colours of Art District
colours of Art District

A scene from Ezhil Nagar / Kannagi Nagar – a lower class neighbourhood being developed as an Art District with the collaboration of St+Art India and other organisations and artists.

The colourful clothes and bright flowers are in contrast to the muted colours of the mural.

Photowalk for Cause #3

Good Samaritan

Service oriented auto driver
Service-oriented auto driver

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!

The Vessels Seller

Neelamegam, aluminiumvessels dealer
Neelamegam, aluminium vessels dealer

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.

Neelamegam, aluminiumvessels dealer

Firewood & Charcoal

Wood and charcoal
Wood and charcoal

During my younger days, there used to be several shops selling firewood and charcoal (விறகு தொட்டி) as many households and businesses were using them. In fact, the present Sardar Patel Road Adyar had a couple of them. Today, the use for these is confined to small operations like ironing, etc. Hence the number of shops has dwindled. This shop still survives in  Mambalam in a prime location and is run by the descendants of the family who started it. The present owner admitted that the business is dull and the pressure to sell off the property is high.

Commonwealth War Graves

Commonwealth war grave
Commonwealth war grave

The well-manicured Madras War Cemetery on the main road at Nandambakkam is very prominent and popular. But there is much older war grave on Pallavan Salai in Park town right by the side of the flyover to Central Station. This is part of St.Mary’s Church in Fort St.George, whose on-site cemetery could not be expanded due to space and security concerns.

The Chennai Photowalk. Retro walk # 70 Bodyguard Muneeswaran

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