New leaves spring from a tree (Sterculia foetida) in my compound during the extended lockout.
Sunrise over a small temple in Nemam Village near Chennai
The Chennai Photowalk
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
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.
A few years ago, I had posted a picture of a blue enamel signboard from George Town. These signboards, which were ubiquitous once in shop fronts and street corners are disappearing. Occasionally you come across a signboard like this one above in Triplicane.
The brand ‘Rashiklal’ for betel nut powder was so popular that some outstation visitors to Madras used to buy in bulk for their year’s requirement. The brand is still alive and popular. I recently had to guide a visitor from Mumbai to a retail outlet where he could buy some for his senior relatives back in Mumbai.
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.
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.
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.
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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