Active Women of Chennai


Women going to work on a Sunday
Women going to work on a Sunday

A couple of young women walking briskly to work on a Sunday morning on Mount Road (Anna Salai) a couple of days before Women’s Day.

The building in the background is the Addision Building with its identifiable arches.




Windows to a vanishing heritage

Windows of the crumbling Bharat Insurance Building
Windows of the crumbling Bharat Insurance Building

Another view of the partially demolished Bharat Insurance Building. The High Court ordered a stay on demolition based on a  case was filed by INTACH.

The building has been in the half-demolished condition for the last 10 years or so.



Early morning sun makes its own patterns in the partly demolished Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl Building). The 120 – year old building was a grand specimen of Indo-Saracenic style.

This shape resembles the old arcade game Pacman, nibbling away what remains of the building.

Nasty and Dynasty

Urinating on a poster
Urinating on a poster, in Anna Salai

Committing nuisance in public and posters extolling a dynasty, a politician or a film star –  common sights in Chennai

Oldest Bookstore

Higginbotham's Bookstore 1844
Higginbotham’s Bookstore 1844

Higginbothams is perhaps the oldest bookstore in India. It was started by an English stowaway, Abel Higginbothams in 1844. It was taken over by the Amalgamations Group (Simpson’s) in 1945.

During our growing up years, Higginbothams was the go-to shop for any books. Most railway stations in South India also had a Higginbothams stall (some still exist) where we picked up newspapers, magazines and Perry Mason paperbacks (for about 4 or 5 rupees) during travel.

Despite the onslaught of competition from new generation bookstores, online stores, and ebooks, Higginbothams has survived. What is more, the management has restored the iconic heritage building on Mount Road. Our esteem for the management of Amalgamations Group goes up when we see the historic Bharat Insurance Building (Kardyl building) just opposite to Higginbothams which was to be razed to the ground by the Government-owned LIC to put up a ‘modern’ monstrosity.

Divine Intervention or Detererent?

divine blessings
Divine blessings. A scene in Seven Wells

A scene in Seven Wells, Chennai.

The image of Jesus could several purposes. Protections of the vehicle or prevention of people dumping garbage, committing nuisance or just squatting in front (note the concrete with sharp stones projecting).

Temple Ecosystem

Cat in Varadarajaswamy Temple
Cat in Varadarajaswamy Temple, Kanchipuram

Does the kitten know that it is in the 1000-year old Varadaraja Swamy Temple built by the Cholas? Does she know that the temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams venerated by the Alwars and Acharyas and where millions throng for darshan? Does she know that she is standing on a pillar where master craftsmen of the Vijayanagar era have carved exquisite battle scenes? Does it know that it is eating the famous Puliyodarai prasad offered to Perumal?

It may not. It is concerned about its survival. This is part of the large eco-system of a Hindu Temple.

Please also see: Eyeing the Golden Throne

And this one: Complete with Cute cat 

And this: Cats and Gods

Oh God, forgive me for stealing your milk.

This one is from Sree Mallikeswarar Temple, Thambu Chetty Street, Mannady, Chennai photographed in  2011


Funny Signs

Funny signs Chennai
Funny signs Chennai

Human trafficking?

A sign posted on an electrical junction box (RMU)  in Adyar.

A common sight.

Multi-pronged protection

Multiple devices to protect from Drishti
Multiple devices to protect from Drishti

Devices to protect from the wrath of the evil eye are very common on doors and vehicles. Here, a door in Kolakaranpet has multiple devices to protect from ‘Drishti’. Being in a locality with the name ‘Kola kaaran pet’ (Murderer’s area) such shotgun approach may be called for.


Budget 2018 for Senior Citizens

Tomorrow, when I go for the morning walk at the park, I am sure the topic of the Budget and how it affects Senior Citizens will come up.

So here is a quick summary in the form of an infographic.

Budget 2018 and senior citizens
Budget 2018 and senior citizens