Milk by the Metre

Tea shop

A common sight in tea shops in South India (maybe, elsewhere too).

The Chennai Photowalk #146 From 10th Century to present day Velachery


Digital and the Divine

Digital and the Divine

Digital payments are becoming commonplace in India with even small vendors accepting payment through digital wallets, UPI, BHIM or GPay.

Here, a small tuck shop in Velachery has the idol of his ‘Ishta Devata’ next to the QR code of his digital wallet.

The Chennai Photowalk #146

Sony ILCE-6400 with E 18-135 F 3.5-5.6 OSS at 50mm F/8, SS 1/125 ISO 2000

Checked Lungi and the Chess Olympiad

Chequered lungi and the chessboard

The 44th Chess Olympiad is starting today at Mahabalipuram. It is the first time that the Olympiad is being held in India, even though the game of 64 squares traces to its origin to Chaturangam from ancient India.

During my younger days, there were no Grandmasters from India. We had one International Master, Mr Manuel Aaron from Madras. Today, India can boast of nearly 75 Grandmasters, many of them from Madras, including the child prodigy Praggyananda and of course, Viswanathan Anand.

I am glad that the State government is taking steps to promote the game and the tournament. The Thambi mascot is well received. So also the painted structures like the Napier Bridge. The mascot is in pure white veshti. Maybe he should have been in a coloured and chequered lungi (folded at half-mast) to be more Tamilian. Just saying.

Hot Tea and Newspaper

Yellow and Orange

A typical morning scene. Tea shop and the newspaper.

From the Chennai Photowalk #146 Velachery

Sony ILCE-6400 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS at 40mm F6.3, SS1/125, ISO 400 Cropped

Drive Through Devotion


This devout man stopped his ride to chant and do a namaskaram to Sri Dandeeswarar on his way to work. A common practice.

Dandeeswarar temple in Velachery is over 10 centuries old. It is believed to have been established during the Pallava period and expanded during the Chola reign.

Multiple Connections to the Divine

Connecting to the divine

This photographer seems to have multiple ways of reaching the divine – ladder, lens, hose and a rope!

From the Chennai Photowalk #146 Velachery

Selfie with Celebrity

Selfie with a star (Gopi)

Walking on the Besant Nagar beach promenade I saw some people mobbing a man and taking selfies with him. My polite enquiries with some old ladies revealed that he is a popular Tamil Serial actor known as ‘Baghyalaskhmi Gopi’. Mr Gopi (with the headphones) was quite happy with the attention and obliged everyone.

Despite all the excitement all around the dog seemed nonchalant.

Fluttering Pigeons

Pigeons in flight

Pigeons feeding on grains offered by some philanthropic organisation on a mound in front of the Schmidt Memorial is a common sight. When they fly they make a very handsome frame. Mostly, they are quite busy on the ground and one has to wait patiently for some natural phenomenon to make them take to their wings.

Today, two young ladies accompanied by their male companions walked through the feeding pigeons to make them flutter and have their pictures taken among the flying birds. I too used the opportunity to grab a quick frame. Was I doing something wrong trying to benefit from their insensitive act?

Sony ILCE-6400 with Sony E 18-135 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS at 32 mm f/4.5, SS 1/640 ISO 125

17th July 2022 at 7-15 a.m.

King Coconuts

Mr.Mani tender coconut seller

This gentleman sells tender coconut at Besant Nagar. He specialises in the red variety, called king coconut (especially in Sri Lanka). In Thamizh it is called ‘Sevvilaneer’. It has less sugar than the green variety but is considered more nutritious and tastier, by some. It also imparts health benefits by itself or in combination with other ingredients for gastric and urinary issues.

The Balloon Seller

Balaji the balloon seller

Meet Mr Balaji, the balloon seller of Besant Nagar. This senior citizen lives in Mylapore but is seen every weekend on the Besant Nagar promenade selling balloons. On other days, he works for a caterer helping out with vegetable cutting and other odd jobs for daily wages. Tough life, but he seems to cheer up seeing smiles on children’s faces.