Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Festivals of Madras | Photo Series

Alike the national festivals – Independance day and republic day and religious festivals – Diwali, Holi, Navaratri Eid, Muhurram and Christmas etc ,.A large number of festivals and Fairs are celebrated in madras throughout the year.Also, Chennaities celebrate local festivals like Panguni Urstavam, Ther , Thai Pongal, Music and Dance Festival with great fervor in Chennai city. Below photos represent the various scenes of local festials and backstages. Thank you participants for submitting amazing photos for the festival theme.

Credits : Raghav Prasanna

Credits : Deepak Sundar

Credits :  Kirbaa Karan

Credits :  Lakshmi Ramanan

Credits :  Mukhil

Credits :  Prabhakar Ramakrishnan

Credits :  Ramesh Raja

 

Credits :  Sanath Kumar

Credits :  Shamini Shammu

Credits : Siva Prasad

Credits : Siva Prasad

GRANDEUR OF PARTHASARATHY THEER (CAR) FESTIVAL BY LAKSHMI RAMANAN

Madras Photo Bloggers is featuring  *Story Inspired by the Theer festival* article  by   Lakshmi Ramanan

◊ – words with the mark are explained below the images

Idly◊ was whistling away in the kitchen. The aroma of sambhar◊ wafted throughout the house. Filter kaapi◊ was the befitting beverage for that morning. Big golden silk borders adorned the mamas◊ and mamis◊ of the house alike, simplicity was reserved for another day. Tiny tots who were adorned with Srichoornam◊ ran in as time tickers, giving constant updates. All cousins had gathered under their grandfather’s house, it was ‘thaerottam’ or the car festival which was taking place in Triplicane◊ Parthasarathy temple.

“Keshavaa!”voice called out “Come here”

“Keshav Chittappaa◊! Thata◊ is calling you!” the little messenger screamed at the top of his voice as he rushed across the house

“Thata?” A deep voice responded briskly “Tell me”

“Keshu. Can we leave?” He said pulling his walking stick

“Thata! You have tied the panchakacham◊ very well” he said, “you are as always splendid young man” reaching his hand out to the Septuagenarian. He was someone whom you just have to respect, he commanded that out of people.  His grandfather was beaming with pride as the entire family of the old couple, his four sons and four daughters and the next two generations made their way through the crowd.

They went all the way near the thaer, and prostrated in front of the Lord. It was grandeur all around, The decoration around the Thaer was a league apart. The pagoda like top had cloth draped with srichoornam. Dwarakabalaka◊, Yali◊, and horses surrounded the Lord, while few men also made their way up. Among them were the pandits,◊ nadaswaram◊ and mirdamgam◊ players, playing exclusively to entertain the Lord. The lower half had many idols of the Lord was intricately carved in. The entire structure was supported by large wheels, taller than an average standing man. Streets had a festive look, they were washed clean, with large kolams◊ decorating every inch of tar road. It was a sight to behold. Keshav however looked around nonchalantly.

The procession started with the hymns being recited by the panchakacham clad pandits. Everyone prostrated before them marking their respects. Following them were fleets of photographers weaving in and out of the crowd. The finally chains of people aligned themselves clinging on to the chains dragging the thear. Behind the scenes was always something that was missed. A rod will give a tug to push the Thaer, three men will climb upon one wheel and pressure them to propel the thaer forward. It was undeniably focused team effort. To conclude it all would be a yet group of pandits who recited the vedas.

Keshav stared at the whole scene, his face was expressionless. “Grandeur – but why? Did the God ask for all this? If he is prevalent in everything, this is all meaningless. There is no peace in doing these, they distract us from praying” His troubled mind was never put to a rest. These thoughts kept coming back to him throughout the procession.

***

As the night fell over the tired streets, grandfather’s mind was fixating on Keshav and his disturbed . He went over to engage him in a conversation. “Does Perumal need this grandeur? He has everything doesn’t he? Same case at Tirumala◊. Did the Lord ask for these?” Keshav spoke fast, unable to hold the questions with himself any longer.  Thata took a deep breathe, I’m happy that you are asking the right questions. Thoughtful indeed. Kesu, these do not concern the Lord the least is the fact.”

Keshav opened his mouth, his grandfather held up his hand to silence him and continued

“With that said, why do we have these elaborate ceremonies? These ceremonies help us tune the mind, in fact so much of sastram◊ is to tune the mind. Why do we need to tune the mind should be your next question. Mind gives yo u ultimate control over the self, a great man is one who mastered the mind. To get there we can choose from the nine forms of devotion, Do know them?”

“Oh yes Thata! Listening, chanting, singing, archana◊, prayer, then like deva dasis◊, thinking Lord to be a friend, serving his feet and finally self-surrender. I remember them, but how do these help?”

“Devotion compels you to involve yourself. The drums, the beats, the agarbathhis◊, the abhisheka◊, the alankara◊, the slokas◊, the ithiasas, the puranas are the varied triggers for the different minds. Once they involve themselves into devotion it helps to spread positivity. Stay with me, “he paused , “The arrangement today, Hymns were sung even before the procession would start, leading the crowd through and through. While they dragged the car, they were shouting Govinda◊ Govinda and finally, vedas◊ were recited by a another group of pandits. These calm the atmosphere, spreading the positive vibe. That vibe can be felt when you visit a temple, when you stand in the pooja room, that calming vibe is set afloat. It is harnessing that positivity. Positive affirmation, harnessing that cosmic energy, and to be there one must be satisfied. Their wounds should have healed and they must believe in a greater source of power to keep them grounded.

As for grandeur – Rest assured God never asked for this sort of celebrations, we human would have would have come up with it to break the monotony of life, thus taking care of battling the stress factor. Then to admire the work of artists, what more does the artist want than appreciation and respect. Carpenters, Kolam artists, Painters, Dancers, Musicians, Bhajan Goshtis◊, cooks, the list is endless. This makes people happy, accepted and respected in that society. Society becomes a well-rounded one, people with diverse occupations well rewarded.”

Singing Hymns – A form of Devotion

A Classic Iyyangar style kolam and the view of the forerunners of the procession

A Classic Iyyangar style kolam and the view of the forerunners of the procession

Among the wave of pandits

Intricate carvings on the ratha / Car

Idly it is a south indian breakfast prepared from soaked rice and later steamed

Sambhar is side dish for Idly and other breakfast items; it is tamrind dal gravy with vegetables

Filter Kaapi – Coffee brewed with water forced through grounded beans; favourite beverage of many in Tamilnadu

Mama – A respectable way of calling male, usually who is older than oneself in TamBrahm household

Mami – A respectable way of calling female, usually who is older than oneself in TamBrahm household

Srichoornam – The three lines appearing on the forehead of Shri Maha Vishnu devotees

Triplicane – A locality in Chennai which has the ancient Temple dedicated to Shri Maha Vishnu

Chittappa – Tamil way of addressing Father’s brother or Mother’s sister’s Husband

Thata – Tamil way of addressing one’s Grandfather

Panchakacham – Dothi wrapping style which is usually around 8 meters long

Dwarabalaka – guards who guard the doorway to God

Yali is a mythical animal with a body of a lion but with a trunk of elephant

Pandits are those who are knowledgeable

Nadaswaram is an wind instrument with a long tube like structure with a wide flat base opening

Mirudhangam is a percussion instrument

Kolams are decorations that is drawn in front of the house to decorate entrance. It is geometically complex and is drawn with rice powder

Tirumala – Famous temple at Tirupathi

Sastram – The ideal way of life stipulated by ancient people

Agarbathis – Incense stick

Abhisheka is process of bathing the idol at temple

Alankara means dressing up and in this case refers to dressing up of the deity at the temple

Sloka is prayer

Itihasas are stories as told by forefathers of Hindu religion

Puranas are ancient stories, refers to epics which is Ramayana and Mahabharatha

Govinda – Another name for Lord Maha Vishnu

Veda is the holy scriputures of Hindus

Bhajan Ghostis are those people who sign songs about the Lord

Thanks Lakshmi Ramanan for the wonderful story and pictures. All images and content are copy right protected.

The Vibes On The Beach – Chennai , Tamilnadu

The beach is not only known as a place to relax ,but as a place for the artists. Many of times you see artist portraying the beach with their paintings, photographs or by singing about its magnificence and its splendor. No matter how descriptive nor how detailed the picture is though it can never capture the beauty that the beach really holds. Below curated photographs represent the different moods of the chennai beach in different seasons . Thank you Participants for the wonderful response

Photo Credits : Saravanan Ekambaram

Photo Credits : saravanan krishnamoorthy

Photo Credits : Lakshmi Raman

Photo Credits : Bharath Kumar

Photo Credits : Ramesh Raja

Photo Credits : Mustansir M Lokhandwala

Photo Credits : Siva Prasad

Photo Credits : Deepak Sundar

Photo Credits : Prasanna Rangarajan

Photo Credits : Viknesh Vicky

Photo Credits : Siva Prasad

Photo Credits : Saravanan Ekambaram

Photo Credits : Augustin Samraj

The First Street Video Walk in Chennai | Parrys Corner , Chennai

Finally it happened. Weeks long planning, extensive ground work and result was amazing. We conducted our first Street video walk in Chennai under the guidance of Vasanth Saravanan, Director of Madras Photo Bloggers. Street videography is a very interesting genre.  We Stepped outside the boundaries of the four walls and our comfort areas, with our camera and mobile; smelled and experienced the dirt on the roads, noise, stares and madness of rush on the streets.  The streets on Parry’s corner offered wide opportunities for the amatuer Videographers to take video of streets, vendors, street food, merchandise and many other dimensions of the bazaar atmosphere there. The participant’s enthusiasm was quite high despite it was drizzling throughout the morning. We, Madras Photo bloggers thanks Kirbaa karan, Harish Manian and Charles Antony for the great support throughout the event. Well done Team! Image copyrights: Srivatsan Sankaran

We will be coming up with more  exciting events in a while and will share them . Stay tuned for more updates.

The streets of Chennai | 9-15 July 2017

As madras day is around the corner, people are curious to explore heritage sites, streets and culture to percieve the knowledge despite informations are available in websites sporadically. Madras Photo bloggers thrive to provide the platform for the artist to showcase their work  in the medium of images, words and videos. We, the team of Curators picked ten pictures from the facebook group pool which have depicted the “streets of Chennai”  The Streets of Chennai reflects  the candid moments, the aroma of the place and life style. We will be coming up with more interesting articles and events in a while. Stay tuned.

Picture Credits : Aron Anderson

Credits : Deepak Sundar

Credits : Lakshmi Raman

Photo Credits : Mustansir M Lokhandwala

Photo Credits : Muthu PSM

Picture Credits : Prabhakar Ramakrishnan.

Picture Credits : Ramesh Raja

Picture Credits : Sanath Kumar

Picture Credits : Saravanan Ekambaram

Picture Credits : Siva Prasad

Thank you participants for submitting the pictures and we will be coming up with more interesting articles from next week. Stay tuned.

MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 – Round 2- Day 2

Chennai, July 9: Riders from Honda Ten10 Racing team put in dominant performances as Rajiv Sethu and Mithun Kumar hogged the limelight even as another young gun Amarnath Menon of Gusto Racing achieved a grand double in the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship which concluded at the MMRT track, Sriperumbudur, near here on Sunday.

While 18-year old Sethu, in scoring a double, led a 1-2 finish for Honda Ten10 Racing in the premier Super Sport Indian (up to 165cc) class with Mathana Kumar finishing second, the team, spearheaded by Mithun Kumar, swept all three podium spots in the Pro-Stock (up to 165cc) category.

Equally impressive was 21-year old Amarnath Menon from Kozhikode who extended his domination in the Super Sport Indian (300-400cc) class to repeat his performance of the first round at Coimbatore last month. Menon, thus, has won all four races in his class.

Peddu Sri Harsha (Sparks Racing) survived an incident-filled Stock (up to 165cc) race that boasted a grid of 39 riders and red-flagged after two laps following a series of crashes before re-starting to complete the scheduled five laps.

Much of the focus today was on the Super Sport Indian (up to 165cc) and the Pro-Stock (up to 165cc) classes which were run on a combined grid. Like in the first outing on Saturday, Sethu rode a well-judged race. Starting from pole, Sethu yielded ground to reigning champion Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) who made a daring pass on the left-hander in the Bridge Complex only to crash out at Turn-4.

Jagan’s exit came a lap after his team-mate KY Ahamed who was shadowing Sethu had crashed. It gave Sethu a clean run up front and he opened up a gap. for a comfortable win ahead of team-mate Mathana Kumar while Prabhu Arunagiri (RACR) finished third.

“I had a tough fight with Jagan initially and after he passed me at the Bridge Complex, I decided to bide my time before trying to regain the lead. But he crashed soon after and I broke free to win,” said Sethu who through meditation has learnt to reign in his aggression and impatience.

Mithun Kumar more than compensated for a horrendous first race where he finished sixth after starting last on the grid due to an errant bike, by destroying the Pro-Stock field for his third win in four races. His team-mates Anish D Shetty and Aravind Balakrishnan, winner of the first race yesterday, came in second and third, respectively.

“I was very disappointed yesterday when my bike had some electrical issues. Today, I started from pole and managed to open up a big lead. In the latter half of the race, I decided to play safe and just cruised,” said 23-year old Mithun who had won both the races in the first round..

About Madras Motor Sports Club

The Madras Motor Sports Club has been the pioneer in developing and promoting motorsport in India since 1953, and we look to further improve in the years to come. It is the club’s endeavor to provide more opportunities for competitors and to this end, it has chalked out a progressive program for 2016. From the days of Sholavaram , MMSC built its own racetrack which was inaugurated in 1979 and secured its FIA Grade-2 international certification in 2015, making it the only club which owns such a facility. The club has organised the Porsche Super Cup, Formula Campos, Formula Asia, Asian touring car championships, Formula 3, Tata Prima Truck racing championship, the Asian 2-wheeler racing championships besides a host of other motorsport events over the years. The club also has active participation for its events from vehicle manufacturers who also use the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) extensively for testing their products.

Courtesy: AP Media Communications

Photo Credits: Srinivasa Krishnan

MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 – Round 2- Day 1

Chennai, July 8: Rajiv Sethu of Honda Ten10 Racing, showing maturity far beyond his 18 years, came up with a stunning ride to win the premium Super Sport Indian (up to 165cc) class race in the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Morocycle Racing Championship at the MMRT track, near here on Saturday.

Aravind Balakrishnan, only 22, brought more cheer to Honda Ten10 Racing team by topping the Pro-Stock class that was run on a combined grid with the Super Sport Indian (165cc) while Kerala’s Amarnath Menon (Gusto Racing) scored a dominant win, his third in as many outings, in the 300-400cc category.

In the Girls (Stock, up to 165cc) caegory, Ryhana Bee, the 23-year old from Chennai studying shipping and logistics, pulled off a fine win over pole-sitter Aishwarya Pissay (Apex Racing Academy) with a late-braking manoeuvre at Turn-4 mid-way through the five-lap race.

Aishwarya, winner of the first-ever National championship race for girls in Coimbatore last month, eventually came in third behind Madhya Pradesh’s Kalyani Potedar (Team Speed Up Racing).

Sethu, starting from pole position, yielded ground to reigning National champion Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) early in the six-lap race. However, in the third lap, Jagan dropped out of contention due to a technical problem with his bike and Sethu needed no second invitation to forge ahead. He gradually increased the lead to win from TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed and Prabhu Arunagiri (RACR) with about three seconds to spare.

“Early in the race, I had some problems with the bike and had no choice but to allow Jagan to pass me, but when he dropped out, I moved in front and did not look back. The team did an excellent job in giving me a winning bike,” said Sethu on notching his second in three outings.

Further down the field, another intense battle raged in the Pro-Stock class after pole-sitter Mithun Kumar (Honda Ten10 Racing) was shifted to the back of the combined grid for having missed the warm-up lap due to mechanical problems.

It left Aravind Balakrishnan and Aravind Ganesh (Team MotoRev) to fight for top honours. The duo kept trading leads before Balakrishnan got his nose in front to win with little to spare.

In sharp contrast, Menon, though starting second on the grid behind Deepak Ravikumar (Team MotoRev), was in a league of his own in the 300-400cc class race once he got into his stride that saw him move up from third to first and then extend his lead with each lap for another commanding win. Vivek Pillai (Rockers Racing) finished second while Ravikumar came in third.

About Madras Motor Sports Club

The Madras Motor Sports Club has been the pioneer in developing and promoting motorsport in India since 1953, and we look to further improve in the years to come. It is the club’s endeavor to provide more opportunities for competitors and to this end, it has chalked out a progressive program for 2016. From the days of Sholavaram , MMSC built its own racetrack which was inaugurated in 1979 and secured its FIA Grade-2 international certification in 2015, making it the only club which owns such a facility. The club has organised the Porsche Super Cup, Formula Campos, Formula Asia, Asian touring car championships, Formula 3, Tata Prima Truck racing championship, the Asian 2-wheeler racing championships besides a host of other motorsport events over the years. The club also has active participation for its events from vehicle manufacturers who also use the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) extensively for testing their products.

Courtesy: AP Media Communications
Photo Credits: Srinivasa Krishnan