When the postman knocked

READERS HAVE kept the postman and other means of accessing me busy these past few weeks, particularly on the subject of the Arcot Twins. Eulogies I have no space for, but new facts I'll always try to include.

* Dr. Sir A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar's Clinical Obstetrics (Miscellany October 13) is, as I suspected, still in print. Popularly called `Mudaliar Obstetrics', it is still very much in use and is reprinted almost every year, Dr. B. Palanippan tells me. Dr. M.K. Krishna Menon and he edited the ninth edition in 1990, he adds. The book was originally published in 1938 by Oliver and Boyd, U.K., but from 1962, has been published by Orient Longman's.

About Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar, reader V. Sriram writes that he was involved with the Thamizh Isai movement and helped numerous artistes. When Bangalore Nagarathanammal was raising funds for the restoration of the Tyagaraja Samadhi at Tiruvaiyyaru in 1946/47, Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, then Dewan of Mysore, organised a series of concerts in the princely state and helped collect money.

* My reference to Albert Penn's homes in Ooty (Miscellany, October 6) brought a prompt response from Dharmalingam Venugopal of the Nilgiris Documentation Centre. A curious coincidence is the fact that the Centre, and its parent organisation, the Save Nilgiris Campaign - an NGO - are present occupants of Cranley Cottage, on what is now called Hospital Road, the St. Bartholomew's part of the hospital name being dropped. Farrington House, also renovated, is still very much part of the Ooty scene, reader Venugopal adds. It housed one of the earliest schools in Ooty, then became a hotel, which the Penns in time became proprietors of. It has now been owned for several years by the Coimbatore-based G.D. Naidu family.

A.T.W. Penn, I have also been able to learn, started as a photographer in Ooty in 1864, making him one of the earliest photographers in the South. His studio, which he established in the 1870s on what is now called Commercial Road, was described by him as a `Photographic Gallery'. In its early days, it had a glass-roofed portion to help develop photographic plates. Penn's Gallery was not far from Wiele and Klein's studio, which was managed by Willie Burke, who later took it over.

Footnote: Space constraints squeezed out my acknowledgement to S. Viswanathan of Industrial Economist who had filled me in on the German contribution (Miscellany, October 20) and pointed out, "The meticulous inputs of trainers is the basis of Germany's high reputation in engineering and industry. Madras is now getting a glimpse of those methods through these trainers - and it is proving to be an eye opener."


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