Fireside chat at PU

Interactive session with the author

Fireside chat at PU

Chandigarh: An interactive session with the author of "Chennai Brew- Some Voices Some Communities"- Ms. Anuradha Uberoi was conducted by the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh under the stewardship of Dr. Deepti Gupta, Chairperson, here today. The event saw students and teachers actively taking part in the interaction with the talented author, who shared anecdotes and stories of different people from different communities from all over India. Through her book she aspires to bring people from diverse communities closer to one another while highlighting their characteristic qualities. She shared some of her own experiences of living in Chennai for 32 years with the audience. Dr. Deepti Gupta later presented Ms. Uberoi with a token of appreciation and the event was wrapped up with a 'Networking at Tea' session. 

“Chennai Brew- Some Voices Some Communities talks about the four communities: Punjabis, Sindhis, Parsis and Bengalis, who came to Madras and settled here. They came for different reasons but stayed on in the city and consider it home. 

The majority of Punjabis made their way to Madras after Partition in 1947. The book recounts some heart rending stories of the Punjabis after India was bifurcated and how they made their way to Madras. Inter vowen with the solemn stories are very amusing and fascinating anecdotes of the challenges these new settlers faced in the city. Their quirks, eccentricities, likes and dislikes are recounted in an engaging manner. 

Language was an insurmountable hurdle for all four communities. The Sindhis dealt with it by learning the language which is what they do- assimilate into the local population and integrate with the community where they choose to live. 

The other communities socialize and mix largely with their own communities.  The 207 Parsis in the city are a charming community but they are insular and prefer to socialize amongst themselves. They support each other in times of need and do not recognize any social hierarchies amongst them. Their eccentricities are legendary and Anuradha recounts their humorous quirks in their own words which make for a fascinating narration. 
The Bengalis are synonymous with Durga Pooja which they celebrate with enthusiasm and gusto. Hundreds of the city residents join them in performing Arti and eating bhog during the festivities. 

The book’s special flavour comes from the fact that Anuradha has compared the lifestyles of the four communities with their way of life in their home states . This provides a rich account of the communities and also gives the reader a frame of reference, which comparing their lifestyles to their home States richly provides.

The foreword by Dr Kiran Bedi, Lt Governor of Puducherry, describes the book as an “unvarnished account “ of the communities. 

The book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand these communities better. The book is an enjoyable read for anyone, in India or abroad, as it is interesting and there’s never a dull moment in the book.