Faces of Pondy Bazaar

Portrait at Pondy Bazaar
Portrait at Pondy Bazaar

Covering the Pondy Bazaar Pedestrian Plaza during our last photowalk, we came across this gentleman who was willing to pose for us. We photographers avidly used this photo opportunity converting the plaza into a studio.

Portrait studio on Pondy Bazaar
Portrait studio on Pondy Bazaar

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Oldest Hairdressing Salon

Kerala Hairdressers
Kerala Hairdressers, Pondy Bazaar

Kerala Hairdressers is perhaps the oldest surviving salon in Madras, other having failed to withstand the onslaught of the modern salons and spas. Started in 1939 by Sankunni Nair from Trichur at the same site in Pondy Bazaar, it has retained its old-world decor and charm even though  Pondy Bazaar itself has undergone sea change under the Smart City project.

The salon is now run by the grandson of the founder and claims many celebrities – past and present-as its regular clients.

Captured during The Chennai Photowalk – Retrowalk #69

There are several other old salons which I have covered in Madras Nalla Madras Blog.

Here are links to a 65- year old salon: https://madrasnallamadrasblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/65-year-old-hair-cutting-saloon/

One from Seven Wells: https://madrasnallamadrasblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/the-artist-and-the-canvas/

Hair Stylist at Work

 

 

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?

Sugar Candy

How can a thiruvizha be complete without the sugar candy man?

This sugar candy (javvu mittai ஜவ்வு மிட்டாய் or Bombay mithai)  doll on a pole was spotted at the Mylapore Festival.

The candymen are known to make attractive shapes like elephants, swan, flowers etc with the candy to entice children (and adults!)

Those sensitive about hygiene will shudder at the way in which this is made and dispensed.

Nonagenarian

Guruswamy, 94 years ? earns Rs400 p.m as assistant in this vegetable shop
Guruswamy, the Nonagenarian dynamo

While at our Photowalk in the Saidapet Vegetable market we were impressed the diligence and briskness with which this gentleman was cleaning the shop and shifting heavy loads of vegetables.

A shopkeeper in the adjoining stall told us that he is Guruswamy and he is 94 years old(?!) He works as an assistant in a stall and earns Rs400 per day.

Though he did not look 94 to me, hats off to his industriousness.

 

Saloon Again

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Hair cutting salon in Saidapet
Hair cutting salon in Saidapet

In my series on salons, this one is one of my favorite images.

A salon on Bazaar Road, Saidapet (M.A.R. Menz Salon)

I was also amazed by the intuitive power of Google Maps.  I had uploaded some photos from the Saidapet Photowalk on to Google Photos and geotagged an image manually as my DSLR does not have GPS. Google automatically suggested the correct location for this image even though it was a good 300 metres from the tagged image.