When the postman knocked
RESPONDING TO reader Umamahesh's question about the time-gun (Miscellany, January 28), a reader writes that NO gun was fired at 8 p.m. He explains that it was a cannon fired by a team from whatever regiment was in residence in the Fort's King's Barracks at the time and it was fired at 4 p.m. The practice, he adds, stopped during World War II, when regiments were no longer stationed in the Fort. That 4 p.m. adds a whole new dimension to the time-gun story; I've seen several sources say 8 p.m. and only one say 4 p.m., a time now receiving this reader's support. I wonder whether there's an authoritative voice out there that will give readers the correct time the time-gun was fired. The different times the various reports record, only demonstrate the dangers of accepting secondary and tertiary sources.
Miscellany, February 18, has drawn several responses, among which were these: reader M.V.S. Appa Rao states that it was ``not that my great-grandfather, the Raja of Panagal, liked to be called like that'', but the fact that `Paanagal' was the correct pronunciation, deriving from ``the Paanaganti family to which we belong''.
Referring to the building where Sri Thyagaraja spent most of his life, reader `Manna' V. Srinivasan writes that what survives is only a portion of the original residence once owned by Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. He points out that this 200-year-old building is ``weak and poorly maintained'' but feels that ``wholesale demolition and totally new construction are not the answer"; efforts, he says, should be made ``to preserve intact at least some part of the structure to retain the aura for the hundreds of devotees who visit the place to tread on the spot and feel the vibrations'' and integrate it with the new, in which provision should be made for an archives. I still hold that the Sri Thyaga Brahma Mahotsava Sabha, owners of the Tiruvaiyyaru property, should consult those more familiar with conservation techniques, before taking any decision on the future of this memorial.
And reader T.K. Visweswaran, referring to the college on College Road, adds a footnote: ``There's a post office on this campus still called the `Old College Buildings Post office'.''
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