‘Chennai’s culture, tradition and camaraderie make people comfortable’


R. W. Alexander Jesudasan 

R. W. Alexander Jesudasan 

Pro Vice- Chancellor, Hindustan University of Technology and Science

R. W. Alexander Jesudasan

Your Fondest Memory of the city

We used to go to St. Thomas Mount along with family and friends and used to spend a lot of time there. The small chip of the bone of St. Thomas was there and many lessons were learnt. We used to watch the aerodrome from there. Because flying in an aircraft was not possible for us at that particular point in time, we used to eagerly watch the take-off and landing. Since our house was very close to St. Thomas Mount, relatives coming from Madurai and Tirunelveli, used to be so excited seeing the aircraft flying over our homes, at such proximity.

The city’s contribution to education 

If you take Chennaiites as global leaders, they grew up in very simple and humble backgrounds. The environment in which they studied, be it a school or a college or university, has honed their talents and nurtured their potential. The city has always formed a lasting memory in all of the students who came from other places. This is because of the culture, the tradition, and the camaraderie. The food that is very special to Chennai, particularly idli, dosa and filter coffee, they just love it.

Madras to Chennai 

Up to 1996, our city was only known as Madras. In 1996, as part of a four-month programme in Switzerland, I visited a place called Taise in France and was surprised to find a place called Madras there. They had kept the name Madras in Taize just to remember our city and its soothing music. After my course, I was returning from Geneva and at Frankfurt airport was searching for the flight to Madras on the flight information board, I saw the name had changed to Chennai. Germany was one of the first countries to acknowledge the change. I was very happy to see the name. The city is a place for anyone and everyone.


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