CHENNAI: Her hauntingly bold voice has enthralled city folks and also the ones living far and beyond, thanks to YouTube. If you are from Madras Christian College or have heard the song Beef Biryani you’ll know the band Chromosoul’s voice, Sharanya Gopinath. They recently performed at The Main Stage Festival at Bay146. We got in touch with the 23-year-old to answer questions of her hometown, Chennai.
Your favourite spot in the city, why?
The Government Museum Theatre. I have several fond memories of this quaint old place that still has an endearing charm to it. My father has always been actively working with theatre groups for backstage, ticketing, media relations. I remember having exclusive entry and all-area access on the sets and tech rehearsals of some wonderful plays as a little child. If I had to pick just one spot, it would be the rugged stone steps that lead to the theatre.
A historic place that you often admire?
St Andrew’s Church — The Kirk. The sheer grandeur of the magnificent church with its mighty pillars, towering steeple and crowning dome that resembles the night sky takes my breath away every time.
How do you think the city has changed overtime?
My grandmum says the street our family has been living on for more than 40 years used to be a tree-lined boulevard which would be deserted by early evening. Ormes Road is a bustling street now, chock-a-block with traffic and everything imaginable — right from a hospital to a pasta bar. I guess a lot of places in the city have seen this transformation.
Where would you take a friend who is visiting our city for the first time?
I would take them on the parakum rail (MRTS train) from the Beach station, point out a lot of interesting places on the way, make a stop at Mylapore and take them on a nice walk or auto ride (booked on Ola, of course) around one of the most typical localities in Chennai — showing them Kapaleeswarar Koil, St Thomas Basilica and the Marina Beach. We’d also treat ourselves to sambhar vadai at a street stall and try and catch a kutcheri.
An incident at a public place that made you smile and think ‘This is namma Chennai’?
All of us Chennaiites are indeed proud of the way the city came together during the floods last year. Along with others, I was stuck in a horrible traffic jam on Ormes Road. Fruit sellers, auto drivers, and lay men had stepped out voluntarily to help guide traffic, and also pull out many stuck at the wheel; all this while they could have been safe and warm at home. This was truly a moment that made me smile and think “This is namma Chennai”.
Which statue in the city would you want to come alive and sing along with you?
Mahakavi Bharathi. Though I do think I would be too awestruck and tongue-tied, let alone sing.
Three words in Madras baashai that you would teach a person who visits Chennai?
Gethu, mass, level
If you could travel back in time, which part of the city would you want to land up on?
George town in the 1600s — a place steeped in history and where most of the modern city’s growth started from.