Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

When Gods Descend on Mylapore…

It is that time of the year when Gods descend in droves onto Mylapore in their best colours.  It was Navaratri all of last week and hence “Kolu” time in Chennai. This is that time of the year when dolls come out of shelves and get neatly arranged on well laid-out steps in many houses.

I was in Mylapore last weekend looking for some of these “Gods and Goddesses” for my mom. She is a Kolu (or Bommala Koluvu as we call it)  veteran of almost 30 years. Some pics here:

Never saw a Kolu-specfic Satya Sai Baba idol before! He must be the only human being to make it to any  Kolu steps!!!

All the big ones are made of papier mache and weigh much lesser than the smaller clay ones. But papier mache ones cost more than clay or p-o-p ones. Besides, they are more brittle and need extreme care. If stored carefully, they can last more than 30 years.

The South Mada Street

I was looking for something specific…and I was so dizzy upon finding it (and imagining the pleasure my mom would have at this acquisition) that I forgot the golden rule: Bargain hard! Don’t ask me how much I paid for it…almost a bomb!!! The Garuda Vahanam, a strong Sri Vaishnava icon (follow the white arrow in the pic).

This might be purely ladies stuff….but there is a good deal of opportunity to test one’s mythology trivia quotient. By the way, my mom prefers to do her kolu during Sankranti (Pongal). So it really works out well for me to do this shopping towards the last days of Navaratri…the rates tumble down.

Photo Walk: Nageswara Rao Park, Chennai

It is Gandhi Jayanti today. I decided to do something I had not done in years. Parks were always my favourite places to visit as a kid. I remember one where I used to play as a child and the smell of wet grass was always so sweet.   So I decided to relive those pleasant memories with my camera. There are many parks in Chennai but I chose the somewhat historical Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore. It gave me an opportunity to  ride the suburban trains of Chennai (including the elevated MRTS) too (a future subject for a photo walk…or a photo ride).

Presented here is the photo walk:

The board at the park. Though made of brass, it was in a precarious position. For those unaware of Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao Pantulu, he was a freedom fighter , the inventor (if you please) of Amrutanjan pain balm and the founder of Amrutanjan Limited in 1893.

A game of volleyball was in progress at the end of the park. Looks like these boys play here regularly.

The park had a shady choupal too. But there were none sitting on it this evening.

Point taken. Apt advice. But where are the flowers???

Well, here they are, the flowers….Pale Pink Mussaendas (Maw-zin-das?)  in their full bloom.

Park and chess…! I was wondering what this sign meant.

It meant these…little concrete tables with chess boards. Bring your own pieces, find a challenger and get going!

There was this huge chessboard too! But no chess pieces…just a little girl playing what seemed like hopscotch.

…and someone playing badminton.

…and in quiet corners, there were those who bought the privacy for each other.

The health-conscious folks of Mylapore are all here thanks to its long pathways.

These could do with some walking too as the weather is so good.

I was acually looking out for him…the iconic man-in-the-park-with-a-newspaper.

Hmmm…Wet, green grass. How I wish I could roll in it.

Flowers blooming and continuing the cycle of life.

How thoughtful…apart from sponsoring the upkeep of the park, they also share some good historical trivia with the visitors.

Fresh fruit on sale just outside the park.

…and the balloonwallah too!