The Balloon Seller

Balaji the balloon seller

Meet Mr Balaji, the balloon seller of Besant Nagar. This senior citizen lives in Mylapore but is seen every weekend on the Besant Nagar promenade selling balloons. On other days, he works for a caterer helping out with vegetable cutting and other odd jobs for daily wages. Tough life, but he seems to cheer up seeing smiles on children’s faces.

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Migrant Children

Karan and Suraj

Karna and Suraj, children of guest workers were hanging around in the MRTS plaza. They were keen to be photographed and have the image sent to their phone.

On receiving the images, Karan responded with emojis depicting, thanks, smiley, and the Nepalese flag.

More Silambam

Devaraj Aasaan Silamba Koodam

Silambam seems to be increasing in popularity and it bodes well for the children in the city. After the group in Indiranagar MRTS station, I noticed another group on the Besant Nagar Beach. The group must have been there for some time. I noticed it only today. I could not speak to the head coach but the T-Shirts of the children procalimed ‘Devaraj Aasan Silamba Koodam (D.A.S.K)’.

Hoping to see more children take to physical activities.

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!

Leave Me Alone

No extra work for me
No extra work for me

School Children today are overworked. Besides schoolwork, they may have to undergo coaching in Personality Development, Empowerment, Self Esteem, Brain BUilding, Focus, Efficiency, etc.

This dog seems to say, “Don’t burden me with all these. Let me have my siesta.”

Taken with Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Abandoned

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.

Unofficial Guard

Children at the burial ground
Children at the burial ground

Some of us were hesitantly exploring the area near the St. Antony’s Church under the Park Town flyover [adjacent to the Commonwealth War Cemetry] when this boy approached us with a request to be photographed. He decided on the pose and insisted on the venue – the burial grounds where he seemed to be quite at home. He looked like a guardian angel to me.

Silambattam

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

Nimble as a peacock, darting like a butterfly and soaring like a bird. This silambam artiste seems to be doing all that.

Silambam or Silambattam is a traditional martial art, originating from Tamil Nadu. References to silambam, silambattam, and related phrases are found in the Sangam literature, confirming its antiquity.

Glad to see a bunch of children and bunch of enthusiasts practicing on a Sunday morning on this skating rink.

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

silambam artiste
silambam artiste

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.

Thirst for Freedom

Thirst for Independence
Thirst for Independence

“Endru thaniyum intha suthanthira daagam” என்று தணியும் இந்த சுதந்திர தாகம் sang Bharathiyar during the freedom struggle.

Those born after independence may not have the thirst for freedom but they sure have the fire of patriotism as can be seen from the artwork by children in a painting contest.