It is May Day today and my mind goes to the Triumph of Labour Statue on the Marina. This statue was instaled in the first year of my life in Madras – 1958-59. It was designed and sculpted by the noted RoyChoudhury wh was the first Indian Principal of the Madras School of Arts and Crafts. The body language of the labourers reminds us of the US Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima.
The statue is admired by many and comes into prominence on May Day. At other times, its base is the sanctuary for tourists, idle hangers-on or stray animals.
It is one of the first statues on the Marina. Little could I have imagined in 1959 that the whole place will be a jungle of statues and mausoleums.
For the photographers on a walk in the Art District at Kannagi Nagar, Chennai, the most popular location was a building with the image of two smiling children in Black and White. These two girls and the old man were also the cynosures of the lenses.
For a change, I thought they will look different and better in sepia tone.
From Photowalk With A Cause #3. Kannagi Nagar /Ezhil Nagar
This autorickshaw driver (I did not ask his name) proudly mentioned that he was a member of an organization called the Indian People’s Protection Organisation, an NGO with headquarters in Adyar. He hastened to add that it is a non-political organization and was involved in training the local children in road safety and life skills. A laudable effort and must be encouraged and supported considering the background of the local children.
I did not ask him whether they conduct classed in road safety and rule for auto drivers!
Meet Neelamegam. He sells kitchen utensils from his two-wheeler around Ezhil Nagar tenements. The vehicle is completely covered with his wares that I fail to understand how he would sit and ride.
He has a loudspeaker which blares out pre-recorded sales message in a professionally catchy yet natural voice. A photo of his mother decorated with flowers adorns the top of the headlamp. He procures the utensils from Salem and other places. The way the women of the area were thronging around this handsome young man indicates that he must be doing brisk business.