“Off with their Heads”


“Off with their heads”, said the Queen in Alice in Wonderland. ‘50% Off the body’, seems to say this display outside a store in a mall in Chennai.



Ranga thottam
Ranga thottam

If I tell you that this location is just on the other side of the Chennai International Airport runway, you may be surprised. It is part of the Ranga thottam, near Cowl’s bazaar used to cultivate flowers and vegetables.

Drive-in Tea shop

Drive-in service
Drive-in service

Chennaites may miss the iconic drive-in Woodlands, but Chennai has not lost its drive-in habits.

Here in Ayanavaram, like in most other places, a tea shop offers service in an autorickshaw to this middle aged couple.

Enterprising Electrician

Enterprising Electrician
Enterprising Electrician

It was early morning on a Sunday, but this handyman was in his shop repairing electrical appliances and motors at his cubby hole of a workshop.

Kalaiselvam had just moved into this shop at Ayanavaram two months ago and keen on establishing himself.


Universality of Prayers

Woman devotee prostrates
Woman devotee prostrates

A woman devotee was one among the many who prostrated before the Jeer and his disciples who were reciting the holy verses in Triplicane.

This reminds me of the shloka:

Aakashaat patitam thoyam Yadha gacchati saagaram;

Sarva deva namskaaram kesavam pratigacchathi.

आकाशात् पतितं तोयं यथा गच्छति सागरम् ।
सर्वदेहनमस्कारः केशवं प्रतिगच्छति ॥

Just as the rainwater falling from the sky ultimately reaches the ocean, so also all prayers go to the Supreme God.

Tattered Flag

Boat with tattered flag
Boat with the tattered flag

The boat with a tattered black flag at Uroor Olcott Kuppam, off Besant Nagar, probably reflects the mood of the fishermen after a poor day’s catch.

Multimodal Transport

urban chaos
urban chaos

The extent of urban chaos in a metropolis like Chennai is evident in this scene from Meenambakkam. A quick snap while waiting for the signal.

Air, rail and road transport compete for space.

The proposal to have a modern airport for Chennai is periodically postponed due to land acquisition issues. Last few years the existing airport has been expanded and ‘modernized’ with the available space resulting in one of the worst Metro airports in the country.

From being a top airport it has slipped to 5th place in passenger traffic. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-airport-could-soon-lose-fourth-busiest-tag-to-hyderabad/article24295163.ece

This has a far-reaching impact on the economy, industry and employment opportunities in the city vis-a-vis other cities.

Welcome Sign

road sign
road sign

Happy to see this sign promoting some civic discipline in a quiet colony near Tambaram Sanatorium. On the way to Pachaimalai.

Hope it has the required effect.

From The Chennai Photowalk: Walk #125

In Search of Mt.Kailash

Pachamalai scenes
Pachamalai scenes

In search of Mt. Kailash when it is right behind you.

A scene from Pachai malai, the green hillock near Tambaram Sanatorium. An unknown and unspoiled spot in the city.

The Chennai Photowalk, Walk #125


Better to Light a Lamp…

Devotee lighting a lamp
Devotee lighting a lamp

“Better to Light a Candle Than Curse the Darkness” goes the old saying.

It wasn’t exactly dark, but an old devotee trekked up all the 150 odd steps of Pachai Malai to this temple of Mahayuga Kali on the hilltop to light a lamp in front of the shrine. Due to the high wind, she wasn’t successful in the beginning but finally succeeded after several attempts.

By the way, the original quote is attributed to several people from Confucius to Kennedy. I have no idea who said it first.