“Esteemed” Leader

The Leader and the Esteem
The Leader and the Esteem

The walls in Tamil Nadu are made unsightly by posters and paintings by political parties and social organisations, of which there seems to be no dearth. Compared to this, I was pleased to see the public walls in Odisha – Bhubaneswar, and Puri- painted with attractive local motives.

I know that there have been some initiatives to have more pleasing walls in Chennai, but the political juggernauts always have their way.

Here, a popular leader boldly glares at passers-by ( now that he is out of the shadow of his father).  Or is he eyeing the car?

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Kalyana Mandapam

Kalyana mandapam
Kalyana mandapam

The mood is always cheery and colourful inside a kalyana mandapam irrespective of the atmosphere outside.

A view of a mandap in Perambur.

Silambattam

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

Nimble as a peacock, darting like a butterfly and soaring like a bird. This silambam artiste seems to be doing all that.

Silambam or Silambattam is a traditional martial art, originating from Tamil Nadu. References to silambam, silambattam, and related phrases are found in the Sangam literature, confirming its antiquity.

Glad to see a bunch of children and bunch of enthusiasts practicing on a Sunday morning on this skating rink.

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

Flour Mills

Flour Mills
Flour Mills (chakki)

The flour mill (மாவு அரைக்கிற மெஷின்) where we get our grains and spices freshly ground was very much part of our lives in the olden days. They were conspicuous by what emanated from them – shrieking sound, pungent odour, and fine grain dust.

Now, used to packaged groceries, I thought these mills had gone into oblivion. No. Only the sound has been muffled by the traffic noise, the smell neutralized by the gutters and garbage and the fine dust indistinguishable in the polluting particulate matter.

The flour mills continue to survive in many localities. Sometimes you see them in the most unlikely places if you are observant. Like this one sandwiched between two posh commercial buildings.

Traditional and Digital Media

Traditional and digital media
Traditional and digital media

India is one of the few countries where the print media is still growing, albeit slowly, in terms of circulation and ad revenue, despite the digital disruption.

The sight of freshly printed dailies being briskly distributed early every morning by a team of dedicated men and colourful display of an array of magazines and journals on wayside stalls are common in all localities of the city.

Here, the dealer of print media seems to be happy with his dose of digital news and content.

A scene from the Chennai Photowalk – Perambur captured on phone camera.

Stalking his Prey

A photographer stalking his prey
A photographer stalking his prey

During photowalks, such sights are very common. A photographer looking for an interesting subject.

Fusion Music

Kanjira and Hang drum fusion
Kanjira and Hang drum fusion

John de Kadt on the hang drum and Ganesh Kumar on the Kanjira form the perfect fusion of Western melody and Carnatic percussion instruments. They were seen jamming for a video at a small wayside temple in West Mambalam. The Youtube video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOrhuBjdASA

 

Look at the Camera

Dog and the master
Dog and the master

“Look at the camera”, the master seems to be telling his pet. Or is it the dog making his human obey him?

A scene from the Madras Canine Show 2019.

Embroiderer

Blouse embroidery
Blouse embroidery

This embroiderer is from Hooghly District of West Bengal. He works at a leading textile showroom embellishing blouses under the supervision of a local master embroiderer. Each blouse as shown in the specimen can cost several thousand rupees.

Taken with a phone camera.

 

Sugar Candy

How can a thiruvizha be complete without the sugar candy man?

This sugar candy (javvu mittai ஜவ்வு மிட்டாய் or Bombay mithai)  doll on a pole was spotted at the Mylapore Festival.

The candymen are known to make attractive shapes like elephants, swan, flowers etc with the candy to entice children (and adults!)

Those sensitive about hygiene will shudder at the way in which this is made and dispensed.