Doctor-artist set to take legacy of Madras across the world
This motivated her to learn more about Chennai, and she started the Madras Journal.
CHENNAI: Inspired by the historical tales narrated by her grandfather and father about Chennai, Dr. Nirosha Shanmugam wanted to share stories about Madras. To take the glory of Madras globally, she started sending postcards to countries like the USA, Israel and Germany by sharing her memories associated with the city and its historical significance as well.
“I have the habit of documenting small things on a daily basis. Since my childhood, I have been interested in writing and storytelling. That is how I started journaling and my style of journaling is my way of storytelling,” starts Nirosha, an ardent admirer of the city.
Her grandfather, K Perumal, told her about the history, heritage and evolution of the city. This motivated her to learn more about Chennai, and she started the Madras Journal.
As she wanted to pay rich tributes to her beloved city on its 384th birthday, she started sending postcards by postcrossing method. The postcrossing method helps you to send postcards to other members across the world. In collaboration with the Nam Veedu Nam Oor Nam Kadhai, she decided to come up with a ‘Madras Day kit’.
Marina Beach became a special place for Nirosha during her preparation for the NEET exams. She used to travel from Kellys Road to Adyar by auto. “In the postcards, through my stories, I wanted to take people on a journey to the Marina Beach, give a glance at how it feels to watch the sunrise, and the emotions attached to it. Travelling in an auto is always special and to me, auto is an emotion as auto rickshaw exhaust sound is deeply rooted to our city,” she adds.
The postcard series, titled Marina Mornings, will have a kit containing a couple of illustrated ‘Marina Mornings’ postcards drawn by Nirosha, three film photocards, a Madras morning sticker, Chennai-based postal stamps and a few journal goodies. “I do stamp collections as well. The stamps that I have attached to the Madras Day kit are the ICF stamp and the Madras High Court’s 160-year stamp. The illustrated postcard comes with a story of my mornings at Marina Beach,” shares the storyteller.
Throughout her childhood, Nirosha is told about the stories of how Central Railway Station has evolved with time, as both her grandfather and father, S Shanmugam, worked in Indian Railways. She took inspiration from the archived pictures of Chennai and wanted her Madras Day postcard series to have a vintage look. The kits are sent via post to give a personal touch.
Nirosha has unique ideas for her future editions. “I want to portray the livelihood of people, the hustle of Chennai and share the stories of our neighbourhood. I also want to dig deep into the heritage of watches in Chennai,” she remarks.
Being passionate about Chennai, Nirosha feels that Chennaiites should do something more. “I feel that the city deserves more celebration. People have to explore the historical significance of the rich heritage of Chennai further,” Nirosha concludes with the aim of exploring the past and also the present day Chennai by journaling every nook and corner of it.