Tag Archives: MADRAS

The Real Essence of Kolam contest, Myalpore Festival 2018

All great cities have a soul. Mylapore can rightfully claim to be the soul of Chennai city here in south India. It pre-dates Chennai’s birth in the 17th cent. And has seen the city grow as it has, its own. Mylapore retains the look and feel of an old neighborhood, the culture and heritage typically south Indian, yet it has not escaped development. This place that is proud of its arts, culture and tradition and people is just the setting for a cultural festival. A festival held in its very heart and around a great temple. Held every year in early January. It was a grand show in 2018 and the traditional pulli kolam contest was held as a part of festival.Around 100 women and men fought it out on a four-ft-by-four-ft space for 15 prizes in the 45-minute contest on the east end of North Mada Street.  Neetesh Kumar has captured the beautiful scenes of kolam contest during the Mylapore festival and his story telling images depict  not only the real essence of old traditional pulli Kolam but also his beautiful composition.

 

Thanks Neetesh Kumar for the wonderful pictures and all images are copy right protected.

Quick Bite with Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal has read, and represented India, at literary festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; Sri Lanka; and Slovakia. Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes Project, IWP, University of IOWA. One of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, Sonnet Mondal edits the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive, Berlin and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org) His upcoming visits include 2018 Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.

  1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I just scribbled one piece of 10 lines, back in 2006 which I don’t recall as a poem, but something which drew me into writing poetry.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

A poet’s eye is his sensitivity and together with intellect, he creates an aperture called poetry through which readers can perceive that everything we see, feel, hear and sense is not everything. I feel like travelling through my deepest emotions while writing poetry and it allows me to examine and re-examine the world. The way how I see life is best communicated through this journey.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No single piece of art can relate to all walks of life at the same time. Poetry portrays those emotions which cannot be pictured — through any direct exact way or through any other genre of literature.

Taking poetry as a curiosity and a form of expression — it has always had a limited yet pronounced space in the world.  The general mindset — that people don’t understand poetry and are unenthusiastic about reading poetry is a misconstrued rendition of the queries  — that readers have about poetry while thinking of buying an anthology. May be — it can be addressed to a certain extent by incorporating more poetry sessions or workshops in literary festivals or events.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Thoughts have no time to arrive. They may pop up even in extreme situations. They are extremely volatile and evaporate easily from mind. So I mostly make notes whenever they surface in my mind and later I work upon them after 12 at night. Night somehow allows me to give the much desired shape to my muse. The desire to have an element of surprise in my life and the desire to have a sight of the skyline through the uplifting mistiness, often inspire me to write down poems.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

Waves as such come, break and dissipate into obscurity. I think ‘Poetry’ and ‘Insta-poetry’ should not be confused. Poetry is the most pithy and figurative of all genres of literature and these artificial prefixes added to the word ‘Poetry’ don’t make them what we have known or what I call as poetry.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?

I never thought about taking my poetry somewhere. It travels with me like my shadow. Poetry once on paper is independent and can travel on its own — beyond the fences set by desire or time.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising such wonderful event.

Thanks Haris, Smita Anand and Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful pictures!

Quick Bite with Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a poet, writer and translator with five published books. Awarded by the Indian Government for her Outstanding Contribution to Literature her works’ translated into six languages & is published in The British Journal of Literary Translation , Drunken Boat, Pratilipi, Language for a New Century, The Literary Review, IQ, Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World among others. Forthcoming in 2015 are translations of Tamil mystic poet Aandaal with Ravi Shankar (Zubaan) and a short story collection (Niyogi Book).

   1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

Sweltering Madras afternoons! When I was about 7 years old, I lived with my grandparents in Mylapore. Afternoons, the adults would doze and I had free run of the garden. This is my special place. It was overgrown and immensely peaceful. There was sanctity in that silence. I’ve tried to reach that secret, welcoming place every since, through words. Perhaps this was the initial spark.

  ​2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

​I’ve been told my way of looking at the world is poetic​ — whatever that quite means. Perhaps an intensity of gaze and hearing? Seeking resonance? Reflective? Questing beauty, the everyday sacred…

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

​Doesn’t everyone become ​a poet when they fall in love? Why don’t they remain in love with life i.e. poetry?  The world will be a better place for it.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

​I write poetry whenever — on flights, before snoozing​g, I think of polishing the poem I’m working on in my sleep….  ​Poetry is a part of me. Sometimes though ​it doesn’t come easy. Sometimes pain or shock numbs me so much that I can’t write.  After my Amma passed on I couldn’t write for over six months.  At times I feared I’d never write again. Then a poem appeared, then another — trickle to flow to flood. Elegies for my mother. I’m grateful.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

​Why not? If it’s aesthetic enough it’s fine by me.  ​Geniuses aren’t ​the preserve of ​long or classical forms. But geniuses are rare.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

T​he poetry will lead, I will follow. It’s like a poetic experience.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful event.

Thanks Haris and smita for the amazing pictures!

 

Quick Bite with Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of four books, including the award-winning short story collection, The High Priestess Never Marries and the newly-released poetry collection, The Altar of the Only World.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I wrote my first poem at 7 years old, and it was built around all the words I could think of that rhymed with “cat”.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

I’ve written and read poetry for so much of my life it’s very much one of the modes through which I know myself. One of the greatest gifts poetry has given me has been consolation. At other times, it has been a way for me to salute beauty by trying to bring more into the world.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

The problem begins with how poetry is taught in schools. Students should never be forced to memorise poems, or be force-fed “meanings” of poems. This is a cruel and meaningless method, both to people and to poetry itself. Teach the word through voice, teach it as love, teach it as a shield against loneliness. It is difficult to change people’s minds later in life, when they’ve been traumatised by the way poetry has been introduced to them as children.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Whenever a poem calls to me. This can be day or night. I’ve bolted upright from my sleep many times because the words were suddenly pouring out of me. Other times, it’s less dramatic — a subtle shift aided and accompanied by music.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

In a lot of ways, Insta-poetry is a reaction to the horrible way poems are taught in schools. I like the accessibility of the medium, but I dislike how it encourages laziness, the need for constant validation, and a skewed relationship with one’s own work — it ceases to be craft if you’re counting likes.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

I’m trying to become better as a writer of fiction, and as an illustrator. I hope poetry forgives me these extramarital alliances.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful events!

Thanks Haris for the amazing pictures!

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation

Quick Bite with Parvathi Nayar

Parvathi Nayar is a writer, poet and contemporary visual artist based in Chennai. Parvathi Nayar plays an active role – and is deeply committed to supporting – the emerging renaissance of the contemporary in Chennai. Parvathi is best known for her videos and her complex drawing practices; she also engages with text, sculpture, painting and photography. Her works have been collected by institutions such as the Singapore Art Museum, BMW, HCL, The Sotheby’s Art Institute, The Australia India Institute and Deutsche Bank.

   1. Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I can’t honestly remember when I wrote my first poem, but I always did scribble bits and pieces. I so enjoy the process of writing – and rewriting!

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

For me poetry offers a form that is at once succinct and yet intense and vivid  – it is a way to talk about the things that I am thinking about or experiencing.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

I wish it could have an audience outside a literary circle, just as I wish art could have a way of speaking to a larger group of people – as this is the stuff that speaks of the human condition.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

It can take place at different times of day – its whenever I can carve out the actual time and head space for it! I’m inspired by all kinds of things to write poems – but sometimes it is an exploration for me to actually “understand” something gnawing at me, if you know what I mean. In this regard one of the poems I read out at the session stands out –  an exact from Black And White, which was written as a way of conceptualizing a solo show of mine – Drawing is a Verb at the Arts House, Singapore. It stands out as a memory from the past as a device that had a specific resonance to understanding the spatial aspect in my art. Since then a lot of the verse has had relationships with the art.

Quick bites with Erik Lindner

Erik Lindner is a poet born in 1968 in The Hague, The Netherlands. He has published five books of poetry and the novel Naar Whitebridge (De Bezige Bij, 2013). His work has been translated into many languages and in France, Germany and Italy. He has read on numerous international festivals all over the world and was a poet in residence in Berlin (DAAD Artists-in- Berlin Program), Taipei, Montreal, Athens, Marseille and Paris.According to a critic the poems of Erik Lindner can intensify our patterns of perception and sharpen our senses for what is possible.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

My first text were written in English and more than poems they were meant to be song verses, texts to sing. But I knew at the age of fifteen or so they weren’t any good, they were clichées. Than I wrote one line in Dutch: “De wereld is zojuist de trap afgelopen en sloeg zonder woorden de deur dicht.” This is maybe also not one of the best or very original lines, but it was different, it had a different sound, it was a little strange. What made me write it is that someone left and with that I knew things would change after.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

What it means? I don’t know. I have never had high ambitious to become a poet, it is just the one thing I did that I always kept doing, the thing that was the most closest to me. Expressing in words somehow was more urgent than through images or melodies, although melody and rhythm is important in my work, also in the process of becoming a poem, in carrying it to a result. I can have all sort of feelings when I am working on a poem, from joy to sadness, the important is that putting down words again after a phase of contemplating or humming certain words together, is always a liberation. So to write makes me happy, yes. It has more than emotions or inspiration to do with a certain concentration that remains always rare. I cannot always be in that concentration, often have to wait until it is there.

3. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No, poetry doesn’t speak to all kinds of people and indeed also not in all walks in life, if walks are meant to be different situations and circumstances. It could speak to more of them than they think, and also more often, but I have lost the evangelical approach that one would need to convince people poetry is good for them, if they don’t like it, let them do something else. But then again it is very necessary indeed to escape the literary circle, to survive as a poet, to learn from other people, to show it to other people than specialists. When I started in the 1980’s, I worked with musicians and we had poetry readings in youth clubs, alternative or squated theaters. That had quite a following, I could live from that in 1986 at the age of 18. These were audience that hardly read literature. But when my work grew and became less theatrical and more condensed and I was going towards my first official book in 1996, I depended on the inner circle of editors, publishers, specialists. Still, traveling is important, meeting new people, seeing how different poetry is in every culture in the world. And another example, I work with a very good art photographer Stephan Keppel and at openings of his exhibitions he asks me to read some poems. And his audience is not used to poetry readings, they take my words as images without frames around the picture. I like that escape of the inner circle very much.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

I used to write in the late evening or early evening, but that robs one from having a social life. April 2000 I wrote my first poem waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee next to me. I remember quite well the sensation of concentration it gave. Of course, one must be good awake and not sleepy. What makes me write a poem can be many occasion, just as a poem can be theoretically about everything. But not every line can be in a poem, they must be the right lines on that specific moment. I am building up to it every time, making notes, walking around, trying to see carefully the details. And very prosaic: a deadline helps.

5. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

I haven’t study it, I must say. It will interest me when a good poem comes out of it. I am not against using new media, that is only good. I have also collaborated on two video poems*. But a lot of these waves are temporary, somehow everyone always gets back to paper, even if other medium are at times more practical to carry.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Basically everywhere. I like to go back to places I have been before, create a deeper bound with them. I need to travel more in Asia, Africa and America. But than again, even with how much I was lucky to travel with poetry since 1988, I still need more decent English translations. I have books published in German, Italian and French and that felt as an enrichment coming from a small country.  But a future poetry book in English will take my work a bit easier to readers than before.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising wonderful events.

Thanks Kirbaa Karan and charles for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundations.

Quick bites with Ashwani kumar

Ashwani Kumar is an Indian English poet, author and Professor of Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). His books include Banaras and the Other (Poetrywala; Mumbai), first of a trilogy on religious cities in India; My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter (Yeti Books; Calicut) and Community Warriors (Anthem Press; London) among others. His poems, reviews and columns are widely published. He is also one of the chief editors of London School of Economics’ prestigious publication ‘Global Civil Society’. He has been visiting fellow to leading universities around the world. Presently, he is a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

  1. Can you say something about what made you write your first poem?

“I was wounded early,/and early I learned/ that wounds made me” (Adonis). Don’t remember exactly what made me write the first poem; probably when I loosened the promontory childhood memories and experienced the furious lashing of adult fantasies of vernacular language in the palai(desert) in my backyard.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

Poetry is like ‘skies with burning funnels’, and poets swim in the thick maelstroms ‘under the terrible eyes of prison ships’ as the French poet Arthur Rimbaud said. I am neither a formal student of literature nor a workshop trained poet.  So personally speaking, I feel like burning in the fire of my own ashes when I am writing poetry.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

Poetry is not an opaque mystical thing that only so-called Godmen, spiritual healers or over educated  literati  can experience.  It speaks to all. Remember what saint-poet Basavanna said “The rich/will make temples for Siva. /What shall I, /a poor man, /do? /My legs are pillars,/the body the shrine,/the head a cupola/of gold.  In other words, only poetry can heal the wounds caused by Varna divide and quotidian injustices. Thus, poetry needs to be liberated from a culturally impoverished elite minority and neo-middle classes. And we need to create more inclusive mythic and mimetic poetic spaces with million tongues gossiping and quarrelling about the poetry. I am happy that poetry with Prakriti is one such instance.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

When I am listening my imaginary Granny Maria’s favourite song ‘Picotante, paralysante…picotante, paralysante’ or when I am between my trips to the farmer’s market and making litti-chokha for my neighbours in Bavaria.  But let me tell you the truth, I often fantasize about not writing anything.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

New poetic traditions evolve, and old traditions acquire new indexical and symbolic forms. So wont be surprised if Insta poetry becomes   triumphant messenger in the hubbub of La La land of baby-faced millennials.  In short, Insta poetry is a liquid poetic body without permanent organs.  Guard it from the narcissistic, guilt-ridden trolls and bots!

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Presently planning to complete the Banaras trilogy. Hope, my poetry in future remains unvanquished satyagraha against the growing power of ‘lies and more lies’!

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organizing such wonderful event.

Thank you Haris, Gopi, Smita Anand for the pictures.

 

Inaugural Function of the Poetry with Prakriti Festival – An Orchestra of the Living

When Perumal Murugan met TM Krishna on a fateful evening in 2016, he shared with him snippet of his poetry. Perumal Murugan is an Indian author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil. He has written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry to his credit. Winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, T.M. Krishna is a famed Carnatic vocalist based out of Chennai.
It was in the picturesque temple town that TM Krishna suggested that they collaborate. What this led to was one of the most enchanting musical performances the patrons witnessed.

Murugan hence started writing verses in the arrangement of keethanas. The evening unravelled to six keerthanas and three aalaps of Carnatic music. Seemingly simple verses were transformed into intricate sung forms. The first composition of the evening was titled “Sky”, which was aptly set in the raag “Poobalam” which means dawn, speaking of perhaps a new era in music where music would be inclusive of all of the society. TM Krishna believes that music evolves when diversified- diversified in subjects, thoughts, dialects and most vitally, the people. Carnatic music has been a privilege of the upper class for too long. This is also where TM Krishna’s and Perumal Murugan’s minds met. Perumal Murugan’s verses were interpreted into compositions that transcended the surreal to ultimately attain the “absolute real”, in all its glory.

The subsequent keerthanas were a tribute to the 3 out of five elements of nature, according to the Vedas- water, fire, air, earth, wind, and space. Perumal Murugan would recite the verses first and TM Krishna and his troupe gave tunes to the lines.

T.M Krishna evoked the elements of nature by giving life to Perumal Murugan’s keerthanas crafted on the Kongonadu dialect. The performance seemed to be an orchestra led by TM Krishna’s hands that seemed to paint a picture of the visual of every element.

The mesmerizing evening came to an end with an exquisite piece on love followed by the humble artistes meeting and greeting audience members.

Thanks to Prakriti Foundation for organizing such wonderful event.
The Poetry with Prakriti festival is happening from Dec 3rd – Dec 17th 2017.

Thanks Drishya Sobhana Narayanan for the wonderful write up. Thanks Charles Antony for the pictures.

Lets go for birding in the oldest bird sanctuary near Chennai

Since monsoon is around the corner, birds from various parts start to migrate for survival. No wonder that you could spot more birds in marsh land, rural places in and around Chennai.  Deepak, an ardent bird photographer and Madras Photo bloggers panel team member is sharing his view, thoughts and ideal season to visit bird Vedathangal sanctuary. Let us all listen his view

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary  – is the oldest bird sanctuary in India. The sanctuary is preserved by the local people for over 250 years as they have found that the water that contains birds’ muck mixed with it can prove as best natural fertilizer for the crops.Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is completely dependent upon the rainfall and faces water problems during the summer season. This is the reason why permanent water plants cannot be seen here. The Barringtonia trees are found here, which are used by the variety of birds for nesting purposes. The sanctuary has a lake with lots of trees in the water. Many birds can be seen on water and on trees Open-billed storks are the main visitors of Vedanthagal bird sanctuary.

How to reach?

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located in Kancheepuram district of Tamilnadu. It is around 60 kms from Tambaram and around 25 kms from Chengalpet. The sanctuary is well connected by road and you can have a smooth ride from the city. If you rely on public transport there are buses from Tambaram, Chengalpet and Maduranthagam. The nearest railway Junction is Chengalpet to which there are frequent trains from the city. The best time to visit the park would be between 6AM and 8 AM in the morning and 4PM to 6PM in the evening when there is lot of feeding activities by the bird.

Who is it for?

Are you a bird lover? Do you find birds  fascinating? Then you are in right spot. Do you have kids? Are they asking you to take them to a new place they have not been before? Then Vedanthangal is a good picnic spot for kids and they would get to know about it.. Are you a nature lover? Then go right ahead and be fascinated by the world of birds and prepared to be surprised. Bird photography skill can easily be honed if you involve. Make sure you carry a good Telephoto lens to frame the long distant subjects.

What birds do we get to see?

Below is a list of birds and Animals that can be spotted in Vedanthangal. They usually vary from month to month. You may not be able to spot a Painted stork in early November but later in the winter. You may not be able to spot everything or you may spot new ones that are not listed below. This is not a comprehensive list and only based on observations over the years. So try to spot as many as you can.

  1. Spot billed Pelican
  2. Night Heron
  3. Cormorants
  4. Darter
  5. Egrets
  6. Painted Stork
  7. Pintails/Ducks
  8. Spoonbills
  9. White and Glossy Ibis
  10. Moorhens
  11. Coucals
  12. Golden Oriole
  13. Spotted owlets
  14. Bonnet Macaques
  15. Indian Roller

 How should I behave?

Finally, the most important thing that most of us fail to follow or not taught about is respecting nature. I have observed people calling out birds or making noises to attract them. Please do not do that. Please do not feed any bird or Animal while you are at the park. Please dispose waste only in bins provided for them. Please avoid plastics. Please do not approach any bird. Please avoid getting closer to or photographing nests. Avoid disturbing other bird lovers or making loud noises. These are few things that can make Vedanthangal one of the best bird sanctuaries in India. Happy birding.

Photography by Deepak, Muralimohan Krishnan. Jeeva Varutharaj. Gokul Raghothaman.Vijay Guru,Radheep Radhakrishnan and an article by Deepak. All images are copy right protected.

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.

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!⁠⁠⁠⁠

Traveler’s Meet at Urban Desi House

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

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

The day’s highlight was its speakers.

Mr. Srinidhi Hande, an IT professional and blogger.

Mr. Anirban Saha, founder of kolkata bloggers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The day was such a wrap.

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

We thank all those who were responsible for this workshop.

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

An article by Jaya Roshini and Photographs by Haris Manian.

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

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