Long, long ago, when I was part of the Chennai blogging circuit (and owner of the now-hacked and deleted URL http://www.rachelchitra.wordpress.com) I was quite familiar with the members of the Chennai Bloggers Club. It was quite an active club with the members meeting often for lunch-cum-discussion sessions. One of my professors in Madras Christian College Ms Caramalin A Sophie was also part of the club. She blogs at Che Sara Sara and was a very active member of CBC and once or twice tried to get me interested in the same.
So it was quite a serendipitous discovery to re-discover the blog of another CBC member Aarti Krishnakumar. I especially love her post about one unusual auto driver she met. The story starts very close to my childhood home (which is also R.A.Puram, Mandaveli, Chennai). It was a little late in the night, and our blogger heroine was walking down the road on her way home, when she spotted an auto. Mid-way, the auto-guy said he’d reached his home and if it was “okay” with her, he’d like to drop her off there. Aarti also happily acquiesced and got off…only to find the auto guy following her. As she turned with a little trepidation (Oh! God-what-to-expect-now-with-an-unknown-man-types) …the guy tells her that since she’s a woman and walking all alone at that time of the night, he didn’t have the heart to drop her off and offers to drop her home.
She gets in and she starts chatting up with him, when she realises that the identity of the chivalrous auto driver is none other than the famous Kirigami expert Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh. “Kagitha” means “paper” and “Sirpi” means “sculptor” in Tamil and this is the sobriquet the Chennai media have given him.
I always love stories of chance encounters and quirky fate. And Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh’s story is the “stuff of legends.” He started snipping away with his scissors and created masterpieces long before he even knew of the existence of the word “Kirigami.” He says till date he has made nearly 7,000 such pieces – quite an entry for the Guinness Book of World Records. Despite being featured in umpteen number of Tamil TV Channels and local newspapers, Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh has still been unable to surmount the red tape surrounding applying for the Guinness Book of World Records.
In his talk with Aarti Krishnakumar, he expressed his frustration in not being able to properly showcase his art form on his blog as he is not tech-savy. He asked her help in figuring out the nuances of blogging and Aarti also put up an SOS on her blog for web help for this talented artist.
I was sad to see that even after so many years his blog hasn’t improved in appearance…
But on the positive side, Ramesh is still a very nice, affable, approachable human being, who is very happy to teach his art form to all who are interested. So the next time, you are in Chennai, do drop by his studio…you never know, you could later boast that you were taught by a Guiness book record holder 🙂
Contact info for Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh: