Levitation

Boys perfroming somersaults at the Marina
Boys perfroming somersaults at the Marina

Marina beach is the pride of Madras. People throng the beach for various reasons.

These boys and their master are here today to try our the gymnsatic abilities on the sands.

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Manchester United Fast Food

Fast food by Manchester United
Fast food by Manchester United

I did not know that the famous football club runs a fast food kiosk on our own Marina beach.

AZERTY Keyboard

Hermes Manual Typewriter with AZERTY Keyboard
Hermes Manual Typewriter with AZERTY Keyboard

An old manual  Hermes typewriter from an antique shop. Did you notice the keyboard? Instead of the conventional QWERTY  layout, it is AZERTY in the first row and corresponding changes in the other rows.

I understand this layout is preferred for French typing. If so, this must have come from French-administered areas like Pondicherry. Can someone confirm?

Changing Colours

Wheels of the chariot
Wheels of the chariot 2019

Change is inevitable. Even the wheels of the Parthasarathi swami ther have undergone a transformation in colour and design.

Here, a devotee places granular salt under the wheels before the thaer with the deity is taken out.

P1120413
New design and colours

Picture from last year is below.

Wheels of the chariot 2018
Wheels of the chariot 2018

 

It is Jackfruit time

Jackfruits from Panruti for sale in pallavaram
Jackfruits from Panruti for sale in Pallavaram

It is time for Jackfruit – the Jack of all fruits. Though Tamil Nadu celebrates the ‘pala pazham’ , the fruit is part of everyday life in Kerala. Almost every house will have at least on ‘Chakka maram‘ in the compound.

Trivandrum even has an event called Jackfruit mela with exhibitions, stalls and workshops.

Why not Chennai or Panruti have a ‘Pala pazha vizha?

One-stop Shop

A shop for the devout Muslim
A shop for the devout Muslim

As we move from Sree Parthasarathy temple to the other end of Triplicane High Road, you come across shops like this selling all the requirements of a devout Muslim. near the Big Mosque.

Hijabs of various hues
Hijabs of various hues

Faces from Thiruvallikkeni

Many faces from Triplicane
Many faces from Triplicane

Thiruvallikkeni or Triplicane is one of the ancient localities of the city of Madras (that is, Chennai). Among other things, it is well known for the Sree Parthasarathy Temple, the streets surrounding that and the festivals associated with it.

These street portraits were taken during the Temple thiruther when the deity is taken around the area in a chariot.

Instant Delight

GN Ramaswami sharing the image
GN Ramaswami sharing the image

One of the delights of digital is the ability to see image instantaneously for review and rejoicing.

Here, fellow photo walker and friend, GN Ramaswami sharing the photo with the subjects prior to the therottam at Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane.

 

Pedestrian-Friendly Plaza

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Exit from Central Metro Station
Exit from Central Metro Station

The stretch between Central Station (by whatever name you call it) and the Ripon Building was a nightmare for motorists and more for pedestrians. But, if what I saw last weekend was any indication, Chennai is going to have a very pedestrian friendly plaza in and around Moore market complex.  There are wide walkways devoid of motor traffic, convenient subways with steps, escalator and lifts to cross the road.

Unauthorised vendors are kept away (though there are a few random ones). Whatever heritage structures remain are spruced up and well lit.

I hope all stakeholders, especially the public will help maintain this for the benefit of all.

Pedestrian friendly

Victoria Hall

Victoria Public Hall
Victoria Public Hall

The Victoria Town Hall was constructed in  1890 with contributions from philanthropists. It is one of the many iconic buildings designed by Robert Chisholm and built by Namberumal Chetty. Though it is prominently sited between Ripon Building and Central Station, very few people know about this structure.

It was intended to be a town hall for meeting and staging plays etc. Many prominent personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sardar Vallabhai Patel etc.have addressed the public here.

Leading Tamil dramatists like, Sankardoss Swamigal, Pammal Sambanda Mudaliar etc. have performed in the hall. It was also used by SVS Sabha for their performances. In the early days, some films were also screened here.

Over the years it fell into disuse and got entangled in legal battles.  There were many threats to its very existence.

Now that the Metro work is completed, there is an attempt to restore the historic hall. Hope it will be open to the public soon to remind the Chennaites of their past.