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Aparna Karthikeyan

I am… K. Samuel - Real Estate Broker

“Tact is one of the most important qualities to be a house-broker,” says K. Samuel, who has been in the trade for the past five years. “...»

I am… K. Malaiarasan - Harmonium and Veena Repairer

On a muggy evening at Nageswara Rao Park, Malaiarasan is enacting a scene from his childhood. “‘Dei, what are you watching? Go th...»

I am... S. Philomina - Smock dress maker

When Philomina’s youngest child was eight months old, she used to leave her with neighbours (fisher folk) and go to Santhome to learn smo...»

I am…M. Kodilingam — Thevaram singer and teacher

At Kodilingam’s house in Thiruvanmiyur, I’m transported back in time, listening to stories from the 12th Century. “During the reign of R...»

House of marvels

Six dedicated buildings that store extraordinary collections take visitors back to prehistoric times and bygone civilisations. »

I am…M. S. Bakthavatsalam, Clockmaker

Opposite the Express Avenue mall, a round clock-face sits on top of ‘M. Srinivasan Watch and Clock Repairer.’ “The shop has been...»

Watch out for that rash

There’s no wishing it away once you’re infected, but the discomfort caused by chickenpox could be eased by following a few simple tips. Apar »

House of ideas

Chennai Drama House that focuses on Tamil theatre for a young, urban audience will stage Kurukku Vazhiyil Traffic Jam on April 14 »

I am…Mohamed Ibrahim, korai Mat seller

Mohamed Ibrahim’s grand-father Allapichai set up the first shop to sell korai mats in Chennai. “That was way back in 1860. He was from T...»

Marina by the moonlight

Aparna Karthikeyan captures the late evening mood at Chennai’s best-known leisure spot. »

Catch them young

In the wake of the brutal gang-rape of a girl in New Delhi, Aparna Karthikeyan says it’s time we brought about attitudinal change, beginning »

I am…V. Perumal, Clay doll maker

A weekly column on men and women who make Chennai what it is »

I am…M.C. Kalappa Costumer and Artist

‘Today, my whole family thrives because of the drama business... Drama has not let us down.’ »

Get heart smart now

Why are women more prone to heart disease? Aparna Karthikeyan talks to medical experts, who lay emphasis on how proper diet and adequate ph »

Taking them under its wing

From cats, dogs and parrots to cows, goats and horses… the Madras Veterinary College at Vepery has been providing medicare to a variety of a »

I am…T.R. Thennavan – Horse & carriage hirer

Less than a kilometre from Chennai’s Central Station, T.R. Thennavan’s horse-and-carriage hire shop – with three horses, two carriages,...»

Globe trotting gets easy

It’s a social network of a different kind! Susan Borches of Global Greeters says enthusiastic and passionate volunteers across the globe hel »

Moving to the Hebrides

A House By The Shore by Alison Johnson Bored of your desk job? And want to run away to a faraway island, live in...»

I am... Mani Chettiar, High Court Advocate’s Clerk

When you filed a case in the civil court, it would take just a day for the file to be numbered »

Birds in paradise

Aparna Karthikeyan walks by the mist-laden waters of Vedanthangal to discover birds of every feather »

Beyond the courtroom

Prabha Sridevan, the fifth woman to become a judge of the Madras High Court talks to APARNA KARTHIKEYAN about her profession, passions and p »

A tool to record history

Kishore Nagappa, the sculptor behind statues for the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru, Ambedkar, Sathyamurthi, Muthuramalinga Devar and the most re »

Notes on nutrition

Scientist and researcher Samantha Lzzy lays emphasis on why women should know more about nutrition and the right diet »

I am...V. Uma Mageswaran — Turmeric and kumkum seller

The smell of turmeric draws me to the row of shops outside the Chenna Kesava Perumal temple. At V.M.Velu Chettiar Turmeric And Colour Ku...»

Ink, a big deal

The pleasure of glistening words amidst broken nibs and ink-laden fingertips… Nuggets on ink history, intriguing colours, and stories on how »

All steps lead to Kalakshetra

Founded in 1936 and still a repository of the arts, Aparna Karthikeyan spends a morning at this institution established by Rukmini Devi Arun »

A for Adyar

Recognising their spiritual link with Adyar, Theosophists have chosen February 17 as Adyar Day. Joining in the celebration, Aparna Karthikey »

I Am...M.A. Akbar — marundhu mill owner

It’s the first and, perhaps only, time I hope for a power-cut; because, when M.A.Akbar’s marundhu (medicine) mill runs, I doubt I can he...»

To market, to market

Amidst loud announcements at the railway station, passengers haggling with auto drivers, piping hot tea at stalls, craters of juicy red toma »

Save the consumer

Today is World Consumer Right’s Day. Helen McCallum, director-general Consumers International talks about rights and problems »

PRESSING matters

The humble 'chekku ennai' or cold-pressed oil makes a comeback, but at a premium price »

I am.. K. Chitra, Palm reader on the beach

My ankles sink into the Marina sands as I walk around in search of a palm reader. I spot Chitra behind the skating rink. Our eyes meet,...»

Thirst for adventure

The Heart Of The Antarctic, by Ernest Shackleton, is a chilling tale of endurance and courage »

I am…Rama Srinivasan: Tamil tuition teacher

On a warm March evening, the thinnai (porch) in Rama Srinivasan’s house is a welcome strip of velvety shade. “This house is perha...»

What’s in store?

With vigorous competition from chain-stores and the impending threat of hypermarkets, how are corner-stores surviving? Aparna Karthikeyan fi »

Advantage children

Seventy-five-year-old tennis coach, Daniel Vedamuthu who’s made the game accessible even to children from economically weaker backgrounds »

Touching lives, the Rotary way

There are so many opportunities to change the world, says Ron D. Burton, president elect of Rotary International during an interaction in Ch »

A long conversation...

Frequent salon visits, and shopping for shampoos, gels and conditioners… Here’s how men are kissing buzz cuts goodbye, and lovingly going in »

A. Karthiyasamy

A retired professor who feeds 150 dogs everyday. »

The travelling Indian

Chat with Hari Nair, CEO of HolidayIQ, throws up a few emerging trends in Indian tourism »

I am… S. Vinod Kumar

S. Vinod Kumar Restaurant delivery-man On a quiet street in Besant Nagar, where pink bougainvillea climb...»


Shake hands? Hug? Air-kiss? If you are not very sure about how to greet someone, it’s best to go by what you are most comfortable with »

The Armchair Traveller: India on a saucer

Hot Tea Across IndiaBy Rishad Saam MehtaDoes a cup of tea taste especially lovely just because it’s served in...»

The Armchair Traveller: The unseen Britain

Island on the Edge of the World By Charles Maclean We saw it briefly, 40 miles from what we thought was...»

The Armchair Traveller — Boondocks to boomtowns

Rural and urban India can often feel like different planets, the latter a shining example of newfound wealth and, the former, a poster b...»

May, Mosel and Memories

As if the three Ms weren't enough, there’s the fourth M to talk about — a little ceramic mouse from Germany »

Sounds of overwhelming silence

The Water of Leith is one of Edinburgh's best-kept secrets. Aparna Karthikeyan takes a spring walk along its prettiest bits. »

The Armchair Traveller — Wowed by Waugh

Labels by Evelyn Waugh Ten minutes into Evelyn Waugh's “Labels”, I called the friend who kindly let me borrow the book, and sai...»

Virtual limit

Can today's playful post get you into problems tomorrow? We ask around…. »

The waking of the gods

Aparna Karthikeyan visits the Kapaleeshwarar temple as it opens its doors to devotees waiting for a first glimpse »

An enigma called Marseilles

Popular for “The Count of Monte Cristo” connection, this French city is intimidatingly beautiful. But be prepared for a little disappointmen »

Look, who's calling the shots!

An inspiring story of three women who've taken advantage of changing technology and attitudes to occupy top corporate jobs »

Madras nalla Madras!

Madras might have become Chennai, but the old name lives on in checked cloth, curry powder and a colloquial lingo… »

Heal with neem

ISSUE Quite a few traditional remedies rely on these rough, serrated green leaves. APARNA KARTHIKEYAN takes a quick look at the medicinal va »

‘I don't know how the music comes; if I find out, it will stop'

“How many of you here are Raja sir devotees?” asks Anil Srinivasan, the charming host of the ‘How to name it?' concert. Every single han...»

Mangoes, Mambalam, Mylapore

Don't get in a pickle over raw mangoes. Just pickle them »

City360: Hillocks of orange, yellow and green

Aparna Karthikeyan begins the day on a fragrant note at the famed ‘Pookadai' »

A Scottish affair

Duck your head and remain hawk-eyed to enjoy the falconry demonstration in Scotland's Dunrobin Castle »

The plot thickens

Kiran Nagarkar's The Extras is a sequel to his earlier novel Ravan and Eddie and sums up life in Mumbai »

The Armchair Traveller — Places, people, poetry…

In Search of Scotland by H.V. Morton Scotland is a difficult place to write about, not just because it's got heaps o...»

Songs people sing…

Songs that have been passed on orally from generation to generation must be preserved, or they might simply get lost. Forever. Thankfully, a »

Chennai's bustling, beating heart

Aparna Karthikeyan visits George Town and is swept up in the sights and sounds of commerce »

A tale of our times

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the head of a 44-year-old man who's having an affair? “At an age when he's expected to have all t...»

‘Mental health is a lottery’

Author, poet and journalist Jerry Pinto’s Em And The Big Hoom is a movingly funny take on dealing with mental illness »

Prepare to be floored

There’s more to floors than meets the eye. Aparna Karthikeyan brings you some ideas. »

A healthy way to start the day

Stepping around puddles and squeezing through cramped roads, Aparna Karthikeyan takes a look at one of India’s largest vegetable markets »

Packing a punch

What to pack in the lunch box? It’s a question many parents with school-going children worry about. Here are a few suggestions »

Down the Thames

THE ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome »

Allergic to air-conditioners?

Got the sneezes and the sniffles? It could be caused by the air-conditioner »

Sweet and sour story

I AM... Introducing a weekly column on men and women who make Chennai what it is »

Bicycle diary

Arranged as a semi-guide, an inspirational manual, Anne Mustoe tells you how to plan for a trip of this scale in an unusual travel book whic »

I am…

‘I’ve been making appalams since 1988. It began when my husband had an accident and I had to earn money. I raised Rs. 500 and started...»

Where Madras greets Chennai

Aparna Karthikeyan walks through the city’s history at Fort St. George »

Doorway to heaven

There are doors, and then there are doors! Portals are now works of art, says Aparna Karthikeyan »

I am...

"My favourite piece is the seven-stone diamond earring my grandfather taught me to make. We always used the closed setting,especially f »

I am

E. Nataraj, kolamaavu seller »

Through the bus window

Aparna Karthikeyan takes a point-to-point ride from Thiruvanmiyur to Thiruvotriyur on route No 1A, enjoying the sights and sounds of a city »

City 360 — A walk in the park

As day breaks amidst bird calls and greenery, we discover how Nageswara Rao Park leads people on the path to a healthy life »

Abdul Jaleel, Knife sharpener

"Older women ask me to sharpen aruvamanais that were their wedding gift. The younger lot prefer knives. Others just throw out old knive »


You can cut your cooking time by half, yet retain the flavour with some easy tips, suggests Aparna Karthikeyan »

Gems from the backyard

Is Further Away: A.A. Gill I bought a book for two sentences lodged deep in my head; two sentences from an essay Arct...»

E. Kumar, nadaswaram vidwan

Nadam and swaram welcome me, as I enter Valeeswaran koil on South Mada Street. E. Kumar, a fourth-generation nadaswaram player from Keez...»

History, hope and the harbour

Aparna Karthikeyan navigates her way through Chennai Port watching cranes, ships, containers, lorries and a changing skyline »

A walk in Chennai Harbour

Through a fine drizzle, Aparna Karthikeyan gets close to cranes and container lorries, yachts and the mast of a sunken ship, out at sea. Exp »

I am...

C. Shankar, Washerman »

Making Ganesha

As the city prepares to celebrate the lord of good beginnings, Aparna Karthikeyan takes us to Kosapet, where his idols take shape. »

Moulding idols and lives

A walk through Kosapet, in Chennai, an area famous for its clay idols of Ganesha »

In rain-soaked India

Chasing The Monsoon by Alexander Frater How do you like your rain? In silvery chains or sheets? A murmur...»

I am…

Seshakumar, well cleaner and deepener »

Fragile beauties

Rosa Lladró talks about the international porcelain brand’s range of Indian sculptures and its line-up for the forthcoming festive season »

The connecting thread

Laila Tyabji, chairperson of Dastkar, on why she considers craftspeople as India’s ‘living heritage’ »

Look who drives the stars!

Chennai’s star auto stands — where hero worship meets social service, writes Aparna Karthikeyan »

Off to the mountain

THE SNOW LEOPARD by Peter Matthiessen Can words send you up a mountain? To a place where “snow, silence, wind and blue” reign?...»

I am... - T. Nataraj, Fisherman

T. Nataraj, Fisherman It’s such a windy afternoon that the metal-roofed shack on Thiruvanmiyur beach judders. The 13 sma...»

Marketing, Manga style

The first chapter of The Bankster is published as a comic on Facebook. As author Subramanian neatly sums up, "with social media one can »

Dolled up for Dasara

As the city gears up for the colourful Navaratri golu, we take a walk around Mylapore’s North Mada Street that’s brimming with bommais and s »

Husband, animals, anecdotes…

Janaki Lenin’s book, a compilation of her popular column in The Hindu MetroPlus, offers insights into her husband Rom Whitaker’s fascination »

I am... S. Paramasivan

All around him, gods and goddesses wait to be restored to their old glory. Paramasivan is the only old-doll painter in Mylapore »

Going places

Imperial Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse & Swami And Friends by R.K. Narayan Clouds are piling up outside the win...»

I am…

K. Theresanathan who mends shoes, bags and umbrellas speaks to Aparna Karthikeyan about his journey so far »

For old times’ sake

Go on an antique treasure hunt at Mani’s and Co. »

I am… Bhavani — Sowri seller

Read about this seller of false hair who purchases nylon-hair from Keezh Tirupati, in the weekly column by Aparna Karthikeyan on men and wom »

A retreat for reptiles

With salt-water crocs, gharials, muggers and 20 other species, the Madras Crocodile Bank in Mammallapuram, has one of largest collections in »

Refreshing stereotypes

How To Be An Alien / How To Scrape Skies by George MikesWhat sort of book do you turn to, for help, before you visit a new...»

I am...

M. Sateesh Kumar, Occupation: Auto Driver »

Is India Becoming?

India is not so much shining as becoming, we learn from Akash Kapur’s debut novel »

We’re slowly becoming space proud’

Architect and designer Krithika Subrahmanian whose diverse portfolio ranges from hotels, spas, villas and apartments to retail showrooms, co »

I am... Jayalakshmi

When Jaya mami was a little girl, Deepavali meant a new seeti pavadai, glass bangles and marudhani on her hands. “We...»

I am… N. Raghavan

Occupation – Boomboom maatukaran. "More than three generations of my family have made a living training and walking bulls. I’ve never b »

RIGHTS angle

In his three-decade long journey as a consumer activist, R. Desikan has fought and won many battles. APARNA KARTHIKEYAN on what keeps this o »

I am...Sheikh Nassar Ansar

Making soan papdi is satisfying and the returns rewarding, but Nassar does not want either of his sons to take up this profession »

Fishing out stories

You might think that it raises a stink, but Aparna Karthikeyan has a different tale to tell as she surveys the scene at the Chintadripet fis »

Candid conversations on cinema

At the launch of Baradwaj Rangan’s book 'Conversations with Mani Ratnam', the noted filmmaker spoke about the influences that sparked and sh »

Poster perfect!

Young Harihar Prashad, who won the International Championship in Group D in Bangkok, is on cloud nine. Naturally »

I am...

Navaneetha Krishnan is sitting on his haunches, discussing technicalities with a customer. With his right hand, he applies a black paste...»

When wisdom spells trouble

Timely orthodontic care can relieve many teenagers and young adults of the acute pain caused by impacted wisdom teeth »

On the fast track

Aparna Karthikeyan travels on a MRTS train, the last service for the day from Beach Station to Velachery and takes in the sights and sounds »

I am…Kanniamma, Gypsy bead seller

One overcast evening, in a corner of North Mada Street, Mylapore, I meet Kanniamma who tells me she has just returned from Delhi. “I buy...»

A gadget-free zone at home

Like Earth Hour that's observed the world over to highlight the need to save energy, our homes too could have a tech-free zone, where we cou »

Inside Alladin's cave

There's nothing quite like an old-fashioned browse for antiques though the Internet has also made a mark with the collector. »

Figuring out India

When you want to read up on a multi-faceted country like India, where do you start? Aparna Karthikeyan has some suggestions. »

Where spice meets art

Scrumptious food and striking art are the twin highlights of Spice Market at Hyatt Regency Chennai. »

The Armchair Traveller: A jolly romp

My Family and Other AnimalsBy Gerald Durrell‘Living in Corfu was like living in one of the more flamboyant an...»

On a slim diet

ISSUE Anorexia is especially common among teenage girls, and frustration runs deep down among their families »

The Armchair Traveller: Chasing a picture

Cloud Road — A Journey Through the Inca HeartlandBy John HarrisonIt starts as a barber-shop whim. John Harrison spots a pic...»

Blinded by a balloon ride

How Aparna Karthikeyan hurt her eye in Luxor — but not before it had captured some breathtaking sights presented by the ancient land against »

The Armchair Traveller: Into white emptiness

True North: Travels in Arctic Europe By Gavin Francis Have you ever wondered what life would be like in the countries...»

The Armchair Traveller: In search of a country cottage

Driving Over Lemons By Chris Stewart “Feel free to use our shower whenever you want,” he had offered. “T...»

The Armchair Traveller — Travel or holiday?

Are You Experienced? By William Sutcliffe Do you travel? Or do you just go on holidays? If you don't rea...»

The Armchair Traveller: A wordsmith in Venice

The City of Falling Angels By John Berendt Think Venice and all that comes to mind are serene canals and...»

  Morning walk in Koyambedu

When all of Chennai is slumbering, Aparna Karthikeyan of The Hindu MetroPlus follows a mini-lorry with six sleepy passengers at the back. Th »

  1A: On Chennai's first journey

Aparna Karthikeyan watches the city wake up, aboard bus 1A. As her journey ends, Chennai's day begins. Ride with her, to the rush of the win »

  Health is a walk in the NR Park

What's your recipe for good health? Sport, Yoga, deep breaths? Aparna Karthikeyan of The Hindu MetroPlus picks all the above, with a walk i »

Power Shutdown

Power supply will be suspended in the following areas from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday: Sardar Jung Garden: Soorappan Street. Maduravoyal North: MMDA 1st t... »




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