Author Archives: Srivatsan Sankaran

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

Monthly Meet up – May 2017

The first monthly meet-up of the madras photo bloggers was conducted on the breezy evening of Sunday at Besant Nagar, Chennai.

Bloggers and photographers joined along with the members of Madras photo Bloggers to talk about the various objectives and its importance.

The participants were also informed on the advantages of volunteering for Madras Photo blogging. This was followed by a brainstorming session where the methods for the development of a blog was discussed.

  • Importance of photo Blogging.
  • Roles & Responsibilities.
  • Future Events
  • Core Team Expansion

It was a short 1 hour meet-up, which was extremely useful.We member of MPB look forward to more

of this meets with more and more topics to discuss on!⁠⁠⁠⁠

Chennai Metro Rail Limited Underground Line – Inaugural day

After what seemed like forever, the wish and dream of the Chennai people was fulfilled. It happened on a fine morning of the 29th of june, 2015. The formula for the easy transportation of Chennai people was at last found; the metro was launched. It proved itself worthy of the delay in its launch.  The operation length of the Chennai metro is a distance of 54.1km extending from Nehru part to thirumangalam underground and it elevates to join the airport route from koyambedu.

There are so many specialties in this mode of transport including the tickets which give the only option of smart cards and no tokens. Its very attractive to see the underground doors open only when the train comes. The metro sure is a victim of the modern technology.  The importance this city gives to woman never goes down and this is signified in the specially marked coaches in pink color in every platform.

An article by Jayaroshini and Photographs by Smita Joshi.

Traveler’s Meet at Urban Desi House

On a regular day of Chennai on the 6th of May, the first traveler’s meet of Madras photo bloggers was held in association with Kolkata bloggers , Urban Desi house and with the support of Zeiss and Manfroto

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We held our breath and hoped high for this meet to be a success and today we heave a sigh and smile as our expectations were met in the best way possible.

The day’s highlight was its speakers.

Mr. Srinidhi Hande, an IT professional and blogger.

Mr. Anirban Saha, founder of kolkata bloggers.

Miss. Sai Priya, travel photographer and Mr.srivatsan sankaran, founder of Madras Photo bloggers and Beaumoments.

The day started with Mr. Srinidhi sharing his thoughts on economical travelling and also did he give tips on how one can always stick with passion and career at the same time.

The hall being filled with enthusiasts who want to pursue blogging and travelling sure did find this very interesting!

He advised on how to book tickets on low cost and how to always keep an eye on useful offers and also how to stay in the most economic places.

His session was followed by Mr. Anirban’s, the founder of Kolkata Bloggers . He sure did entertain the audience with his small jokes and kept the crowd alive throughout his session. He spoke on how one should explore all the different corners of India and come in contact with all the interesting celebrations of India which we aren’t aware of.

After this the stage was taken by Miss Sai Priya, better known as Castle mountains, she sure did give a rise in everyone’s heart race when she shared about her experiences as a travel photographer. She proved how big of a struggle is it for a woman to be a woman and walk out bravely. She is such an inspiration for women travellers And photographers

After this the last part of day was taken charge by Mr. srivatsan sankaran who gave useful tips on travel blogging and how to make and follow schedule. It was very interactive.
Everyone wanted to know the lenses he used after looking at his beautiful pictures.

The day was such a wrap.

Indeed it’s a blissful moment when things happen more than we expect it to. The workshop was beyond expectations.

We thank all those who were responsible for this workshop.

Huge thanks to Kolkata bloggers, Urban Desi house, zeiss and manfrotto for their support.

An article by Jaya Roshini and Photographs by Haris Manian.

The End of an ERA

We are Amazed, amused and startled by the way the entire city behaved today. The public, the politicians, and the cops. What a relentless job police and Media has been doing? Complete discipline and a peaceful send-off the most admired woman, late Tamilnadu CM Dr. J Jayalalithaa. Paid my last respects. An Era comes to end.

It is a saddening day for Chennaities who prayed for the last seventy four days. Honorable Chief Minister Dr. J Jayalalitha, the fond Chief Minister of the Tamilnadu who ruled the hearts of the lakhs of people is no more. There will and can never be one more like her. Love politics or not, love her or hate her, she, as an impeccable orator and a charismatic leader, has found a place in our hearts. Dear Madam, when I said as soon as I started photography that I want to take some pictures of you atleast once, this was definitely not something that I wanted to. But, being strongly inspired by her, like the rest of the people, I thought that this is the most fitting tribute I could give you. Thanks for being a woman that other women dream of! Thanks for giving a ray of hope.

An article and photographs by Smita Joshi (Focal Frames Photography),Author at Madras Photo Bloggers
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An article and photographs by Smita Joshi (Focal Frames Photography)

Story Mirror Third creativity workshop, Chennai

In the busy and fast moving roads of Nugambakkam lies the Apparao Gallery.
A place of serene calmness and mind blowing art works.The gallery in itself is very very special, but on this occasion , the 5th of October it seems to be brightly illuminated with talented writers who thrive to write their best sellers.

I,being a writer, was one of those talented lot. The workshop started with a 10 mins discussion on poetry writing, where writers were introduced to different kinds of poetry and how one can excel in them. Haikus,free style, sonnets a lot more types were buzzing in my kind by then end of the session.

This session was quickly followed by a small tour of the gallery. The art works over there still taunt me as I’m this person who can’t draw a straight line even when provided with scale and pencil.

This was followed by a very very interesting session on how to become a best seller by the autor of ” Songs of the Mist” ,Mr.Sashi. He started with Gangnam style and PPAP and ended with book marketing and spreading words about your book.It was a humour filled and obviously too much of information filled workshop.

After this session, was the highlight of the evening, the discussion round of the three celebrities present there. There was Mr.Keshav, The cartoonist from Hindu.There was Mr.Brinda Sarathy, famous script writer and director and There wasMr. Lingusamy ,famous director.
They discussed on the principles of life to success and how difficult was each of their artistic lives before they came to this position of life.
They proved to me that indeed it takes anyone’s hard work to become who they are.
Innovative questions were asked to the celebrities in the panel about their challenging lives.
With that ended the Story Mirror workshop-III.
It was a great learning workshop and it helped each and everyone who were present there the essentials of writing a novel.
It would be a disgrace to the team if I don’t talk about the delicious evening snacks which was provided.

Thanks for everything, Story Mirror Workshop.
Madras photo bloggers would love to join in your 4th journey as well.

With so much love,
Team Madras photo bloggers

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An article by Jayaroshini and Photographs by Srivatsan and Kirbaa Karan

Enthralling Navarathri Festival in Chennai | Photo Story

In the north, the beautiful people sway their hips to the dance of Garba and depict the life of Rama as Ramlila.
In the east,the devotees submerge the statue of Ma Durga in the river which is followed by a tearful farewell to send her off.In the west,the leaves of the aapta tree are exchanged which is considered auspicious.And then comes our place,the south.where the entire celebration takes place for 9 days called Navarathri by building a rack of odd-numbered shelves or padi set up using wooden planks. After the golu is covered with fabric it is then adorned with various dolls, figurines and toys according to their size, with the deities at the top.Even golu dolls have evolved these days so much that we have dolls of ganesh ji checking his phone and trains going around the golu padi.

But in the authentic way, golu used to depict the court scenes of the olden days,the day to day happenings of the Pandits and many more.Even tough that authentic touch is lost in many places there are some places where they are still kept in check.And one such beautiful place is Mylapore. I stroll through the north mada street in the morning as bhanjans fill the street and smell of the still moist sand fill my nostrils.The entire surrounding is busy as people continue purchasing golu dolls throughout the day.

I see many new and different dolls. Dolls moving their head on their own, ganesh ji poising his sense of calmness, Rama and lakshmana ready for their vana yaatra and so many more dolls depicting the old Indian myths.
The temples are a view to behold as people fled in and out to adorn this beautiful kolu.

Then comes my favourite part, the Sundal. It is kept in front of the kolu and prayed for the well being of all and it is served as prasad .With spicy chillies and small mustards it sure does add flavour to the festive season of vijayadashami. Kolu not only form a part of house but it’s seen in colleges and schools where teachers and students together enjoy this joyous moment. The series of pictures depict the mood of festival.
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An article by Jaya Roshini and Photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran and Pavithraa Swaminathan

Mahalaya Amavasya 2016 in Chennai, India

This year Mahalaya Amavasya falls on sept 30th 2016 and considered as the beginning of dussehra. It is marked as special day dedicated to making an offering to express our gratitude to all previous generations of people who have contributed to our life and it will be celebrated in several parts of India. Some consider it as the most important day for performing obsequies and rites.On this day people donate food, clothes etc to the needy.

In Chennai, It indicates the first day of Navathri which is dedicated to the worship of the deity Durga. On that auspicious day, people perform their rituals near the shore of beach, temple and home. I have documented a series of Mahalayam rituals happened in Chennai. Please check the images below.

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An article and photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran

Indian Youth Conclave Second Edition – Chennai, India

The second edition of the Youth convention popularly known as the IYC, organized by The Climber, on the 25th of September at Chinmaya Heritage Center, Chetpet. The theme of the event was being curated around the concept of “inspiration live and up-front”. The event featured some of the fine speakers and workshops from the conventional and un-conventional fields from music and dance to entrepreneurship and technology.
Coming to the organizers, The Climber is an IIM Bangalore incubated startup and was awarded the best early stage startup by Bzz Wings 2015. The Climber has also been recognized as one of the 10 best startups by TATA First Dot NEN. We have our chapters in 13 cities all over the country.They are a youth driven organization that focuses on helping students discover and pursue their passion. We connect young minds with wacky ideas, to encouraging mentors who help channelize them in the right direction.
The idea was for the youth to get inspired by the journey of people who are successful by following their passion.
The event kicked off with some enlightening speeches from Parvathi Nayar, Vikas Chawla and Sahithya Jagganathan. Their emphasis was solely on inspiring budding entrepreneurs to break outside their comfort zone and pursue their passion with girth and determination.

This was shortly followed by a stand up comedy act by Stray Factory.We were entertainments with some music and dance performances by youngsters.

Apart from this, the backstage events were happening simultaneously. Jam sessions, art and photography exhibitions and micro fiction counters were put up. The eye catcher was however the captain’s corner where the participants could interact with the mentors.
This was complemented by some eye-catching graffiti featured on the walls and photographs.

On the whole, the event was thoroughly educational with a lot of takeaways. It is indeed inspiring to see young professionals conduct events on a grand scale.

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An article by Pavithraa Swaminathan and Photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran. A special thanks to Anirban Saha, Founder Kolkata bloggers for inviting us .

Second Metro Rail Route Inauguration – Photo story

With all the hustle and bustle, the second metro line in the city was inaugurated on the morning of Wednesday by the honourbale chief minister J. Jayalalithaa. The route that connects Little Mount and Airport is 8.6 kilometres long encompassing Guindy, Alandur, Meenambakkam, Nanganallur Road and Chennai Airport. The first train was run by a lady loco pilot, similar to the inauguration of the first line.

This route will merge at the Alandur station in a different tier to the existing Koyambedu –Alandur route. Hence, people traveling from Koyambedu to Airport will have to change trains at Alandur, the process that is expected to be a hassle free one. With the fares ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50, the spending would be much effective with more lines opening in the near future.

The inaugural day saw happy faces of the metro rail officials greeting the passengers who were doing a jolly ride on the first day and guiding them. All the stations were lit up and decorated and the brand new trains also vibrated festivity and positivity.

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An article and photographs by Smita Joshi.

Vinayaga idol Procession & Immersion 2016, Chennai | Photo Story

Although the day of anant Chaturdashi is the most significant day to immerse Ganesha idol in the sea, some places also have the habit of performing the Visarjan on 3rd or 5th or 7th day of the Pooja. On the Visarjan day, the statue of the god is immersed in a water body after the final offerings of the flowers, coconuts and sweet. A grandeur fanfare with large crowds squirming in the street is seen when the idols are being taken to the ‘Visarjan’. Thousands of devotees join the procession and fill the atmosphere with chants. The procession is accompanied with Dhol and other traditional instruments.
Immersions are allowed in few public places like Patnapakkam, Neelankarai and Royapuram to reduce the debris and pollution. Below images are taken in patnapakkam since it’s the major spot for immersion process.

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An article by Smita Joshi and photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran

The Creators behind these stunning Clay creations – Making of Idols

India is a country popularly known for its rich cultural heritage. And by heritage we also mean the rich lineage it has passed down from various generations such as the different festivals and traditions.
And Chennai is not an exception to this. With the festive day just around the corner, we at madras photo bloggers decided to visit the places of origin of clay-made Vinayagas.
Kosapet, popularly known as the doll making neighborhood of Chennai, is a small village nestled into the intricate parts of the city and houses some of the major doll makers in the city.
The people living here are known for their artistic skills. Consisting of some of the major artisans in the city, the neighborhood is lined with low roofed thatched houses and one-lined pathways.
The inhabitants inherit the business and the skills from their forefathers and ancestors and it has been passed down to the upcoming generations as well.
Treading down the lesser known paths, we make keen observations about the life lead by the people here peppered with casual banter and interviews.
The smell of mud and primer lingers in the air as we near a man working on a 15 foot Ganesha idol. “Varying with the customer’s requirements, we design the Ganesha’s” he says when I question him about the white idol. “I am in this profession for more than 11 years. Being an active painter for the most part of my life, I chose this because I love this art. I fly down to Chennai from wherever I am, 3 months before the Vinayaka Chaturthi, to paint the idols” he says smiling.
Each household consists close of 4 to 5 members right from the head who are actively involved in doll making. And though they practice the same profession, they don’t fall under any contract or a factory, practicing business separately.
“The process consists of 4 major steps” says an enthusiastic elder, as I make detailed notes with a pen.
“First is the mould. We prepare that with Plaster of Paris. And then the clay is kneaded well and pressed against between the moulds. After that, the idols are completed with carvings which are not covered in the moulds. Once all the corrections are made, we give coat of gold for the ornaments”.
We watch on under the supervision of 600 odd Ganesh idols, decked neatly in the shelves covering the wall Upto the roof.
The business is an ongoing one until the advent of Aadi Masam, the fourth month in the Tamil Calendar, where they face a lag since that month is considered inauspicious and thus doesn’t house many events or festivals.
Once the month ends, a string of festivals spruce up one after the other.
“We never stagnate. After Vinayaka Chaturthi comes Navarathri. And then we have Christmas. And during the period of Thai Masam, the tenth month as per the traditional Hindu calendar, we have these street festivals (thiruvizha) and temple consecration projects” says Muniyamma, a resident of that area.
The area is covered by a resident’s association.
Inquiring about the conditions of their livelihood, she remarks wistfully about the plight of the people living there. “While the government is prepared to give subsidies and help the poor whenever we approach them with a plea, there isn’t any unity here. The rich people continue to dominate the scene and prevent any form of help from reaching us”.
The wages keep varying to and fro and it’s a struggle to make ends meet there. During peak seasons, even when they manage to sell more, the income is not a constant one.
The preparations start 3 weeks prior to the date of the festival, so it allows enough leeway for the clay to dry and seat properly.Huge Idols on street Fascinating Idols “Clay is the purest form of soil. And since it is dissolved, we are able to make a business out of it every year”. Laughter ringing loud, we make our way out of the small entrance, chuckling to ourselves.
The entire street, up until the houses, are decked up with huge idols of Ganesha which are imported from Thirupathi, where they create such idols.
“All the major ones come from thirupathi. Each lorry can carry upto 5 to 6 idols and while in transit, they might encounter damages from trees. We mend and finish the corrections and send it off to different temples as per the requirements”, says Ramesh. He is a contractor catering to the festivals in the city.
In line with the recent restrictions from the Government of Tamil Nadu, these idols are made with a special mixture made from paper and other essential ingredients with the exclusion of insoluble chemicals like Plaster of Paris. Highly soluble and eco-friendly, they are designed to ensure to not disrupt the sea life.
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Skilled artisans are shipped down from various places to correct the misplaced and chipped parts before they are set off to different clients. Covering close to about 25 varieties of Ganesha’s, it is a sight to behold.
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Having spoken in length to different people, we slowly make our way back to the city, the village fading away in the distance. With mild thunder resounding, we catch hurried movements, as each idol was covered with thick sheets of translucent plastic sheets as a protection from the rain threatening to give in any time soon.

An article by Pavithra Swaminathan
Photos and Videos by Srivatsan Sankaran and Kirbaa Karan

Therukoothu- The magic of Native dying folk art | Chennai, Tamilnadu

Not only species of animal diminishing from the face of earth, form of native folk art too. Therukoothu is a folk theatre art performed in the open space during temple festivals and effective make up, music play significant role in the performance. The art of Therukoothu handed down from one generation to another generation. They travel as a troupe that includes the actors, dancers, musicians, makeup artist, cooks and sometimes family. They are always on the move from one village to another village.

The troupe named “Ananda Muruga Sabha” from Pudupet village performed the show near Ekkattuthangal on Aug 29th, 2016. They set up their show near Amman temple which is surrounded by IT corridors and it caught the attention of huge crowd since it was rare to notice them inside the city. Their performance depicted the story of “Gangai Amman Puranam”.The dress of artists are a complex a lot – Wide colorful skirts , sparkling shoulder plates , wide dress and of course thick heavy self-make up.

Generally Koothu is performed mostly late at the night after 10 PM.No chair would be provided except for the dignitaries. The public are at liberty to stand, sit, recline in which they wish to see the play.

If you are looking for future updates about Therukoothu, you can connect with them through facebook profile

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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval.

An article and photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran.

Art Exhibition

Art Exhibition by Chennai Weekend Artist | Lalit Kala Academy, Chennai

Chennai Weekend Artists- A group of artists of varying Caliber, ages and styles who select a spot every weekend, and gather to sketch on that location anywhere around chennai. Their love for art and also enjoying that process of creation has what drawn these people together every week.

MuralidharAlagar, the co- founder of CWA says “Together we draw, share tips and skills , find mutual inspiration. We believe that every single drawing done by everyone is unique and special since we welcome all kind of free style. Some members are skilled in oil painting, some scribble with charcoal and few end with pen and Ink. They regularly post the sketch in Facebook to get feedback and improve themselves.

In order to pursue further, they have launched Art exhibition on Madras day which has caught the attention of people across the city. He says “Around 52 participants have attended this exhibition and we have divided it into two segments. First segment represents arts about the localities of Chennai and s second one is theme based arts which depict their own style, imagination and thoughts”

Moreover, a lot of artist talk shows are lined up on the coming weekend and these interaction sessions will help them pursue their skill. Famous artists such as Manohar and Mark Ratnaraj will be visiting the exhibition on 27th August at 10:30 AM and Elango will give a visit on Sunday Morning 10:30 AM.

Exhibition timing – 11 AM to 7:00 PM
Last day of Exhibition – 28th- Aug -2016
Location : Lalit Kala Academy , Chennai
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An article by Srivatsan Sankaran and Edited by Pavithra Swaminathan

Karthik Arvind Kumar

15 minutes Interview with Karthik Arvind Kumar, the young art Illustrator

Open your eye, widen your knowledge and calm your body to understand an art

And,  Open your mind, enhance your soul and brighten the spark to be an artist.  Only a great prodigy can understand the magical extract of art but it takes a legend to do art.

Professional and high class life schedules of an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer can never beat the adventurous and easy going life schedules of an artist.

The whole of madras photo bloggers team realize what great effort it takes to specialize in art and what more of effort it requires to be an artist by profession in a country where science and commerce are the two available streams.

It was such a privilege to meet, greet and have a small talk with one such inspiring  Chennai based artist, Karthik Arvind Kumar.

Who would describe his interview an eye opener when it was a heart opener?

1)From when have you been drawing? Is there any specific incident where you realized that you indeed draw well?

“Professionally, I have been drawing since December.  I draw from my 9th or 10th grade.

I was a good scoring student in my 10th. I badly wanted to go the USA to do my masters, and my family members put a simple rule to clear in all exams and go abroad with a scholarship. So, I really studied hard for the 4 years and got 9.00 gp in my exams overall. Atlast I went to the USA to later on realize I have no interest in science. My brother and his wife gifted me a micron pen and an art pad in which I started drawing. I took It to all places with me. I started my own profile in facebook and instagram and developed.”, says Karthik, the artist

2) What kind of drawing is your favorite?

“My favorite kind of art is doodling. Everyone has a different story and each one is talented in different kinds of art. My fav is doodling and I do well in portraits”, he says.

3)Being any kind of artist in India and being accepted by society and own family is a Himalayan task. Did your family support you when u decided to take illustration as a profession especially after being graduated as an automobile engineer?

“My parents always support me. It’s really difficult satisfying and impressing my brother. My mom’s the one who gives constant encouragement and professional advice regarding my job and my dad gives me non-artistic advice. But, when I told them that I’m going to take illustration as my profession,primarily, everyone lost their minds. My sister in law was the first one who told me to do whatever I wanted to do and she spoke to my family about it. So, whenever I wanted to start something new I always approached my sister in law who spoke to my brother who in turn spoke to my parents. My parents will be really satisfied if my brother speaks.

But my dad gave a clear warning that I will either be a total success or total failure. I was so sure and clear when I took up this as my profession.” , he says with a chuckle and a sigh.

4) Were there any regrets for art as profession or as passion?

“There are absolutely no regrets. Right from when I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist. There was one moment in my life when I sat on the flight from Chicago to India, staring outside, when I thought whether I’ll ever have regrets. Because I clearly know once started there’s no turning back. But, I decided I’ll never be having any in the future also.”, he says. Sir, that’s enough of Goosebumps for a sleepless nights.

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5) How much of your life do you owe to drawing?

“I owe my entire life to drawing and to art”, he say’s quickly without a second thought.

6) I went through all your work which u have published in facebook. And I must say I loved the harry potter doodle. Did u go to any class or take any course to improve your skills or was it just mere interest?

“Quentin Tarantino, the director said that he never went to film schools but he went to films. Like that I truly believe one only needs pure passion and interest to achieve their aims. I didn’t require classes, I just kept drawing and drawing until I excelled in it.”, he tells which could inspire so many people who can’t afford to carry on their course for their career.

7) What would u like to tell all the artists out there?

“All I would like to say is that: find your passion and pursue it. I regret wasting my time doing my engineering course and wasting my parent’s money. Rather, I should have just joined in some arts college.Just do whatever u like from the beginning.”, he says and ends it in style.

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Cheers and best of luck to Karthik Arvind Kumar , from team Madras Photo Bloggers.

If you like to connect with Karthik in facebook , please click here

For more of his work , please Check out his facebook page 

Interview by Jaya Roshini and edited by Srivatsan Sankaran

Photos by Kirbaakaran

Photography

Vintage portraits of Madras people – World Photography Day

Why are we celebrating World Photography day?

In 1826, French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, took that photograph, titled View from the Window at Le Gras, at his family’s country home and it was authorized on 19th august 1839.

The term photography was derived from the Greek language in which Photo means the light and Krabi means the drawing. The word “Photography” is universally accepted and used throughout the world.

And with madras day just around the corner, we at madras photo bloggers present you some of the age old vintage portraits from ester years (1870 -1900) . these are shot by various people at various instances at different time frames, but it doesn’t fail to capture the true essence of madras. presenting “vintage portraits””

Women Pounding and Cleaning Rice - Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India - 1870 Vintage-Postcard-of-Indian-Gypsies---Madras-(Chennai) Vintage-Photograph-of-a-Baker---Madras-(Chennai) victim of famines_madras Two women with a curry stone and a raggy mill at Madras in Tamil Nadu - 1870 Two South Indian Woman and a Girl - Madras (Chennai) 1867 Toddy-Drawers---Madras-(Chennai) The-Dirzee-(Taylor)---Madras-(Chennai) tamil beauty Street-Children-of-Madras-(Chennai) Potters-at-Work---Madras-(Chennai) portraits-seated girl wearing jewellery-madras 1872 portraits1 portrait of a young South Indian woman from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections - Madras (Chennai) 1867 portersmadras Native-Man-with-a-Girl-Child---Madras-(Chennai) Milkman-and-Cow---Madras-(Chennai) madrasgirlwearingjewellery madras_ladies ladyportrait1 Kitchen-Damsels---Madras-(Chennai) How-the-Dhoby-Washes-Clothes---Madras-(Chennai) Group of Village Women with a Musical Instrument - 1890's - 1900's Group of Indian Natives in front of a Statue of Queen Empress - Madras (Chennai) c1880's Gentoo Dancing girls- Nicholas and curths 1870 domastic servents dancing girls carpentary workers

An article by Srivatsan Sankaran and Pavithraa Swaminathan .Edited and curated by Srivatsan Sankaran.