Tag Archives: CHENNAI

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

Creative White Balance And Seascape Photography experiential Workshop

White Balance :

White Balance is an aspect of photography that many digital camera owners don’t understand or use – but it’s something well worth learning about as it can have a real impact upon the shots you take.Every digital camera has a White Balance or Automatic White Balance (AWB) setting in the camera menu. But how many of us actually use it or even know what it is for? This workshop gives clear picture of White balance and It won't be theoretical class instead Mentor will help you to experiment in various levels. It gives vast experience and one could implement in various scenarios.

Seascape photography is a very interesting genre of photography. Its not only about the typical postcard image of the beach, the blue sky and the palm trees but there are a lot more to it. Today it is considered to be a separate genre of photography and no more a subset of landscape photography. Your knowledge of the tide timings, weather conditions, the location, the lighting conditions, intelligent usage of shutter speed, aperture and ISO can offer you flexibility to imagine out of the box and implement them in your frame once you are clear with the concepts. If your camera allows you to choose different shutter speeds, aperture and ISO, then you are in for this workshop. This is unique and results are magical. In this workshop, mentor will demonstrate the various creative ways how you can use your camera's settings to create some amazing seascape images. One compulsory requirement for seascape photography is a sturdy tripod. Combination of right white balance and proper settings will help to understand the deep perspective of image.

ND FILTERS :

ND or Neutral Density Filters, they certainly have their uses, but what exactly are they and how can you decide which is the correct one for you. Mentor will help you to guide to choose the right one for the right situation.

WHAT IS AN EXPERIENTIAL WORKSHOP?

An experiential workshop is a unique concept, where you walk in, get guided, try your hands on 'do it yourself' practical exercises and then, walk away with some amazing images. During an experiential workshop, our experts hand hold you on your camera settings and create an environment for you to get that perfect shot.

MENTOR

Srivatsan Sankaran hailing from Chennai is an Engineer by education, but a die hard Photographer by passion. He has been pursuing his passion seriously for the past 7 years. His primary objective of photography is to bring out a sense of union with Mother Nature and a sense of singularity with people. Exploring and experiencing the new places to capture nature, small creatures, people’s life style, culture and tradition in the sincere way gives him immense happiness. He has won ‘Shoot the Frame' award in 2012, he was one of the ‘Top 10 Tamron winner’ in 2013 and his work has been published in more than 20 magazines including Nat Geo Traveller.

Cab will be arranged to pick the participants at Thiruvanmiyur Signal and will drop the same after the workshop .

SCHEDULED DATE, TIME AND VENUE

30th JULY 2017 (Sunday)
Time – 4:30 am - 8:30 am (Early morning)
Venue - Kovalam Beach, Chennai
Meeting point - Kovalam Beach, Chennai
Cab Picking point: Thiruvanmiyur Signal
Meeting time - 3:30 am

PACKAGE COST
Rs 700 per head inclusive of all taxes.

GETTING READY FOR THE WORKSHOP

Carry your DSLR
Carry wide angle lens
Carry ND filter if available
Carry a camera protection cover
Please do carry a sturdy Tripod, for good sharp pictures in low light conditions.
A thin plastic cover to protect the tripod from beach sand could be a good idea
Carry camera remote, filters if you have

REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT

Please click on the 'Register for Workshop' tab on the top / bottom right corner of this page to register yourself. Once you fill in your details and click submit, you will be redirected to the online payment page. Your registration is completed and confirmed only after a successful payment process. In case of any difficulty, please connect with us - [email protected]

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

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.

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.
1-15

1-13

1-14

1-12

1-7

1-8

1-9

1-10

1-5

1-3

1-2

1-11

An article by Jaya Roshini and Photographs by Srivatsan Sankaran and Pavithraa Swaminathan

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.

img_3359

img_3354

img_3341

img_3335

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.

8-img_2455-edit

7-img_2453-edit

6-img_2447

3-img_2427-edit

5-img_2444

1-img_2392-edit

2-img_2409-edit
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.

img_1715

img_1705

img_1728

img_1741-copy

img_1762

img_1769

img_1780

img_1798

img_1804

img_1813

img_1827

img_1838

img_1850

img_1855

img_1868

img_1881

img_1895
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.
IMG_6966

IMG_6969

IMG_6988
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.
IMG_6994

IMG_7017

IMG_7026
IMG_7057

IMG_7524

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

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.

Eyes Closed Butterfly Girl Flagship

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.

Heart Felt Monk Mother Earth Save the Earth Vader Water Days Wilderness

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.

madras

12 lesser known Facts About Madras

Everyone knows that Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre in South India. we have collected various unknown facts about Madras and presented them with images. prison YMCA onetwothree music india Highcourt higginbothams forbes Edited_one day3 Chepauk Arts college

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

Image Copyrights: Dayanidhi, Raghav K, Srivatsan S, Balu Velacherry, Mustansir Lokhandwala, Chandy, World YMCA.

Triplicane

Triplicane Addiction – Madras, Tamilnadu

Niranjani, a street photographer, recently explored Triplicane, one of the oldest localities in Chennai. Triplicane still carries the flavour of ‘Madras’ in its narrow, bustling lanes, old buildings and cultural richness. Triplicane is one of the few areas where cows casually amble alongside humans in the congested streets. Read on, to explore this fascinating locality through Niranjani’s lens.

In Niranjani’s own words…

“I was walking alongside a cow. We were surrounded by two-wheelers, autos and two buses wedged in a road that was just wide enough to accommodate them. It was a typical Triplicane traffic jam.

My soul mate was nestled in my arms, waiting for a gap in the traffic jam, through which he could escape into the narrow lanes of Triplicane and capture excited young faces, vibrant houses, roadside idli sellers and families enjoying a breezy evening on their front porch. Yes, my soul mate is none other than my camera, and here are some unforgettable sights that Triplicane has to offer.”

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

zero hour

Zero-Hour

In the light of some of the incidents in this beautiful city, we are forced to confront and question some of the basic moral values which have governed us humans.

A dark day

It was a beautiful morning and the day looked promising enough to be called a fitting run-up to a well-earned weekend. It is not always one gets the luxury of a day off. It was something that I was looking forward for a long time.

What began as a normal day, turned out to one of the worst days ever. A girl of 24 was hacked to death, in broad daylight, at one of the busiest suburban stations of the city. Reportedly she bled to death with several onlookers apparently stunned to act.

Her dad had just dropped her off the station. Did he know that he was seeing her for the last time? Did she know that she was getting off that bike once and for all? Did her mom know that she would never get to pack her daughter’s lunch ever again? I hope her sibling knew that he played his best pranks with her the night before, for she would be gone to dust the next day.

What really killed her?

What really made me feel miserable was the public apathy that apparently killed the girl. It was neither an ungodly hour nor was it a deserted place for it to happen. (I am not justifying the relevance of deserted places, people). She was lying in a pool of her own blood while all those people were reportedly shocked to react. She was probably rewinding her own life in those last moments, trying to find one instance where she had hurt someone, knowingly or unknowingly. She was probably begging God to spare her life, to live with her family, that she had loved all her life.

Would the onlookers have been handicapped and stunted in a similar way if that woman in a pool of blood was their own sister? Mother? A friend at least?? What caused this lack of humanity? Was their job and deadline more important than that life which was on the brink of death?

People talk a lot, but when it comes to the zero-hour effect, they seem surprisingly hypocritical. This is a city which had shown immense courage and grit at the face of a natural calamity. When faced with a man made atrocity, we failed big time. I am quite sure as to we will still fail in future, because we are such hypocrites. We take pride in clapping for those bravery award winners, yet we don’t care about the soul that is possibly begging for the boon of life in front of our eyes.

The reaction

Enough posts have been made, shocked expressions and proud exclamations made and written, criticizing, condemning, demeaning the witnesses for shaming us with their mere existence. And some of them go to the extent of making grand statements of how they were not present in the scene to make their classic hero move.

Now this drives us to the fundamentals – In the face of a crime scene, how does the person react?

To run would be the first thing any of us can think of. While some may just decide to be a passive spectator to the incidents going on.

But the irony of this incident is, even while help was available, nobody was prepared to lend that to the girl. Brutal, yes! We are just gearing up for a long debate, both the sides of the party arguing for the cause they believe in.

That apart, what actually brought this? Have we humans shrunk to such a low level, that we would rather see a fellow human die in front of our own eyes, than get our hands stained in the process?

Calls for some sensible action rather than debates and arguments.

A look into the human psyche

Meera Shivashanker, a psychologist cum writer in Chennai, throws some light on the incident.

“I think for one it happened too fast, and the gore and shock of it all was too much to take. Nobody expected this. People in India are scared of being stuck in the long processes in the name of judicial processes in our country. People who want to do the right thing are harassed, and they probably get threats from police and the other side. Their lives become a never ending circle of courtrooms, police station and what not.”

So judicial procedures and regulations are one thing whereas, what does an average human being in his senses go through when he faces a situation of this kind?

“From the human psyche perspective I think its self-preservation. Protection of the self. And, fear. The sight of blood always stops people in their tracks and their immediate instinct is to back off”.

On a positive note, she concludes saying there needs to be a significant shift in the mind-set. With specific reference to certain countries abroad, people have witness protection programmes and others which give us the assurance we mostly need.

Shift in the mind-set is easier said than done. And in a country driven by customs, we find it hard to break out of routine.

“Also media plays a key role here” says Selvam, an MBA grad residing in Chennai. “Our minds have become suppressed and we have been made to believe to expect an external person to jump in and raise a voice against wrong doings. Movies often portray a single person as a hero, by dimming the limelight on the surrounding ones. So subconsciously, we have learnt to accept what is happening to us and expecting an external person to take the lead and raise a voice against it. By that, we have truly become impotent.”

Making a first move requires a lot of courage, not just to face the complications, but also other questions thrown upon by spectators.

“Our Duty has become your duty” where we have gone to the level of questioning the ones who get down on the field to lend a helping hand.

The law is on your side

Above said, conditions have improved considerably with respect to judicial and legal procedures in India. Persons directly involved in offering help to the victims are protected from all legal complications. They don’t face any charges either directly or indirectly unless there are reasons to believe otherwise. This comes in the wake of a recent Supreme Court directive issued in order to protect those Good Samaritans who come forward to help those in distress. Although this directive is focused majorly on road accidents and the like, we have a reason to rejoice that the judiciary has its heart in the right place when it comes to issues like this.

Introspection

How one should react in this a situation can’t be mandated, but when one is faced with a crime situation or sees somebody getting victimized, don’t hesitate to step in. You have the law to protect you. Anyway this is not the kind of atmosphere or mind-set that we must be proud to live in. Stepping up at the right time, goes a long way in setting up an example to the society. If change doesn’t come from within, where else would it come from?

I think it is time to take a few minutes off from our seemingly busy lives and introspect. There is nothing wrong in seeking materialistic wealth, but is it worth at all at the cost of lives? This is just not the legacy that we are supposed to leave behind fellas!

Like charity, let compassion also begin from home.

An article by Megha Sreeram and Pavithraa Swaminathan. Edited and curated by Kishor Lakshminarayanan.

Safest Metros

CHENNAI RANKS SECOND, IN THE LIST OF THE SAFEST METROS IN INDIA

Chennai ranks as the 113th safest place in the world, in a global survey, which was conducted recently, among other international cities in the world. And currently, it is considered to have one the safest metros rails in India ranking as number 2 as against Mumbai which ranks first in this order. This in turn brings to light the various facets of the metro rail which makes it safe compared to the others in the country.

19107334230_f8e2095ec6_k

From a generic view, Chennai is emerging to be one of the cities of choice because of its relatively lower crime rate, less pollution and better education standards. Now with the Metro Rail in tow, the city has climbed one step further in providing quality life to its people.

The first phase of the multi-crore Metro Rail was flagged off by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and was opened to the public on Monday, 29th June 2015. And the eye catcher here is that, it was steered by a young woman, a 28-year-old diploma holder in engineering from Government Dharmambal Polytechnic College in Chennai. Now this became instant news since she was one of the first women to man a metro rail in Chennai. This speaks with great regards to the open mindset of the people of Chennai.

“Chennai has the right mix of conservative and modern mindset, making it one of the safest metros. Also they are more civic minded when compared with other metro cities in the country” says Kishor, a citizen of Chennai who has resided in other metros in the country.

Looking at it on a deeper level, one can easily note that none of the metros in Chennai are crowded. This stands as a glaring difference when compared to the flooded suburbs of Kolkata and Mumbai. Many cite the cost of the travel as a significant factor for this, since on a comparative level, the fares are at the higher end. And compared with other means of public transport, Metro Rail fares are mighty costlier. This makes it safe for traveling especially when one is looking for the comfort of ride etc.

Also when one chances a look into the control room panels of the metro rails, you shall note that they work day and night in shifts without missing a beat. And the trains stand out with strict adherence to timings making sure that the passengers are not made to wait unduly hours in order to board their trains.

And just like an airport terminal, the entire place is covered in cctv surveillance cameras which are manned by security personnel 24*7 throughout the weeks.

So far, the metro rail project has materialized in certain parts of the city alone but the response is really good. Barring higher costs, this accounts for a safe travel to the destination without any constraints.

As Meera, a regular commuter in the Chennai metro says “A hassle free secure ride, a girl could possibly ask for! We could board easily and the compartments were spacey and comfortable due to lesser crowds.  And with additional security, this deserves to be given the tag of a safe metro”.

Photo Courtesy – Focal Frames Photography

Medical

Why Chennai is called the “Medical Hub Of India” ?

Adyar la enga thambi?”, “Cancer institute pakathula na”.

“Madras medical college la kadaicha my life will be awesome”.

“Inga illana kandipa Sugam pharmacy la irrukum”.

“Kannuku mai mattum azhagu illa Shankar nethralaya um azhagu dhaan”

All these are few things every Chennai person could easily hear on a regular basis. All of us know Madras is the cultural cub of South India but how many of us know that Chennai is the medical hub of India?

 

Medicine has always been an important part of Chennai. Starting right from the British times, Chennai has been a magnet for medical tourism. This progress didn’t happen overnight. It dates back to the days Chennai was called Madras.

Let’s get into some facts:

  • First Indian artificial insemination was done in Chennai by Dr.Kamala Selvaraj.
  • First laser surgery, open heart surgery in India was carried in Chennai.
  • Chennai has been termed India’s health capital bringing in about 150 international patients every day.
  • The medical lineage of the city began with the first hospital of India set up at Fort St.George on 16thNovember 1664 by Sir Edward Winter to treat sick soldiers of The East Indian company. The hospital grew in all fields and now stands before us as Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

Apart from this, Chennai has a strong base of health care non-profit organizations and NGO’s. One such example is the Indian Heart Association, focused on cardiovascular health prevention.

Institutes like have been Adyar Cancer institute,Apollo groups,CMC Vellore,Sankara Nethralaya have pioneered in their respective fields and have paved way for new medical treatments.

In March 2012, the Government General hospital performed its 1,000th kidney transplant, the highest in any government hospitals in the country.

With low treatment costs to hygiene facilities and hassle free waiting period, the city has been taking care of every single soul with utmost warmth.

Chennai, the hub of life saving.

Written by,

A proud Madrasi.