Sunday in Chennai Sundays used to mean rest from routine. It was a time when we would visit relatives, go shopping and eat sinfully decadent food like fried yam and Avial, a mixed vegetable yoghurt based curry. Watching a movie was also part of the day’s entertainment—on TV or a VCD.
Now Sunday is another day. The routine, the food is the same. We do visit relatives—we visited my husband’s sister this morning.
A first for us this morning is attending a Heritage/Cultural meet that is held on the last Sunday of every month. We had been invited to join this group for quite sometime but somehow it was never an opportune moment. Today we made it, met a lot of good friends and were treated to an amazing breakfast. The hosts of this monthly meet are R T Chari and his brother Gopalan. They run a tight ship and things happen exactly on time.
This morning it was a trip down memory lane for me as the talk was on Rukmini Arundale by Leela Samson, the present Director, Kalakshetra, Chennai. She traced the moulding of Rukmini into this huge persona who left her imprint on the Art and Culture scene of India. The influences on her apart from Arundale himself, were Mme Blavadasky, Annie Besant, Maria Montessori, Gandhiji, Sarojini Naidu and Narendranath Chattopoadhya and her muse who pushed her to Barathnatyam..Anna Pavlova.
My family has its own connection with this personality. Our father and uncle came under the influence of Arundale in their youth in Theosophical Society faomus for its Banyan tree. They both learnt a great deal especially their facility with the English language and their Western polish from him. Another Uncle and his wife spent their lives in Theosophical Society and their home was a familiar place for all of us, especially during the holidays. I still run into people involved with this organization who remember my uncle who used to run a cycle shop in that area and looked after so many people’s cycles, the preferred mode of transport in those days in Adyar.
Sunday, down memory lane, a day when my childhood came back to the fore!