Online Photography Contest: Topic: Women Today—Entries accepted until 31 March 2015. Email entries to ***** Listen to writers Baradwaj Rangan and Aditya Sudarshan talk about their latest books ‘Dispatches from the Wall Corner’ And ‘The Persecution of Madhav Tripathi’ 31 March 2015, 6 to 8 pm @ 28/160 Eldams Road, Chennai

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

MIDS Monthly Seminar Series

MIDS Monthly Seminar Series
Monday, 06 April 2015 at 3:30 pm
Topic: Matrilocal Marriage in South India: A Fieldwork Report from Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Speaker: Professor Dennis McGilvray
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Chairperson: A. R. Venkatachalapathy, Professor, MIDS

Venue: Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS

Monday, 30 March 2015

The fifth edition of World Theatre Day in Chennai 
featuring KICHADI THEATRE performances 
Elliot's Beach, Besant Nagar
Tuesday, March 31, @ 7.30 pm
Entry FREE

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Meet for the Visually Imparied

Rotaract Club of Dhristi and KVTC
[Empowerment through Employment for the Visually Impaired]
Invite you for their
Annual Get-together on
Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 3 pm
Mr.Raghu, (alumnus of MCC)
Coordinator, Karna Vidya Technology Centre
RR Towers III, Thiru-Vi-Ka Industrial Estate, Guindy, Chennai – 32

Ph: 98400 18012

Friday, 20 March 2015

Dr.Nirmal Rocks in Delhi..!

Dr. Nirmal Selvamony, [formerly with MCC] currently Professor with Central University of Tiruvarur, gave a talk on "Performability of CAGKAM Compositions" at the famous Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, on 19 March 2015 at 5.30 pm.

The essence of his talk is as follows: 

Although regarded as 'literature' per se, cagkam compositions, according to Dr. Selvamony, are performable musical compositions. He dwelt on their compositions, their performing practice and some basic conventions governing them. Dividing the composition into two basic domains, the akam (Inner) and puRam (Outer), he classified the former based on a master 'home narrative', and the latter, based on the various stages of combat, praise of patrons and the transience of life. 

The presentation brought out the dramatic nature of the Inner texts, by dwelling on two things—emoting, and addressorial conventions. 

The next segment of his presentation discussed the types of performers, dance, drama and music, and the musical modes. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

For more details, and for the rules & regulations, click HERE

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Congrats Manoj...!

The MCC family joins me in congratulating Mr. R. Manoj, of II BA Tamil, for having achieved a stupendous success in the World Silambam Championship 2015.

The third World Silambam Championship was held at Johor Bahru, Malaysia between 5 and 9 February 2015. The Indian contingent won more than 200 medals at the championship. 

Mr.R.Manoj, (II yr BA Tamil) of MCC, won a total of 7 medals [4 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze]. He is the disciple of Mr.Power Pandian, a renowned Silambam exponent and stunt master who has trained many celebrity actors in the film industry.

We take pride in congratulating Mr. R. Manoj, for having accomplished this feat, and we also wish him many more laurels in the years to come.

Viva la MCC...!!!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Francophonie Day @ AF, Chennai

You are invited for a special screening of the famous comedy-drama Mobile Home
on the eve of Francophonie Day, @ AF, Chennai
on 20 March 2015 at 7 pm
Venue: Edouard Michelin Auditorium, Alliance Francaise of Madras
Mobile Home
 1 hr 35 min.

Leaving his job and girlfriend behind in the city, Simon returns to his native village where he reconnects with Julien, his old friend. The two unemployed thirty-year olds decide to revive an adolescent dream: set out on the road and take up seasonal jobs. They buy a caravan and are ready to set out but end up not leaving after all.  Yet somehow, a journey takes place even as they stay in one place, a journey that leads them to different destinations.!!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

World Storytelling Day in Chennai

World Storytelling Institute, Chennai
Invites you for 
A Storytelling Session
World Storytelling Day
Friday, 20 March 2015 6pm to 7.30 pm
Venue: University of Madras (Campus at Wallajah Road and Marina)
Hall – F-50
Theme for this year: "Wishes"
Over 15 stories by Chennai Storytellers
- For people of all ages - 
Admission is free!
About World Storytelling Institute: Dr. Eric Miller, Director & co-founder of the World Storytelling 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Invites you for a lecture on The Political Ecology of Palk Bay Fisheries: Geographies of Capital, Fisher Conflict, Ethnicity, and the Nation State
By Ajit Menon, Associate Professor, MIDS
On 09 March 2015, 3:30 pm @ Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS.

Friday, 6 March 2015

'What Will People Say?' - A (P)review..:

When the lights were switched off at 7:15 pm this evening at the Museum Theatre, the announcer (who also happens to be the director Vaishwath Shankar), asked the audience to keep their mobiles in silent mode, and to laugh their hearts out!!!
Indeed, he really had meant what he said!!! The play was a laugh riot, by all means. The guy who got the most laughs was obviously Kamal Bose, who is mistaken for a producer by the kids in the apartment. Janaki Sabesh, a well-known name in Tamil and Telugu movies, plays Janu Aunty, and her English with the Tamil lingo intact, left the audience in splits. For once, almost all the characters played their own namesakes in the comedy too, making it much easier to gel at ease with the cast. While Vaidhya Sundar plays Vaidhya, Prasanna Venkatesh plays Prasanna, Shevaun Da Costa as Shevaun herself, (who performed her role with gusto), Amrithavarshini as Amritha also has a key role in the comedy and did it with elan! The guys literally gave us all huge belly cramps, by making us laugh our hearts out!!!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Choose the 'Right Fit' University...

The United States – India Educational Foundation is organising an informative session on “Choosing the ‘Right Fit’ Universities” On Saturday, 14 March 2015. 
This session will help aspiring students to understand the process of selecting universities that best fit them. 
Register HERE on or before 11 March 2015. 

Rendezvous with Nalan..!

There are movies that make us forget reality. Movies that live in our minds forever. Movies that we can describe shot by shot. Movies we can term as eye-openers. There are film makers who have stolen our hearts. Directors who have changed our ways of thinking and expressions. There are silver screen moments that define our day for us and shake our faith in reality. There are scenes that words fail to help us express.

Cinema Rendezvous is a date! A date to share such personal experiences, to debate our likes & dislikes and to stoke our romance with cinema.

Cinema Rendezvous also has workshops on Film Appreciation.  Prominent film personalities like Suhasini Maniratnam, Rohini, Sripriya, K.S.Ravikumar, Vettrimaran, Ram, Atlee, Samuthirakani, Bijoy Nambiar, Hariharan, Naga, Sudhish Kamath, Baradwaj Rangan, Anuradha Sriram and others are some of the special invitees for the Dates..!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

click on pic to enlarge

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Eshareh - Fusion Music

On 06 March 2015 @ The Ballroom – THE PARK, CHENNAI, 7 pm

Eshareh, (meaning allusion in Farsi – Persian Language), combines Indian sounds, chants of the Arab world and the Persian percussions, re-interpreting the musical and linguistic heritage of oral traditional songs from the Upper Brittany Countryside. Using the cultural heritage of an oral tradition, the group re-establishes a possible link between the Eastern and Western cultures.

Essay Writing Contest - 2015

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Monday, 2 March 2015

Janani in and as 'Amrapali'

Theatre Nisha presents Janani Narasimhan in and as Amrapali. Directed, designed and scripted by V. Balakrishnan, the show narrates the story of Amrapali, one of the most famous women of her times. She was a state’s courtesan who entertained men at her house with dance, music and poetry. The story is based at a time when Magadha, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Gandhara and Kosala were fighting for supremacy while Gautama Buddha and Mahavira were advocating a fresh path of life. 
Tickets are priced at Rs.150/- 
Contact info: 9677172897

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Laugh-out-Loud...:-) :-) :-)

“What will people say?” is a situational comedy set in Mumbai, revolving around the lives of six young aspiring actors living together in a studio apartment. In all innocence, they are doing this for economic security. They believe their apartment is immediately above that of an influential producer Kamal Bose, who, they believe, is about to cast a road company. They rehearse the play but how can they get him upstairs to see it? It happens that the so-called producer is a chef, and, right in the middle of  a culinary concoction, he runs out of oil. He comes upstairs to borrow some. At last the kids have him and they aren’t going to let him go until he sees some evidence of their ability so they stage a M**der. Having a knack for improvisation, they will stop at no end to convince him. It is so realistic that police swarm into the scene with hilarious results. A clean, bristling and outright laugh-out-loud comedy that has the kids asking themselves that very Indian question, “What will people say?!”

About ‘The Madras Players’

The oldest theatre group in India, The Madras Players celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Having staged more than 250 productions, they have performed the works of playwrights from India & abroad. The focus of the group is now more on Indian writing & Indian playwrights.

For more info, contact: Gopi Nair: 93819 11977

Saturday, 28 February 2015

MCC's Theatre No.59 Presents 'The Pillowman'

MCC’s Theatre No.59 
The Pillowman by Martin McDonough
Here’s a story about a simple writer and his short stories. 
But what if they were not stories anymore? 
What if what’s put to paper is put to practice as well?
What if the surreal is real?
Martin McDonough’s The Pillowman captures the sinister 
in the traditional act of story-telling.
Theatre No.59 from Madras Christian College, brings to stage
blood, coffins, apples, pigs – a perfect recipe of Black Comedy. 
You may giggle but you’ll cringe.
Day and Date: Saturday, 7 March 2015
Time: 2:30 pm
Venue: Music Academy Mini Hall
Tickets: Rs.200/-
For tickets, call: 96002 23456

Friday, 27 February 2015

Keeping the BeeGees Mania Alive..!

Come & be a part of Bee Geez!

As boys and girls, we all would have grown up with the beegees, and i'm sure almost all aspects of our lives would've had the colour and influence of the beegees almost 
every other day. Well, can we ever forget "It's only words.." or their famous 
albums like 'Monday's Rain', or 'Horizontal' or 'Ideas'... indeed... 
butterflies flutter all over when you're glued to them...
Yes, the band is sure to take you on a trip down 
memory lane, through all the greatest hits 
and more..! Come & Immerse yourself in 
the eternally classic & soulistic songs 
at Phoenix Market City. 
[and yes, i'll be there, too]
Date: Saturday, 28 February 2015
Time: 7 pm onwards
Venue: The Courtyard @ Phoenix MarketCity, 
142, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai – 42.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Moon City Poetry Award for budding poets…:

The Moon City Poetry Award is for an original, full-length collection of poetry composed in English by a single or collaborative author. Individual poems in the collection may be published in periodicals, online, or in a chapbook, but not yet collected and published in full-length manuscript form.

Open to all writers not associated with Moon City Press or its judges, past or present.

Manuscript should include a table of contents and acknowledgements page. Submissions need not be left anonymous. Manuscripts should be at least 48 pages long.

First Prize: $1000, publication by Moon City Press, (including international distribution through the University of Chicago Press, via the University of Arkansas Press), and a standard royalty contract. Ten additional finalists will be named and considered for publication.

Deadline: 01 May 2015. For more details on the guidelines, click HERE

Essay Writing Competition

The Royal Commonwealth Society is inviting young people to share their hopes and concerns for the future, thereby generating an important youth perspective and Commonwealth wide dialogue as the international community gathers to set development goals for the next 15 years.

The competition is open to young writers aged 18 and younger, who are living in, or a national of, a Commonwealth country or territory. All entries must be in English and are to be submitted online.

For more details on the competition, visit their guidelines page HERE

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ibsen in Town..!!!

It indeed is quite heartening to see hordes of spectators making a beeline for one of the well-renowned theatre spaces in the city at Chetpet, well ahead of the scheduled time of 7 pm, for a German rendition of the popular playwright Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”. Well, the early birds [this blogger included :-)] were catching up with their long-lost literary pals, cappuchino in hand, at the Coffee-Day joint in Campus, and around the shades of the huge banyan tree - that gives the venue its fascinating aura.

Thomas Ostermeier, the director of the play, and one of the most influential theatre directors worldwide, said that, when he first discovered Ibsen’s drama “Enemy of the People”, he didn’t really like it. But the subject made him direct it despite of that. So, together with his dramaturg Florian Borchmeyer he seems to have reworked the play to suit a contemporary audience with a contemporary context. “We also made the main character about 20 years younger – so it’s about the young generation of Berlin. A generation that seems to be politically engaged. They’re mostly vegetarian, they ride bikes instead of driving cars, and they all support various causes. But when it comes to political action or demanding change – it is getting obvious that this is not a strong generation”, he avers.

This is one of Ibsen’s prominent realistic plays, in which an individual’s hopes and dreams for his society are ostracised by the very society which he is trying to help.

Everything about the play was phenomenal. Be it the intricately made up stage design, or the aesthetic appeal of the costume design, or the foot-tapping music (which the characters played literally on stage, to perfection and to aplomb from the audience), or the role of the dramaturg in bringing out an awesome dramaturgy of the text, or the wall paintings which were so realistic, adding to the enhanced visual appeal, or the light designs, or the acting of the main characters Christoph Gawenda as Dr. Stockmann, Eva as Mrs.Stockmann, or the gentlemanly Hovstad, or Morten Kill, or Billing - the impact was immense..!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

"Education and Discipline" - Critical Summary


The essay “Education and Discipline” by the Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, was first published in his collection of essays titled, In Praise of Idleness, in 1935. Educational theories generally focus on how learning occurs, and they seek to understand, analyse, and prescribe educational practices. According to Bertrand Russell, the real purpose of education is civilisation, which includes both individual and social aspects. On the individual front, it consists of intellectual and moral qualities, and, on the moral front, it consists of the virtues of impartiality, kindliness, and self-control. Moreover, civilisation also demands respect for the law, and the intelligent adaptation of means to the ends. If this is the purpose of education, then psychologists should consider how to realise them, and analyse the degree of freedom that is essential to make it more effective.

Three Main Schools of Thought on Freedom:

As far as the question of freedom in education is concerned, there are three main schools of thought. The first school of thought says that children should be completely free, however bad they may be. The second school of thought says that children should be completely subject to authority.The third school of thought says that children should be free, but in spite of freedom, they should be always good. According to Russell, complete liberty to the child, ignores the importance of knowledge to the child, and also the positive purpose of education.
At the same time, he also believes that, authoritative education turns the students into timid tyrants, incapable of either claiming or tolerating originality in word or deed. Too much authoritarianism can also lead to over-submissive and timid children or it can also make them rebels. Thus there is danger in both the extremes of liberty and authority.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Free NLP Session for College Students..!

Join the experts in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) for a free session exclusively for school and college students (till 28 February 2015).

Wanna stop bad habits? Stop addictions? Get over your phobias? Achieve your goals? Peak your performance? Get over depression? Forget unpleasant memories? Sleep well every night? Get over interview fears?

What addiction would you like to change now? Sweets? Chocolates? Watching TV, or Playing games for too long, Obsessive SMS/Whatsapp/FB checking, etc?

Choose some simple and powerful changes that will make a Big Difference in your Life…

What is NLP? NLP is something like an 'users manual' to use your brain! It has been variously described as the technology of the mind, the science of achievement and the study of success, by identifying the ingredients of

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ibsen's Play in Chennai

Goethe-Institut Chennai /Max Mueller Bhavan
in association with Prakriti Foundation & Vivanta by Taj Connemara
An Enemy of the People 
by Henrik Ibsen
Version by: Florian Borchmeyer
Direction: Thomas Ostermeier 24 February 2015 | 7.00 p.m.
Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, 
13/1 Shenstone Park, Harrington Road, Chennai 600 031

With Schaubühne Berlin the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan brings one of the most reclaimed and innovative places for contemporary German theatre to Chennai.

About the Production: Dr. Stockmann discovers that the source of drinking and spa water is riddled with pathogenic micro-organisms caused by industrial effluence. Stockmann wants to publish the findings in the newspaper and demands that the city council re-route the water pipes. Influential citizens and local journalists promise their support. However, his

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Saturday Matinee @ American Library

American Library’s Saturday Film Matinee
The Littlest Rebel
The Littlest Rebel is a film about Virgie Cary, a young girl whose father goes to the War, while her mother falls ill. But when Virgie comes to know that her father, along with a few others, is to be executed, she takes off to meet President Lincoln and requests him to intervene. Duration: 73 minutes.
Date: Saturday, 21 February 2015, 11 am.
Venue: American Library, 220 Anna Salai, Near Gemini Circle
Phone: 044-28574000
Please carry valid photo ID Cards to the Venue.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Mime Theatre Fest @ Alwarpet

Mime Theatre Fest
Narada Gana Sabha, 314, TTK Road, Alwarpet, Chennai
On Wednesday, 18 February 2015 (to Sunday, 22 February 2015)
A five-day festival, Mime Fest seeks to bring together mummers from across borders on a single stage. The first and second days will host school students performing a variety of mime art. On the third day, colleges will present their show. The fourth day corporates don the mantle, and on the last day, theatre groups from across the city will conclude the festival with a bang.! 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Friday, 13 February 2015

"Mirror" – Sylvia Plath - Critical Summary


The Mirror was written by Sylvia Plath in 1961, but wasn’t published until 1971, eight years after her death by suicide. The poem is written from the perspective of a mirror and details what it sees and how it relates to the woman and other objects within its view. It symbolises the troubled self of the woman, especially the woman artist who has to reject the given masks imposed on her by the patriarchal society and see herself as an artist and an individual.  The mirror imagery in Plath’s poetry therefore, signifies the consciousness of the woman-speaker who verbalises the creative process of a woman artist in the domain of male-dominated literature. The woman artist has to resist the critical and judgemental male gaze to arrive at her own autonomous self-expression.

Mirror and Women’s Passivity:

Freedman believes that, “Plath uses mirror as a symbol of female passivity, subjection, and Plath’s own conflicted self-identity caused by social pressures to reconcile the competing obligations of artistic and domestic life”. The mirror represents the unfeeling male view of a woman and what is socially expected of her: possessing an idealised beauty and ever-lasting youth. As the persona ages over the years, the mirror cruelly reflects the changes in her appearance. Age becomes the persona’s defect and shortcoming and thus her source of anxiety and dismay. The mirror projects what is thought of as the woman as she grows older. It claims to reflect the truth, and by implication, the representation of the patriarchal perception of a woman’s existence, her worth only as a beautiful object,  and her worthlessness when she is no longer young and beautiful. Against the male’s definition of womanhood, which idealises beauty and youth, the persona looks inside to discover her true self, what she was as a person, and what she has become, maturing by age. The woman’s autonomous identity and perception of the self are, therefore in conflict with the stereotype of the dominant male society. The tension increases as the persona is perplexed by this identity crisis. If she chooses her inner self and her own independent definition of identity, when looking in the mirror, she no longer sees the beautiful girl, but the terrible fish.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Seminar @ Hindu College: A Report

A One-day National Level Seminar on 'Methods and Materials for Teaching English Language and Literature' was organised by DRBCCC Hindu College, Chennai on 12 February 2015. The Seminar was well-received by the delegates and participants alike. Dr. K. M. Prabhu spoke on Teaching of Language and Literature. Dr. Shreesh Chaudhary, IIT Madras, spoke on "English for All: Methods and Materials". Dr. P. Kannan spoke on Academic Writing.

Excerpts from his speech: 

English is the only subject, at least in India, which is a part of nearly all academic courses. Since the passage of the Right to Education Act, a large number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds have joined schools and colleges, and they all wish to study English as well as any other subject. According to UNESCO, India with nearly 315 million students has the largest number of students in its schools and colleges. This figure does not include students in institutions unrecognised by the government. But the number of teachers continues to be under 10 million nationwide. That makes for a very adverse teacher to student ratio, especially so for the teaching of a non-native language like English which often requires individual attention.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Richard Wilbur's "The Writer": Critical Summary


“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe in”, said Gustave Flaubert. Richard Wilbur, the second Poet Laureate of the United States of America, in the poem “The Writer” reflects on this art of writing, through his daughter’s act of writing.  The poem ruminates on a father watching over his daughter’s tryst with the writing process, even as she is seen typing out a story on her typewriter. The poem thereby, addresses the process of writing, as seen from the perspective of the father, and the emotions, memories and nostalgia that it triggers in him even as he sees his daughter typing out a story in her bedroom upstairs. Although parent-child relationships form a part of the poem’s fabric, the central theme of the poem, is, however, the difficulties and the responsibilities of being a writer.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Intercollegiate Quiz @ CTTE

[click on pic to enlarge]

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Book Fest @ Ashok Nagar

Book Festival 2015 
Organised by
National Book House Trust & 
New Century Book House

Time: 9.30 am to 8.30 pm (on all days) 
till 31 March 2015
Tamil Nadu Housing Board Complex, 
First Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai
Contact: 9840221753

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Run for a Cause..!

Run to Save Baby Turtles
Five-kilometre Run: Line-up Time: 5.45 am
Three-kilometre Run: Line-up Time: 6.10 am
One-kilometre Run: Line-up Time: 6.25 am
5.15 – 5.45 am: ZUMBA Warm-up
Online Registration is closed. 
Spot Registration at Queen Mary’s College, Marina Beach, 
from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm
Regn. Fee: Rs.250/- 
[Registration fetches you free gift vouchers worth Rs.4350/- from reputed brands]
Contact: 9940142349 / 9840575555

Friday, 6 February 2015

MIDS – The Institute Seminar Series - February 2015

Topic: Meaning of Freedom in a Multicultural World
Speaker: Prof.Sehdev Kumar 
[Professor Emeritus of Bioethics & Environ. Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada]
Chairperson: Prof. K. Srinivasan, 
ICSSR National Fellow, MIDS
Date & Time: 9 February 2015, 3.30 pm
Venue: Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS

Surprise Visitor to MCC..:

The Botany Department, MCC, had a surprise visitor today at around 9 am. Our thanks to Dr.Narasimhan, Professor, Dept. of Botany, for giving us an opportunity to have a peek at the surprise  visitor - the Asian Hawk Moth.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

State Level Intercollegiate Seminar for PG Students

The Relevance of Myth in Modern Literature
Day & Date: Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Theme of the Seminar: The Seminar will be a platform for PG Students to explore the relationship between Myth & Literature and how myth has been used in works of literature all over the world in the Modern era from T. S. Eliot to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Last date for Submission of Abstracts: 18 February 2015
Last date for Submission of Full Papers: 23 February 2015

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Structure of Charles Lamb's Essays: A Critical Study

There is always a never-ending charm and an aura that accompanies the ‘light and cleverly written’ personal essay. The uniqueness of the personal essay lies in its intimacy – the capacity of the writer to connect – intimately with his/her audience, on matters relating to memoir, philosophical speculations, familial anecdotes, portraits, visualisations, etc. The charm of the personal essay lies not only in its style, language and technique (tone and voice), but also in its capacity to provoke thought and arouse the emotions.

Ideas of political, personal and artistic liberty in the aftermath of the French Revolution, provided artists and intellectuals the much needed artistic liberties to break free from the bonds of tradition that had hitherto ‘shackled/fettered’ the 18th century imagination. In short, in a personal essay, the personality of the writer takes centre stage – one’s likes and dislikes, character, temperament, feelings, attitude, desires, hopes, beliefs, fantasies etc are foregrounded through the essay. As the famous critic Carl Van Doren, in his “Note on the Essay”, puts it: “An essay is a communication.. the person who communicates anything in any way must be a person. His truth must have a tone, his speech must have a rhythm which are his and solely his. His knowledge or opinions must have lain long enough inside him to have taken root there; and when they come away they must bring some of the soil clinging to them”.

The essence of the personal essay consists in its conversational tone, and its truthfulness to the subject discussed, (albeit with degrees of exaggeration!), bordering on the self, and providing too much distraction on the way.

Apart from poetry, which is considered the crowning glory of the Age, the Romantic age was also rich in literary criticism and prose. Literary prose of the period gave a lot of importance to aesthetic autonomy of a work of art, egalitarian ideals, imaginative thinking, overtly emotional language, and uniqueness of the individual, etc. Humour, Descriptive style, reflective style, quotes and anecdotes are other features of the personal essay.

Hunt, Hazlitt, Coleridge and Lamb were not only contemporaries but also good friends who collaborated with and influenced each other.

Thomas McFarland regards Romanticism as a “great mountain range” and its various writers as different peaks in that range. “Lamb, Hazlitt, and De Quincey are true “mountains” of Romanticism, rather than “foothills” (i.e., lesser, marginal writers), that are “aligned so that their perspective takes in the snow–capped peak of Coleridge!”

Among these prose giants, Charles Lamb is rightfully called the prince of essayists and the master of the personal essay, because of his capacity to develop a highly personalised narrative style through his ‘literary alter ego’ “Elia”.

William Zeiger in the monumental Encyclopaedia of the Essay gives a very descriptive rendering of the life and works of Lamb:

Charles Lamb worked as a clerk for a mercantile firm from the age of 17 until he retired at 50. A writer by avocation, he published poetry, a novel, two plays, critical essays, stories for children (with his sister Mary), and familiar essays.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Theme for English B – Critical Analysis

Theme for English B – Critical Analysis

Langston Hughes was a Harlem Renaissance poet and one of the most prominent voices in American poetry of the 20th century. Through the poem “Theme for English B” Hughes communicates his intense paroxysm of pain and angst experienced by the black immigrants in the process of being ‘Americanised’ into the mainstream culture. By doing so, he not only challenges the concept of race and racism in America, but also the fluidity of the American identity, which is a malady, representative of the American experience in toto. He has been eulogised as a cultural icon, ‘a man lionized and venerated as the black poet laureate of the twentieth century’.

Synopsis of the Poem:

The poem discusses the predicament of the speaker, a young adult of 19 years, and the ‘only colored student’ in his English class. The teacher asks the class to “Go home and write a page that will come out of you – then it will be true’. As the only colored student in his class, he is in a double bind: he is not sure whether to write like an English student, by assuming a false persona, or to be true to his cultural heritage and ethnic affiliations, while writing the assignment. Truth for him, is a subject matter of consternation and contention, and by the end of the assignment, he has figured out for himself what is true in life!

Ethnicity and Identity:

Ethnicity refers to the identification of a particular group ‘based on a perceived cultural distinctiveness’ that makes the group into a people. This distinctiveness is believed to be

Saturday, 31 January 2015

On Writing an Effective Assignment..:

PC: hartwigenglish
Dear Students, 
After having discussed with you in class today on the nuances and the dynamics involved in writing a good, effective and persuasive academic assignment, I thought it would be of immense help to you if you could read a couple of articles we (KG & SR) had written on the subject in the past. Kindly click on the link HERE
With all best wishes, 

Friday, 30 January 2015


Occupational Segregation, Wage and Job Discrimination 
against Women in the Indian Labor Market: 1983-2012

P. Duraisamy
Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan National Fellow of ICSSR, MIDS
Malathy Duraisamy
Professor of Economics, IIT-M

Shashanka Bhide
Director, MIDS

Date & Time
 Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 03.30 p.m.

Adiseshiah Auditorium, MIDS

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Laugh OK Please at Phoenix...!

Touted to be one of the best comedy festivals in Chennai, Laugh OK Please features the best of Indian stand-up talent.

The three day fiesta starts on 30 January 2015, at Phoenix Market City, Velacherry, from 7.30 pm onwards, and has performances by Jeeveshu Ahluwalia - 'the Salman Khan of the fat world', Aditi Mittal, Sorabh Pant, Karthik Kumar, Naveen Richards, etc

Tickets are priced between Rs.300 and Rs.600/- and can be bought at

Monday, 26 January 2015

Scholarships/Internships on Offer..:

Scholarships: Inlaks International Scholarships are given annually to support young talented people in any field of study, to broaden their vision overseas and improve their skills to operate in society. 

Scholarships are granted at top American, European and U.K. institutions. Candidates should be below 30 years of age. Scholarship covers tuition fees, living expenses and one-way travel.
Deadline for application: April 15, 2015. For details,

Internships: Freelance Online Cricket Writing at Sportskeeda, from the comfort of your home.
Category: Content Writing/Journalism
A Stipend of Rs.1000 to Rs.5000 per month will be provided.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Acting Workshop (Part-time)

Mirage Film Institute, T.Nagar, is conducting a month-long film acting workshop from 26 January 2015. Classes will be held on weekdays in the evenings, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Students will be initiated into the various nuances of film acting, through exercises, games, visualisation techniques, scene improvisation, method acting, character building and acting for camera. 

There will also be a video shoot to prepare the student to face the camera.

Acting coach Jack Prabhu will be the resource person. Only limited seats available.

To register, call 99520 99040

[PC: Walnut Street Theatre]

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Congrats to Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam!

Noted poet Arundhathi Subramaniam has won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry for her work When God is a Traveller.

The winner was announced at a prize ceremony at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2015. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.2 lakhs, and it was established by Suhel Seth in memory of the late Khushwant Singh and is open to Indian poets writing in English or Indian language translation.

Our congratulations to the poet! 

Arundhathi was here with us at the Department of English, Madras Christian College, to read out from her collection of poetry on 17 December 2012, as part of our annual 'Poetry with Prakriti' festivities.

We wish you many many more laurels in the years to come! 

Arundhathi @ MCC HERE

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Software and More for the Visually Challenged..!

One interesting stall that caught the attention of many an inquisitive visitor at the Chennai Book Fair was Stall 48 S, that highlighted the various software available for the visually impaired. Volunteers who manned the stall, explained the various electronic facilities available for the visually challenged in the Digital Era. The Karna Vidya Technology Centre, with the patronage of the Rotaract Club of Drishti, gives counselling for free to all those who visit its stall. 

They give a demonstration on the DAISY software, [Digitally Accessible Information System] where voice and words synchronise, port, and read aloud in the best and easily accessible way, is a very interactive software for the visually challenged. Apart from this, there are thousands of Digital EBooks available exclusively for the visually challenged, and the availability of Talkback software for androids and tablets, and learning devices like Math pads, Braille pads, etc. 

For more details, you may contact: 
K. Raghuraman
Karna Vidya Technology Centre
RR Toweres III, Thiru-Vi-Ka Industrial Estate
Guindy, Chennai – 600 032
Mobile: 9840018012/9840667984