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Read this article on line. K.P.Waran in the New Straits Times under Columns is reminiscing about Tennamaram Estate. Was this because coconut trees were in abundance in this estate or did the people in the earlier days mistook the palm fruit trees for coconut trees? I don’t know. But, one thing fascinates me how Tamils had their own names to describe towns and estates and certain areas in this country.

While working in Gemas, I knew Gomali estate. Comedian Estate? Could it be? Was this perchance a reference to a particular Estate Manager with comical inclination. I wonder again.

In Ipoh does anybody, particularly senior citizens, remember Sethu Kampong, (muddy kampong, it was always kampong and not kampung) the shops along Connolly Road, in the vicinity of my alma mater Perak Sangeetha Sabha (Tamil School) immediately after you pass the now extinct Fraser & Neave factory and on the way to Mariamman Temple and Buntong. How well I remember those days, doing errands for my mother buying odds and ends, walking and then cycling from the Railway Quarters to Sethu Kampong.

Chettiar Theru (road) where Chettiar money lenders operated from was another name and this could be because of the Chettiar Temple opposite A.C.S. Ipoh where I studied. The street was then called, if I remember correctly, Belfield Street.

Murugan Temple along Jalan Gunung Cheroh was always, Kalu Malai (stone mountain) Kovil, and I think many more temples bear this name.

Do you know that Telok Anson, changed to Teluk Anson, and now Teluk Intan was referred to as Perak by the Indians then?

For the people from India and even locals in Malaya or Malaysia, our country was referred to as Penangku (Penang). As K.P.Waran I too had written Tamil letters using a pre-paid Air Mail Letter and Malaya was Penangku.

Dear reader, do you remember any other Tamil Malaysian names of old.

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4 Comments

  1. I have seen and browsed a book penned by a Tamil of Ceylonese origin- about the street names and it’s origins in Malaya. I can’t recall the title, but know that this exemplary individual had even revised and updated it once or twice. Probably one could find a copy at the National Library.

    I also read somewhere that Ipoh’s Menglembu is actually the Tamil word Magizhambu (a flower).

  2. Thank you kolaar. I pass by Menglembu every time I visit Batu Gajah, my wife’s place. It could be. Zhambu and lembu. See the connection. Anybody from Meglembu out there who can comment. The kachang there is famous.

  3. I was born and spent my early childhood in Gomali Estate. My dad was the Medical Assistant there. It was a place I love to grow as I spent my early chidlhood and had a run of the place there and remember many events of my childhood there.

    It is not Comedian Estate but takes its name from a little tributuary called – Gemali River. I do not know how Gemali became Gomali. It is a mystery to be unearthed.

  4. Dear Roshan,

    What a pleasant surprise, someone referring to Gomali Estate. I was in Gemas way back and I had the pleasure of visiting this estate a couple of times. Two things I remember very well. I was running a music group in Gemas, please don’t think I am a full fledged musician, and I could in an amateur way play a keyboard, and you would be surprised to know most of the guitar, drum players, singers came from Gomali. I wish I could mention names but I desist thinking of their privacy.

    Secondly it was my duty to send back the musicians in my car every night after the practice around about 9 or 10 pm. One night I was traversing the sand or earth roads, and suddenly ahead of me saw a motor cyclist waiting. Suddenly the people in the car said sare wait a python is passing the road. Apparently this python steals chickens from the quarters and after swallowing it life crawls back into the jungle. I was in a Volvo car quite old but the lights picked up a faint figure of something crawling. I was too frightened to ask whether I could go nearer to watch. Apparently this was a regular sight. I am sure your father will have more stories.

    Any way I am trying to blog in Tamil and have got my blog in http://rvicdav.blogspot.com. Please visit me there.


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