimami.

Koratti family justifiably proud of her. Her  lovable husband Arunkumar is indeed the backbone of her encouraging and supporting her to persue further in Veena & music. Besides attending to routine works at home, she continued her passion for veena  by learning and teaching as well.

We wish her journey through music & veena continue and the best of all to her.