Soan Papdi Seller

Soan Papdi seller from Maharashtra

Happy New Year to all my followers and readers. May 2023 bring you a lot of joy and peace of mind.

This is my 1137th post on this blog. Looking forward to your continued support.

Meet Mr Salim Khan, from the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. He sells Soan Papdi near the Marina Lighthouse. So, you thought the inward migration is only from states like Odissa, Bihar and Bengal, not to mention Bangla Desh? People migrate wherever they find that their efforts and skills are required.


The Seafood Supply Chain

Last mile service

When we think of the seafood supply chain we only think of the fishermen and local fish vendors. there is a whole lot of other important links in the chain like the wholesalers and the transporters, the storage units etc.

Recently I discovered another important link. These are persons who sit outside the fish stalls with a kitchen cleaver (aruva manai) or chopping board. The customers bring their fish for cutting cleaning and descaling, for a few rupeees thus relieving the consumers of a nasty chore at home. Very useful last mile service for fish consumers and some livelihood for a few.

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.

Faces of Nanganallur 8

Mr Naidu, vettilapakku kadai owner.

Mr Naidu’s vettilai paakku kadai (pan supari dukan) is in a 6-feet niche between a jewellery store and the wall. He offers limited items but he and his loyal customers are happy. That makes it worth the while.

The Chennai Photowalk #145 The streets of Nanganallur

Sony a 6400 with Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN

f/3.2: ss 1/125: ISO 160

Faces of Nanganallur 1

Mr. Janakiraman puja articles seller

Meet Mr Janakiraman, a Brahmin who ekes out his livelihood selling puja articles from a stand outside a temple. Though he looks famished he was full of cheer when we approached to photograph him.

From The Chennai Photowalk #145 Nanganallur

Sony A6400 Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN

f/2.8, SS 1/200 ISO 500

The Rickshaw wallah

Cycle rickshaw wala on Kutcheri road
Cycle rickshaw wala on Kutcheri road

Meet Dorai, a cycle rickshaw wallah on Kutchety Road, Mylapore. His vehicle was run down – with the seat covers peeling off, exposing the bare foam. The frame and fittings were also rusted. Though he looked over 50, he claims that he is only 39 years old. For all practical purposes, he seems to be eating and sleeping in his rickshaw.


Mangoes and Berries

Berry seller in Mahabalipuram
Berry seller in Mahabalipuram

Woman selling mangoes, berries, pineapple slices and cucumber in Mahabalipuram.


Guruswamy, 94 years ? earns Rs400 p.m as assistant in this vegetable shop
Guruswamy, the Nonagenarian dynamo

While at our Photowalk in the Saidapet Vegetable market we were impressed the diligence and briskness with which this gentleman was cleaning the shop and shifting heavy loads of vegetables.

A shopkeeper in the adjoining stall told us that he is Guruswamy and he is 94 years old(?!) He works as an assistant in a stall and earns Rs400 per day.

Though he did not look 94 to me, hats off to his industriousness.



Tomato vendor ar Saidapet market
Tomato vendor ar Saidapet market

With vegetable prices fluctuating wildly, this man must be wondering what the next day hold for him.

A scene from the Saidapet Vegetable Market.

From Chennai Photowalk #128


Basha, the Pillayar Kodai seller
Basha, the Pillayar Kodai seller

Meet Baasha (Badshah?). He sells Pillayar kodai on South Mada Street, Mylapore. He gets the components from the market and assembles them for sale.

On Vinayaka Chaturthi morning, he was lamenting that the business was dull. Someone consoled him saying that it was very early in the day and sales will pick up. Hope it did.