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.


Why Fear When I am Here?

Reassuring isthiri wallah
Reassuring isthiri wallah

This isthiri (ironing) wallah (or wali) is boldly assuring, “Why Fear When I am Here”. He spells the next line as “Sthree (woman) cart” Instead of Isthiri cart.

Probably he is reassuring the victims of #metoo campaign that he is there to protect.

Alternate Therapy?


One poster offers cure for impotency. Another offers family and bachelors on rent. Different strokes for different folks.

Funny Signs

Funny signs Chennai
Funny signs Chennai

Human trafficking?

A sign posted on an electrical junction box (RMU)  in Adyar.

A common sight.

Learning English the easy way

sleeping man in front of English academy
sleeping man in front of English academy

Vivekananda Kalvi Nilayam is one of the biggest and most popular spoken English training institutes in India. They started in a small place near Madley road subway before spreading out to various centres. The old centre is still functioning.

This sleeping man in front of the centre seems to have a different idea of ‘convenient classes’. Who knows, technology may enable us to learn subconsciously while sleeping!

The Chennai Photowalk #111

106 days to Madras Day 2017

Double Negative

What is the meaning of this double negative?
What is the meaning of this double negative?

The double negative is confusing the motorists.

At Little Mount, Saidapet during a Heritage Walk.


Vanish Bhajji Stall

Vanish bajji stall
Vanish bajji stall

The owner of this bajji stall on Besant Nagar beach must be a magician. What can he make vanish – the bhajji, the stall or the people eating it?

He also seems to hedge his bets on both Mother Mary and Sai Baba

How many ways can you spell ‘puncture’?

puncture sign
puncture sign

I have seen several ways this word is spelt. So much so, I have forgotten what is the correct spelling.


If you see any other way it is spelt, please send me a picture.



English ..Tamlish?

Madras was once known for its high standard of English. No longer. Signs like these are common place. Even a scholar will have self-doubt.

funny signs
Killing spelling


No, they don’t sell milk (dairy) products but new year diaries.

No, they don’t sell carpenter’s tool (planer) but weekly planner.