Metroplus

A 'Tee' kadai!

Trend and tees at Dude Thamizha. Photo: R. Ravindran  

Peppy Tamil songs blare out of speakers placed strategically behind an old Murphy radio. There are glass jars with coloured T-shirts, a blackboard chalks out the day's specials (complete with a pillaiyar suzhi on top) and mannequins are replaced by scarecrows that inhabit the fields. This ‘Tee' Kadai is conspicuously situated on the first floor at Citi Centre and sells T-shirts under a brand name that explains it all — Dude Thamizha.

A brainchild of Nandhini Charanyaa and J. Senthilnathan, Dude Thamizha celebrates the lighter side of Tamil. “This isn't a new idea,” says Nathan, “but a new execution of an old idea. We've both been in the advertising field for a long time and wanted to launch our own product.” The T-shirts explore different aspects of quintessential Tamil culture such as a cassette reel that squiggles into a silhouette of Ilaiyaraja. “We wanted to highlight the small things, habits that we adore. We have a ‘bajji hut' T-shirt, because we're all addicted to it. Our bestsellers are the two tees with Goundamani dialogues; ‘Petromax light-e than venuma?' and ‘Arasiyalla ithellam sagajamappa',” says Nandhini.

More character

The ‘Tee' Kadai concept has gotten a lot of attention (it opened a month ago) with passersby literally taking it for a tea shop. “We love tea shops and tend to spend a lot of time there. The place has so much character. We wanted to celebrate that. A lot of people here think we're actually selling tea and coffee. The other day an old man asked us for tea with less sugar,” says Nathan.

Dude Tamizha T-shirts have charmed Chennaites and Tamilians across the globe. “I think the humour has got us the attention,” says Nandhini. “Our Tees are fashionable yet bring back fond memories of childhood. Besides, to do our bit for the environment, we use recycled paper bags, that too Tamil newspapers,” smiles Nathan.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 8:49:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/a-tee-kadai/article3002543.ece

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