Author Archives: Srivatsan Sankaran

MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 – Round 3 (Aug 5, 2017)

  • Jagan Kumar leads 1-2 finish for TVS Racing
  • Aishwarya, Aravind score second win
  • Dinesh Kumar halts Amarnath Menon’s win-spree

Chennai, August 5: Defending champion Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing put in a command performance to score a crucial win in the third round of the MRF MMSC Fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the MMRT track, here on Saturday and moved up two spots to third on the leaderboard.

A very relieved Jagan Kumar (62 points) though had to fight hard for only his second win of the season that put him behind the front-running Honda Ten10 riders leader Rajiv Sethu (90) who barely nursed his bike to third-place finish and Mathana Kumar (66) in the championship stakes after a race that was cut to a four-lap sprint following a red-flag stoppage due to an oil spill on the start-finish straight and was re-started.

Jagan, starting from pole position, slipped to third due to a poor start as Sethu and Mathana Kumar passed him on the very first lap. However, the red flag stoppage provided Jagan a second chance while Sethu’s bike bled speed and Mathana retired due to an electrical problem. It set Jagan free and he was followed home by team-mate Harry Sylvester and Sethu.

“I am very relieved that I won today, though I was not happy with my pace. In Friday’s practice, I did 1:57 (one minute, 57 seconds) lap and today, I was two second off that lap pace. I had some issues with the bike, but I think I will not tinker with it for tomorrow’s second race,” said Jagan.

Also scoring an impressive win was Bengaluru’s Aishwarya Pissay (Apex Racing) in the Girls (Stock up to 165cc) category to further consolidate her position at the top of the leaderboard with 65 points.

The race witnessed a bit of elbowing among riders at the front before Aishwarya overcame a poor start to clinch a dominating win to move to 65 points, ahead of Indore’s Kalyani Potekar (51) who was docked 10 seconds penalty for causing collision that took out Alisha Abdullah on the start straight and was placed third behind local girl Shruthi Nagarajan (Honda Ten10 Racing).

Aravind Balakrishnan, courtesy a fine victory in the Pro-Stock (up to 165cc) category, caught up with leader and his Honda Ten10 Racing team-mate Mithun Kumar who finished a distant fifth. Both are on 83 points with the second race of the round to be run on Sunday.

In the Super Sport Indian 300-400cc class, Kozhikode’s Amarnath Menon (Gusto Racing) saw his four-win streak ending in a cloud of dust as he crashed on the last lap during hot chase of Chennai’s Dinesh Kumar of the newly-formed Team Alisha Abdullah. Despite the non-finish, Menon is still comfortably placed at the top with 100 points, well clear of other contenders Deepak Ravikumar (51, Moto-Rev) and Vivek Pillai (75, Rockers Racing) who finished second and third respectively.

The results (Provisional):

Super Sport Indian  (Up to 165cc) 4 laps: 1. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (08mins, 06.210secs); 2.Harry Sylvester (TVS Racing) (08:06.370); 3. Rajiv Sethu (Honda Ten10 Racing) (08:12.951).

Super Sport Indian (300-400cc) 6 laps: 1. Dinesh Kumar D (Team Alisha Abdullah) (11:48.208); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Moto-Rev) (11:55.445); 3. Vivek Pillai (Rockers Racing) (12:08.044).

Pro-Stock (Up to 165cc) 4 laps: 1. Aravind Balakrishnan (Honda Ten10 Racing) (08:30.837); 2. Naresh Babu (RACR) (08:32.463); 3. Aravind Ganesh (Chennai) (08:39.352).

Girls – Stock up to 165cc (5 laps): 1. Aishwarya Pissay (Apex Racing Academy) (11:18.287); 2. Shruthi Nagarajan (Rockers Racing) (11:29.306); 3. Kalyani Potekar (Team Speed Up Racing) (11:37.258).

One-Make Championship – Honda CBR 150 (Novice) 5 laps: 1. Satyanarayana Raju (Hyderabad) (11:08.098); 2. Balaji G (Chennai) (11:22.842); 3. Senthil Kumar (Coimbatore) (11:23.098).

TVS Apache RTR200 (Open) 6 laps: 1. Kannan Karnan (Chennai) (13:16.480); 2. Sivanesan S (Chennai) (13:16.578); 3. Yuvaraj S (Chennai) (13:17.312). Novice (6 laps): 1. Romario J (Chennai) (13:23.636); 2. Anup Kumar M (Chennai) (13:23.803); 3. Shankar Guru J (Chennai) (13:30.885).

Support races (Girls) – Honda (5 laps): 1. Ryhana Bee A (Chennai) (11:26.214); 2. Kalyani Potekar (Indore) (11:41.677); 3. Shruthi Nagarajan (Chennai) (11:41.767).

TVS (3 laps): 1. Aishwarya Pissay (Bengaluru) (06:52.318); 2. Ann Jennifer (Chennai) (07:02.739); 3. Priyamvada Saradhi (Bengaluru) (07:15.431).

Courtesy: AP Media Communications

Photo Credits: Srinivasa Krishnan

MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 – Round 3 (Aug 4, 2017)

  • Bikers revving up for another round of hot action
  • Keen battles in offing for top spots

Chennai, August 3: The battle lines will be drawn afresh this weekend when the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 commences on Friday at the MMRT track in Sriperumbudur, near here with hectic jostling for leaderboard positions in all the categories.

As many as 19 races are scheduled to be run over three days after Thursday’s practice sessions besides the second round of the MMSC fmsci Indian National Drag Racing Championship which will be held on Saturday (practice) and Sunday evening (final runs).

The spotlight will be yet again on the intense rivalry between Honda Ten10 Racing and TVS Racing riders in the showpiece Super Sport Indian (up to 165cc) class while the path-breaking National championship for girls (Stock, up to 165cc), an MMSC initiative and introduced this season, has thrown up its share of exciting competition with Bengaluru’s Aishwarya Pissay (40 points) of Apex Racing heading the leaderboard from Team Speed Up Racing riders Kalyani Potekar (36) from Madhya Pradesh and Chennai’s Ryhana Bee (35).

Likewise, the Stock (up to 165cc) class for Novice riders has proved to be a resounding success with 50-plus entries requiring two preliminary heats to decide the grid for the point-scoring final race.

In the other two categories of National championship, 21-year old Amarnath Menon (Gusto Racing) from Kozhikode has dominated the Super Sport Indian 300-400cc class winning all four races so far while Mithun Kumar of Honda Ten10 Racing is comfortably perched at the top in the Pro-Stock (up to 165cc) following three wins in four outings.

Country’s top two-wheeler manufacturers Honda and TVS have also weighed in with their highly competitive One-Make Championship in the Open and Novice categories besides support races exclusively for girls who are thus guaranteed plenty of track time over the weekend.

In the two rounds of the National Championship thus far, 18-year old Rajiv Sethu (Honda Ten10 Racing) from Chennai has caused a big buzz with his dominating performances marked by three wins which put him ahead in the Super Sport Indian (up to 165cc) class with 75 points, just ahead of team-mate Mathana Kumar (66), and will be looking to consolidate his position.

Defending champion Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) has not had the best of starts this season with just one win and 37 points to show for his efforts to be placed fifth behind team-mates KY Ahamed (45) and Harry Sylvester (39).

Courtesy: AP Media Communications

Photo Credits: Srinivasa Krishnan

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

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

16 x9 traveller meet final 2

DSC_0648-2 DSC_0647-2 DSC_0640-2 DSC_0597-2 DSC_0587-2 DSC_0565-2 DSC_0260-2 DSC_0228-2 DSC_0209-2 DSC_0205-2 DSC_0202-2 DSC_0191-2 DSC_0183-2 DSC_0164-2 DSC_0162-2 DSC_0111-2 DSC_0105-2 DSC_0090-2 DSC_0074-2 In the compact and calm hall of urban desi house, about 40 + photographers and bloggers met to gain motivation and knowledge for their passion.

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