Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass window at University Senate House
Stained Glass window at University Senate House

The Madras University Senate House was built in the 1870s. It is one of the classic examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The stained glass windows here are outstanding.

This is one view after a recent renovation.



Disused merry-ground
Disused merry-go-ground

On the one hand, we have children who have no access to playground equipment. On the other hand, we have such equipment hardly ever used.

A scene from a new development in Manapakkam.

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

Also see this post

Rare Ganesha

Shree Shiva Shakthi Vinayagar at Sivapraksham St.
On the Shree Shiva Shakthi Vinayagar koil gopuram at Sivapraksham St.

I had shared my album of post budget Pondy Bazaar with the IIMA- Chennai group. One of the alumni Mr Srikant pointed out that this Pillayar has a Shanku and Chakram, normally associated with Vishnu. Only after his response, I noticed this uniqueness.

I have no idea about how Pillayar came to have the Sangu and chakram, but I am aware that the masons and sculptors of gopurams take liberties with the terracotta or stucco figures that go on the gopuram, often deviating from the accepted norms of iconography.  If anybody has any other explanation, please do share it with the readers of this blog.


Family playing pallankuzhi
Family playing pallankuzhi

Pallankuzhi is a traditional board game from Tamil Nadu. It is also played in other parts of South India. The board is usually made of wood with 2 rows of depressions (kuzhis) of 7 each. The 14 kuzhis are loaded with counters – usually cowrie shells or manjadi beans. The board can also be made in other materials like steel, brass, bronze, ivory, granite, etc. It is designed for 2 players who take turns in picking the counters and distributing over the other kuzhis in a specified manner.

It was popular with children and older women. It is believed to improve counting abilities and hand-eye coordination among growing children.

Above, a family playing Pallankuzhi during The Chennai Photowalk Retrowlak #68 Car Free Sunday at Bessie beach.


Ganesha’s Favourite

Erukkam Poo [Crown Flower]
Erukkam Poo [Crown Flower]
Erukkam Poo or Crown flower is a shrub native to India and some other Asian Countries. It grows even in dry places. The botanical name is Calatropis Gigantea. The flower of this shrub has 5 petals and a unique crown. The flower is believed to be a favorite of Lord Ganesha. The shrub which is usually neglected suddenly gains importance during Vinayaka (Pillayar) Chathurthi.

The latex from the stems and leaves are poisonous and have been used on arrow tips.

This was spotted on the banks of River Adyar near Manapakkam during Chennai Photowalk #140.


Alcohol De-addiction

Quack’s advertisement

This poster in Tamizh is obviously from a quack who is offering magic thread for alcohol de-addiction. This ‘spiritual baba’ also adds that he can be consulted for ‘all other matters’ as well. Alcoholism is ruining many families and the remedies accessible for the poor are very limited. No wonder, such quacks thrive. 
While playing on people’s gullibility, he is also harming the avenue tree by hammering all those nails.  
A quick phone grab in Adyar. 

Converting Problem into an Opportunity

Kolam through natural frame
Kolam through natural frame

The photographic equivalent of “If-life-gives-you-lemons,-make-lemonade” moment.

After puffing and panting in negotiating a labyrinth of narrow stairs and private living rooms, when I reached the open terrace, I was slightly disappointed to see that a tree was covering a good part of the kolam panorama of the Mylapore Festival on the street below. But there was hope. There was a gap in the leaves through which I could zoom in on single kolams instead of the sweeping panorama. The tree leaves formed a perfect natural frame for this Nagamandala type of kolam.

There are many situations like this in photography where a problem can be converted into an opportunity. I can think of rain, fog, motion, unusual lighting, etc.  which could offer some creative possibilities.