Friday, January 27, 2012

R-Day at Mantri's on OMR

Like everyone else,I have opinion on everything. Which doesn't always tally with those held by my peers (senior citizens).Presumably, because my views are unorthodox, may seem nutty,and not in keeping with my age(73). I tend to view things from children's perspective.And if I had anything to do with organizing our R-day programme,I would have done away with the customary speech.
"Is this something I would want to inflict on my 6 & 4 years old grandsons," I asked myself, and politely turned down an offer to address the gathering.If Ujjal were to ask the Mantri kids if they want speeches on R-Day (or any other day),I doubt if their answer would be anything short of a resounding 'NO'.
It is nobody's case that children shouldn't be initiated into the significance, sanctity and solemnity of the occasion. My issue is with the standard format we adopt for such function, thinking that any deviation, from flag-hoisting by someone important and elderly, and the ritual of speech by a chief guest, violates the sanctity of the occasion. Anyway, speeches don't go down well with children. And if it is nationalism that we need to inculcate, we can engage children in essay competition and quiz held ahead of R-Day. Prizes can be distributed to the winners at the R-Day function.
As for flag-hoisting, I would like to watch children doing the honours,if only because they don't get to do this in their school function, where usually the school head does it. Besides, flag-hoisting would provide a sense of active participation to our children who truly represent a country's future.
Children have a fascination for uniform, march-past and band baja. We had the uniformed security staff doing the drill. Next year, we could try and get a musical band (comprising school students), and have Mantri children march to their tune at a parade around the Mantri Synergy complex. Meanwhile, congrats are in order,for the event-planners (read Ujjal,Bala and friends) for adding a touch of pomp and ceremony.I was pleasantly surprised, and rather impressed, at the smart turnout of Mantri's security staff. Their line-up in front of the flag-staff made a good picture.
It would have given me and the others with i-Phone an excellent photo-op, if Mantri's core committee - Mr P K Nair, Mr Vasudevan, Mr Rajagopal and Mr A Chakraborti - could have been persuaded to do a walk past the security line-up in inspection of the guard of honour.
Children's quiz conducted by Ujjal (who else ?) evoked such positive response that it strengthens my case for conducting regular quiz programmes on various topics on special occasions. Prizes (books, gift-cards) can be sponsored by residents, contributing to a voluntary fund.
public-speaking isn't everyone's cup of tea. And it was nice seeing children shedding their inhibitions and come forward to address us. They talked about freedom movement, father of the nation and on the significance of R-Day.I admit, I learned a thing or two from the children.I didn't know, for instance, nor had I cared to find out, how Gandhiji came to be addressed as the Mahathma.
My D Block neighbour Harinarayan and other residents who took photos should consider uploading them in this blog, or on OMR Resident Facebook page. My schoolboy friend Shreyas (D-604) has volunteered to be our designated photographer.
I reckon this photo symbolized the spirit of the occasion.Children had such a good time that their feet weren't on the ground,in more than the literal sense. After sports there was pot-painting by children, my favourite event.I am counting on Shreyas to upload photos of our young artists at work. We look forward to seeing his images in this blog, but also on our Facebook page.
These photos, I believe, reflect the core values pot-painting promotes - an artistic touch,focused attention,and creativity (I wouldn't have thought of sticking those flowers).
Organisers could have taken care to collect from the children the brushes for re-use the next time (they can get them from me). Children would well to persuade parents not to throw away discarded tooth-brush.It comes in handy at pot-painting. Organizers should procure, along with paints, paper plates, and thinners for cleaning the brushes after use. We could also do with trashcans placed at strategic points in the common area, along the driveway, on the front-lawn and in the central park.
Core committee member Mr Rajagopal, in his message to residents, referred to the need for us to evolve an effective waste disposal strategy. I would like him to take up with others in the core committee the issue raised in our earlier post on waste management.
The other point he made pertained to a Tamil Nadu govt. proposal for developing a Chennai mega region, which would benefit Mantri residents.We invite Mr Rajagopal to share his thoughts on how he reckons the mega Chennai move would benefit Mantri Synergy residents, and, in fact, other OMR residents.
More photos on Mantri R-Day events in our Facebook page.


  1. the photos and the write up are excellent.