Rural Setting

This typical rural scene is not very from the city. Nemam village – A suburb about 45 minutes drive from the city.

From The Chennai Photowalk

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Another Perspective

Vertical Perspective

Another perspective of the longest mural featuring AIDS-affected persons on the wall of Indira Nagar MRTS station.

The Street is My Studio

Street Studio

A common sight. Aspiring models and photographers use the painted walls of Indira Nagar MRTS station walls as a backdrop for their shoots.

Bay Watch

Watchman

A security watchman at Bay view apartments, Royapuram.

A Pleasant Surprise

Buckingham Canal

Normally you don’t associate the Buckingham Canal with anything pleasant. However, last week I was pleasantly surprised to see flocks of egrets on the trees in Indira Nagar on the banks of Buckingham Canal. What is more, some were even landing on the water hyacinths on the canal making polka dots of white on the green leaves.

Let us hope more species join and the egrets continue to stay there so that we can have another bird ‘sanctuary’ in the city.

Nikon D7000

f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 280

Nikkor 55-300 f/4.5-5.6 at 300mm.

Date: 8th March 2022

Curious Passerby

At Indiranagar MRTS junction

As I was shooting in the amphitheater, this curious biker passed by. Quickly aimed and shot this image.

Silambam

Children practicing the ancient Tamil martial art Silambam
Children practicing Silambattam

On my morning walk, I was happy to see a bunch of youngsters practicing Silambam in the newly minted plaza near Indira Nagar MRTS station. The next day, I also met Mr. Raghunathan the man who initiated this program. He says the children come voluntarily from the neighbouring area. They are required to pay Rs 300 per month. Mr. Raghunathan says that otherwise, they will not have the seriousness and self-discipline. Not all of them pay regularly. Yet, he spends part of the amount collected for the staff (kambu), T-shirts, etc. He has plans to provide shoes too.

Though the programme is an individual initiative, I hope it will sustain to provide some healthy outlet and discipline for the underprivileged children in the neighbourhood.

Silambam or Silambattam (சிலம்பம் or சிலம்பாட்டம்) is an ancient form of martial arts from the Tamil region of Southern India traceable to Saint Agastya. That makes it arguably one of the oldest style of martial arts. The kalaripayattu of the Kerala region is also closely associated with it. Interestingly, the Chinese Shaolin style of martial arts is said to have derived its inspiration from Silambam through Bodhidharma who visited China in the 6th Century from India.

Mr Raghunathan, the Silambam trainer.
Mr Raghunathan, the Silambam trainer.

Scrap Art

A cheetah made from machine scrap.

This installation has come up opposite the Ramanujan IT park on OMR under the MRTS tracks.

The beast and the floral design make an intriguing contrast.

Paramapadham – the Steps to Heaven

Snakes and Ladders: where are the snakes?

Paramapadam is a popular traditional Indian board game, also known as Snakes and Ladders. It is based on Indian spirituality of attaining heaven through performing many virtuous acts. The ladders representing the virtues take the players closer to the Ultimate Goal of Vaikuntha while the snakes or the sins pull one down. The traditional game is played with rudimentary counters and dice or cowrie shells which are commonly available. https://www.tamilnadutourism.com/traditions/games/paramapadham.php

This casual sight of two ladders leaning against the wall of a subsidiary shrine in Pavala vanna Perumal temple, Kanchi reminded me of this game. You may ask, “Where are the snakes?” Let us hope for an ideal life filled with only virtues!

A Dutch Fort in Chennai

Remnants of the fort in Fisherman’s Cove

Vestiges of a Fort in Covelong.
I quote below the description from the plaque put up by Fisherman’s Cove hotel.


” The Legend

In the 18th century, the Dutch founded a trading settlement here and named it Goblon. Like the British at Madras, the French at Pondicherry, and the Danes at Tranquebar, all originally trading settlements on the Coromandel Coast, the Dutch erected a fort at Covelong. This Dutch settlement did not survive the ravages of time and nothing of this Fort remains. Only a small building possibly an armoury or gun powder ryagazine still stands near our hotel.

In 1744-49, the Nawab of Arcot built a Fort at Covelong and named it Saadt Bandar. In 1750 a year after the fort was built it changed hands. A French ship anchored off Covelong. hoisting signals of distress. The Indians went on board to be told that many of the sailors had died of scurvy and that the survivors should be allowed to land. This was permitted. At the dead of night, thirty Frenchmen who had only feigned illness and who had surreptitiously carried arms ashore, rose and overpowered their benefactors.

Two years later in 1752, the Fort faced an English siege. Its garrison comprised of 50 Frenchmen and 300 Indian sepoys. Their rag-tag besiegers were as one of their own commanders put it. “the refuse of the vilest employments in London”. The man at the helm was a clerk turned soldier-Robert Clive- who was later to preside over the destinies of the Indian subcontinent. After two setbacks, Clive rallied his men to take over the Fort. Covelong was thus a player in the Carnatic wars when European powers jockeyed for influence and power and a trading interest on the Coromandel Coast.” 

So the Dutch, the Nawab, the French and Englishmen all had their reign in this small strip of land near Madras.