The Indifferent, the Involved and the Curious

Attitude towards news
Attitude towards news

It is Madras Day.

The hot news of the day is the merger of the two factions of the ruling party and related realignments. The attitude towards this news is amply reflected in the body language of these three.

The old man seems to be indifferent with a ‘I-have-seen-it-all’ attitude.

The middle aged man is deeply involved in the news.

The younger guy is curious.

From the Madras Week Photowalk in Mylapore today.


Vinayaka Chathurthi

Ganeshas for chaturthi
Ganeshas for chaturthi  

Vinayaka Chaturhti (or Ganesh chathurthi or pillayar chathurthi) is around the corner. I am longing to see the array of clayey and colourful Ganeshas in the market. More exciting would be a visit to the place where they are made. In Trivandrum, I could easily locate and visit centres where the pillyars were made. Can someone give me some locations in Chennai? I heard someone say, ‘Kosappet’.



Pattanam Podi -Snuff

A passage in Fort bearing signs of s snuff brand
A passage in Fort bearing signs of a snuff brand

How can a blog about ‘Pattanam’ (Madras City) be complete without reference to ‘Pattanam Podi’ or snuff?

It was once very common to see men (and some women) snorting the tobacco snuff into their nostrils and sneezing: An agony for those nearby. The most salient brand was TAS Rathinam Pattanam podi. Tulsi Badrinath, in her book ‘Madras, Chennai and the Self’ dedicated a whole chapter to a family that was in the snuff business and still manages to survive.

The above image from Fort St.George indicates that the Snuff {Pattana Podi} is very much part of the city’s history.

11 days more for Madras Day

PS: Retailers used to dispense the snuff from specially designed porcelain jaadis with a special spatula.