Evam Karthik. Chennai’s home boy, who makes you laugh and ponder upon issues at the same time. We caught up with him to talk about his city, Namma Chennai. Here’s what he had to say:
Which is your favourite spot in the city, and why?
My Evam office, Chamiers Road. It’s a small space where a lot of magic happens.
Tell us about a historic place that you admire.
Music Academy and the Museum Theatre. So much art (and politics) have passed through the walls of these auditoriums. Also, Kamaraj’s house in T Nagar. It looks so simple, poetic, and middle class.
Which places have you not visited yet?
The mystical areas where new plots are being sold — close to Kanchipuram, a stone’s throw from Puducherry and part of Outer Chennai.
How do you think the city has changed?
A lot has changed, and yet there’s only a little difference — that is what is special about Chennai. Add to that the spirit of Chennai, as witnessed this month, and you have the most magical bit of utopia in the world.
Where would you take a friend visiting the city for the first time?
Mylapore. I think that’s where Madras soul was born.
What do you think is special about the city?
The people — we believe in a certain simplicity, and yet are not simpletons to get fooled by much austerity.
What is special about your locality?
I live in Gandhinagar, Adyar. The tree-lined roads in the neighbourhood make it cool.
Tell us about an incident at a public place that made you think, ‘This is Chennai.’
The flood relief efforts in which everyone helped or was helped by a stranger! Magic. And ‘Kannula othifying’ whenever one crosses any place of worship.
Among the beaches, shopping sites, and historic food joints, which would you choose?
The historic food joints untouched by assembly lines and flavoured by hardworking hands and earnest hearts! These rare luxuries need to be identified and nurtured.
One change that Chennai should embrace?
I would like to get our metro rail project expedited and we should stop single passenger car travel.
Three words in Madras bashai that you would teach a visitor...