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...When they leave in the evening, their hands would be full of purchased books. The convenience and easy shopping experience of online book stores have never deterred this duo — both belonging to two divergent generations —from missing out on their weekly ritual. The two are not isolated examples. At a time when books can be delivered at one’s doorsteps at the tap of a finger, a renewed interest among booklovers to walk to their nearest bookstore for their pick has kick-started a sort of revival of bookstores in the city. “The Chennai Book Fair has also witnessed a steady increase in visitors, particularly youngsters, in the recent years. A renewed interest among people to visit bookstores is a logical consequence of that,” says Pugazhenthi, secretary of Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India. The advent of online stores has undoubtedly led to a rapid paradigm shift in the sale and purchase of books. ...TOI on Aug. 30, 2017, 7 a.m.
...Kavitha’s case is not an isolated one. Scores of students like her have failed to secure a seat in their desired undergraduate courses in their preferred colleges due to stiff competition and high cut-off marks in reputed colleges of Chennai this year. “In the current year, 125 of our total 140 BCom seats have been filled with students who have scored 100% in their core subjects,” says the principal of a reputed college in Chennai. When the college’s first admission list was published in the last week of May, students were astounded to see the cut-off marks for various courses hovering at around 99.5%. While many anxiously waited for the cut-off marks to come down in the second list (in June), they were disappointed when it dropped marginally to 99.2.%. ...TOI on June 15, 2017, 7 a.m.
...I was seated next to my father in the third row.DMK chief and the then opposition leader M Karunanidhi was seated in the first row. Suddenly there was pin drop silence. The then chief minister MGR had arrived. After the CM placed a wreath on the body, Karunanidhi moved towards him. MGR placed his hand gently on the DMK leader’s shoulders and murmured something into his ears. “Look, he is talking to him,“ I had screamed out at the sight. As a small boy , my understanding was that they were bitter enemies and fought fiercely and hence had shouted with astonishment. That was the level of friendship the duo had at the personal level in spite of the acrimony exhibited in political life.Political decency , however, slowly diminished in the 90s and ever since, bitterness has been expressed openly between political parties. openly between political parties. Post MGR’s death, the AIADMK split into two and there was an identity crisis for them in opposing the DMK. Congress was keen to fill up that space. ...TOI on Feb. 6, 2017, 7 a.m.
...Jaffna Tamil scholars and their counterparts in Tamil Nadu were railing against each other and the words they used were anything but pious. This was one of the earliest literary controversies in the era of mass publishing. But, dissent and rivalry between writers in the Tamil literary world has been recorded as far back as the time of Tamil poet Kambar in the 12th century. Earlier, these differences of opinion were expressed through literary criticism – a medium that challenges ideas which have become redundant in modern society and helps one understand literature in a clear perspective. In the last century, classical literature such as Kamba Ramayanam and Sekkizhar’s Periya Puranam were criticized by Dravidian leaders, Periyar and Anna. ...TOI on Nov. 21, 2016, 7 a.m.
...Rationed food comprising boiled potatoes, millet, groundnuts, and buns was served twice to the passengers. The man had just recovered from a fever and was troubled with an occasional cough. He hailed from a wealthy family and could have easily afforded a comfortable cabin in a ship. But he chose to travel in the fourth class as his trip was neither for business nor for pleasure. He was on a mission to learn about the functioning of the political and social movements of different nations and how these factors contribute to the socio-political and economic development of their respective societies. The man was none other than Periyar E V Ramasamy. On December 13, 1931, Periyar accompanied by S Ramanathan and Erode Ramu embarked on a ten-month visit to Europe. ...TOI on Sept. 20, 2016, 7 a.m.