Chennai Eyesores


In Chennai, whichever way you turn you can see banners, posters, cutouts and flex boards. They may be from political parties, cinemas, temples, evangelists, training centres or sex clinics. These are not only eyesores but also hindrance or distractions for the citizens. Somehow, we have been tolerating the situation due to our indifference or helplessness.

Occasionally, there will be initiatives by NGOs or by individuals through the court (as in the present case), but none of these have had sustained impact on the outcome.  What can be done?

During my recent trip to Odisha, I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the public walls were covered with tastefully painted themes, both in capital Bhubaneswar and in the pilgrim town of Puri. If a state like odisha can do it why not Tamil Nadu?

A wall in Puri, Odisha
A wall in Bhubaneswar




Old man waiting
Old man waiting

Old man waiting for his turn at a hair cutting salon called, ‘Youth” (‘Ilamai’ in Tamil)

A scene from Kanchipuram. A quick grab from a moving car.

Alphabet Soup

Soup stall in Mylapore
Soup stall in Mylapore

The vegetarian Paani poori becomes ‘pork (panni) puri’ in English. 

“Rum” soup is also a good idea! 

Near (the erstwhile) Thannithurai market, Mylapore. 

Fetching Water

Water shortage
Fetching water

Chennai has a long history of water shortage. Despite occasional heavy rains and flooding, no permanent solution has been implemented to provide adequate supply for the city’s residents.

A Chettinad Mess on Mookker Nallamuthu Street has to ferry pots of water to the first floor from a street pump.

A nearby shop advertises ‘Tasty Palar water available here’. Wonder where they get their supply from. Many on the banks of Palar river themselves do not get an adequate supply.

The Chennai Photowalk. The Retrowalk #44



Sleeping devotee
Sleeping devotee

This street dweller seems to be paying obeisance to his Gods in his own special way.

From Linghi Chetty Street.  George Town, Chennai



Welcome Drink

doorway with bottle
doorway with bottle.

Empty liquor bottles adorn a doorway (with bars!) on Linghi Chetty Street near the Mallikeswarar temple, George Town on a Sunday morning.

Probably, the signs of a Saturday night binge.

The Chennai Photowalk . The Retrowalk #44


Saibaba in an Amman Koil
Saibaba in an Amman Koil

Shirdi Saibaba idol in an Amman Koil in Krishnan Koil Street, Mannady, Chennai

The Chennai Photowalk. The Retrowalk #44

Wings and Wheels

Carts & Angels at a temple
Carts & Angels at a temple

At the entrance of Malleeswarar Temple, Linghi Chetty Street, Mannady, Chennai.

The Chennai Photowalk: Retrowalk #44 -The Bankers’ Walk.


Doorway to…..? 

A doorway on TSV Koil Street, Mandaveli. 

Taken with Redmi 4 Note phone through an ‘isthri’ cart. 

Unpaired and Discarded – What is your story?

single shoe
single shoe

From a children’s play area in Independence Day Park, Nungambakkam

What could be the story behind? Let your imagination run free.

Why did the child remove the shoe before entering the play area? Many Indians consider footwear as an impediment – not as protection for the feet.

Was the other of the pair lost or only misplaced? Was the child under the care of the mother or the father who was distracted by that woman in the tracksuit?

What was the reaction of the mother/father /parents when they found the that the shoe was lost? Was the child upbraided or the spouse or both?

Though this is a child’s shoe, there is a message for senior citizens like me. When the spouse is no more, the chance of complete isolation is more likely.

I am sure other storytellers can come up with absorbing stories. Try.