Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ready for immersion

Ready for immersion

Every year following Ganesh Chathurthi, immersion of idols takes place at Chennai’s seashores on the first or second Sundays, that depend on the celebration of the festival. Here are photos shot at our nearest beach (Palavakkam) which is allotted for the idols kept around south Chennai to get immersed and on this day, the idols kept flowing into the beach front following number of processions. A Sunday back we tried to check the beach to see the immersion, but we couldn’t make it possible and the roads to the beach were blocked by row of vehicles standing for a km. The picture above and below are few years old, showing the idols kept on the beach before cranes uplift them into the sea and a fishermen taking an idol in the catamaran to immerse into the sea.

Idol sail

P.S. Posting under the series PowerShot Sunday

Friday, September 27, 2013

My first tourist destination

Being a Chennaitie, my first tourist destination outside Chennai is perhaps Mahabs.  But Mamallapuram being my ancestor’s town I could not consider it as a tourist destination first and I have been there countless time and many a visit to the town has sighted in any of the sculpture site. My most favorite place then at Mamallapuram was Venna Tharatna Kal (butter ball) and we frequent there esp. to have fun sliding on the rock slopes.

Cheese ball
Krishna’s Butter Ball is a natural wonder, where a large rock boulder balance on the sliding rock surface is believed as a stone found on Krishna’s plate. The Pallava kings had tried to pull down the huge boulder with the help of their elephant force (thinking anytime the rock could roll down) but failed in their attempt. The lush green lawn in front of this rock (once an open ground for cattle to rest) take  one for pleasant calm and as a group to sit and chit chat.

I have been strolled behind the rock slopes and crossing the gaps between rocks and there was a well with green water, which was called Sita Kinaru (well) because it is believed that Sita bathed in that well. I have no pictures on them, but I still hold memories on those sight and there was also a path lead to our relative’s house then. I hope everything were blocked and fenced by ASI, doing wonderful job in protecting the sculptors and rocks. We never thought then these places will take such pleasant enhancement and flourish in green.

Arjunan Penance
Another place I liked and which is close to butter ball was Arjunan Penance. It is a giant bas-relief filled with marvelous carvings of various human forms and animals; the most fascinating part overall for me personally then were the Elephants. The sculptor of elephant couple and cute calves carved on the bottom of the bas-relief could be a favorite sight for any child and the pit reveal the bottom part was something dragged me then to look what is inside.

Monkey, looks for lice
Another pretty scene next to this site was a sculptor of monkey looking lice on another. As kids (me and my bro) we used to go and stand behind the sculptor and pose like looking lice on the monkey sculpture. Beneath the monkeys, there’s a small slide to play and a rock carved steps to climb on, but I don't like it much as the natural sliding near the butter ball. The slide was partially hid now after the earth rose because of the lawn making.


Just thought to write something for the World Tourism Day today and here’s a brief account on my first tourist destination out of Chennai.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A dry leaf

A dry leaf

Wind blows away far inside
thrust a dry leaf
fragilely fall to ground
as a stranger into our home.

Wrinkles make an impression,
aged or illness drops it down
a dry leaf runaway

desire controlled by wind.

Hand pickup & drops away
sometime led to dustbin
or where it swept from
to rejoin its journey by wind.


The picture above was captured by me on a dry leaf, but slightly under wet condition. The poem is related to home experience. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

CSI Church, Valparai

CSI Church, Valparai
The first time when I landed on Valparai (near Coimbatore) was a day prior to Christmas and the CSI Church in the heart of the town, was illuminated in colorful bulbs and decorated Christmas trees. We just passed the church in thought to return next day, since the sight catch-up with the festival mood and the shops were all doing bright business, selling stars and decorative item hanging around, the main road stretched in festival spirit.
We stayed at a house adjoined to our relative’s there, supported to take us to the church and shopping but we couldn't makeup next day as we returned to the town too late at night after visiting a faraway place into  Kerala. We could have made a visit other day, but we lost somewhere our interest due to visiting other places or various attractions.

CSI Church Valparai
The photos here are captured during my second visit to Valparai and we haven’t visited the church this time as well. But I was glad to capture some glimpse of this pretty white church constructed in shape of pyramid and three storeys with balconies and a clock on the top floor. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My lazy model

The snail entered our house as an uninvited guest, without resisting I leaned a white sheet (with the help of dad) transferred her from the floor to my table to conduct photoshoot. I shot her from different angle and without hesitation or go hiding inside the shell; she copes well with the photo shoot, giving various poses exposing her glitter and glam even in low light.

My lazy model - Snail
I don't want to trouble her much, so finished shooting as soon possible and left outside to crawl back to her home. She wore a shell, designed spiral and color similar to her pinkish showy skin and black stripes on each side. 
Eyestalk search
Searching for something unknown using her eyestalk 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A small paradise lost in neighborhood

I know that I already miss badly the birds and green canopy that gave me great company and joy in my previous residence by shifted home, but I was glad even I can’t keep watching the birds, they cherish the green space spread over the neighborhood. Not only birds, but snakes and few reptile species and mongoose were resident of this wild vegetation that has Gulmohar, Peepal tree, Albizia saman and Camachile (which often sighted with parrots perching) to name among the number of unknown shrubs and bushes. I was shocked to know from my parents who visited our old apartment flat today, that the entire green space of our next compound where destroyed to ground level prior to building constructs.
The picture shot during one foggy morning of winter, overlooking our car parking partially taking shelter by trees and bushes.
From the time we shifted to that apartment 7 year’s back, leaving our native home in Adyar, the plot next to ours was vacant to be only occupied by wild vegetation and few flowering trees. The plot seemed to be under lawsuit, left untouched by the owners and even it went through a partial cleanup of green during our time of resident, it took a new leash of life from the debris. I used to tell to my mom that if they happen to construct the site we should look house somewhere else, because, only the environment outside the house made me sustain over there. It’s a treat to visual and hearing everyday expose to birds and their sweet twitters, kept me inspiring throughout the years.

I couldn’t digest it now hearing from mom that everything was uprooted and down to ground level in couple of days. My inspiration for bird watching was brought up from there, and I have seen all kind of birds in common there rather some regular visitors like Kingfisher, yellow billed babbler, mynahs and long time resident Asian Koels! To say in few words it’s a small bird paradise comprising birds of immigrant! Post monsoons, we get to see many water birds like Pond Herons, Little egrets, Cormorants and Water Hens visiting the plot which would look like a pond with 2-3ft in water. Two days of constant rain is enough to stimulate the sleeping frogs to raise alarms and snails begin crossing our parking a lot.

Parrot nibble on Camachile (fruit)
A green parrot nibble on Camachile (fruit)
The vegetation and trees had been a sunshade for our apartment, as all cars are parked beside the compound wall it provides a canopy from sunlight and heat. At the end of summer, the Gulmohar (right in front of our doorstep) would whoop red flames adding glory to shimmering green shrubs and in rain adorn by sticking dewdrops on fern tips.  The Peepal tree on its part, cheered, when I feel downfall by clapping with its palm like leaves to the wind motion and rolling on ground as dry leaves making crunchy noise as music. Apart being a dump yard in case absence of garbage collector, the open plot is a hideout for snakes and its archenemy mongooses, who make noise occasional like clashing with snakes?

A bird amid bush
A bird (mynah) amid bushes
I feel at least good, that the cleanup does not take place when we staying there and for me to see my favorite green space deriving empty. I at least hope the birds that make their way home there nestle somewhere safely. But I wonder and worry what would have happened to the snakes and mongooses that have least way of escaping, since all sides are enclosed by compound walls adjoining buildings. I was feeling somehow down for disown the green space by shifting house, but hope to develop my own green space around the new home… the cleanup has come up with least uplift in my feeling that I no more miss them, but lost entirely to its own destruction in name of development. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

வானவில் / Rainbow

வானவில் / Rainbow
மேகம் வந்து குடைபிடிக்க
சாரல் பின்னணியில்
மின்னல்  மின்னி அடுத்த படம்;  
வானவில்லின் வண்ண புகைப்படம்.

Clouds gather to hold umbrella
in the drizzle background
an image captured at lightening flash;
a colorful photograph of rainbow.


Above is a photo I shot at Kodaikanal while come back from Poombarai…  I witnessed more than couple of rainbows within less than 10km radius.  Here is a rainbow captured near Pillar Rocks and never like before, the place was so empty with all shops shut, we stopped the car in the middle of the road and shot this marvelous rainbow which I ever seen such colorful and long visible curve. If you look careful, there’s a trace of another rainbow above the present one.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vellaiyammal, the Big Temple Elephant (no more)

You all know that The Thanjavur Big Temple, also called as Brihadeeswarar Temple is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architecture pinnacle of Cholas, built thousand years ago by RajaRaja Cholan (in 1010). Vellaiyammal was a 63 year old elephant donated to Thanjavur Mariamman Koil Temple by veteran actor Shivaji Ganesan when she was a year old, shifted to Big Temple in later days.

RIP Vellaiyammal, The Big Temple Elephant
I visited the Big Temple during its millennium year of built and find the Vellaiyammal blessing the devotees and tourist entering the temple, by standing between the first and second gopuram (tower). The elephant seemed very kind being, moving side-by-side constantly, wore a neatly drawn bar on its forehead and stars on each ear. I stood there sometime watching its activity and captured few shots (flash off) before moving inside the temple without a mind to move on.

During my childhood I fear a lot for elephants and every time a mahout drives elephant across our street I would go and stand on our balcony to watch it safely. Before the ban imposed on elephants being used for begging on streets in our state, we could see temple elephants drove by mahouts on streets to make their own collection out of elephant’s free time. Every time I hear a bell sound, I would rush out to look for elephant and so was my affection toward them even I still bear little fear for them, I love the pachyderm sincerely.

Blessed by Big Temple elephant
Vellaiyammal was suffered from knee pain for the last seven years, due to old age, made her unable to lie or sleep properly. The elephant had been on stand for last few years, slept only by slanting on the wall and was often fell ill to get treated by doctors, breathed her last after fell down at the early hours of morning today. Hearing this I couldn't avoid recollecting the moment stood in front of her and watching the majestic beauty, inviting us into the Big Temple.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rain and Chennai - from my personal note

Twilight Rain
Pic by Jeevan
Chennai has become a cool paradise over the last few days of constant rain, due to low pressure in Bay of Bengal. It was quite pleasing these days and was inspiring a lot, despite feeling lazy to do something in sleepiest mood which remind me my school days, where I used to feel sluggish during the early hours of morning at any rainy day.  And once the fans are switched on, I used to feel like sleeping infinitely at the desk. After long time I feeling the coldness of rain, perhaps due to sand and soil environment surrounded this house unlike our early apartment which has cement floors around that keeps away the wetness and cold.

Here I could experience rain on all sides of the house rather only the southern side get wet in our early house in apartment, so it won't be cooler whether it rains or winter dews. My grandmother used to say it’s very cool at their house, but coming to our house they would experience warm in winter. Because of the position of the house, the sunlight used to fall on the walls of our house throughout the day keeps it warmth the whole night. It was an awesome benefit we lose utmost by shifting our house; the summers were never like that before, which I used to say to my cousin that how much, you pay, you could not buy this caressing wind.

We gain and lose certain aspects that used to be our favor, but doesn’t life based on balance? We experience pleasure in rain, as well it become pressure in case crosses the limit. Coming to Chennai, showering is very special as we left with brief season of monsoon and many a time rain becomes a mirage, showing its grey face but fail showering grace. At same time, moderate showering could leave the city congested with lack of proper drainage facilities and uncontrolled vehicle population always make rain fall prey down. With no space for water to drain, no use blaming the rain!  

Photo shot at our street light while it rains one evening. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Random travel modes

Ashok has nominated me to participate in a Travel Photography contest by Rhino Car Hire… The theme is to depict modes of travel captured during ours… so here are my pictures based on travel from my random trips.

crossed the bridge
This picture was shot at Pulicat Lake, also called as Pazaverkadu - the second largest salt backwater lake come lagoon in India.  Before a bridge was constructed in year 2009 across the lake to connect the island village near the estuary (where lake meet with Bay of Bengal), Boats were the only sources of transport alternate to buffalo carts that wade thought water during low tides. Fishing is the livelihood of Pulicat, where they fish both on lake and sea.

Periyakulam Horse Cart
Captured in Periyakulam, Theni district of Tamil Nadu, the Horse Carts are still used as transportation there apart few other towns. The horse cart, also called as Tangas in India and its neighboring countries and it is a popular mode of transportation because they are fun to ride in, and are usually cheaper to hire than a taxi or rickshaw.

Train station, Karaikal
While driving to Karaikal Beach, we cross the Karaikal railway station which looked deserted and a Train was stationed stretching up to the ramp of platform. We slowdown the car across the track after passing the gate; I took this shot without hurry knowing hopefully no train arrives. Karaikal is a part of Union territory of India coming under the Pondicherry administration.

Cycling boy
Shot this picture (using mobile) at the outskirt of Chennai, where a boy riding his Cycle on the village streets… following one is from the same road, where an old man pedaling cycle, perhaps make sitting his grandson at rear carrier. Cycles are a common and basic transportation mode which has health benefits as well as eco-friendly vehicles. For kids, riding bicycles are much favorite and no one could have escaped from having fun with cycle during their childhood days and getting warrior scars.

A old man

HAL HPT-32 Deepak (a model plane)
I have never fly across the sky in a flight and I have no pictures on airways… so here is a Flight model I shot at HAL museum in Bangalore. The HAL HPT-32 Deepak ("lamp" in Sanskrit) is an Indian prop-driven primary trainer manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The aircraft can accommodate one passenger and the student and the instructor can sit side-by-side.

Indian Hummer
At last here is my travel mode Mahindra Scorpio. We bought this car in 2011 and even before it we had a similar one, only because for my comfort we continue to choose this model. For me it’s an Indian Hummer… because it took me almost everywhere I love to travel. My cousin shot this while caught in a traffic jam at Kodaikanal.

Monday, September 09, 2013

The last four months

There was a mixed feeling being shifted to this house more than four months back. There were many ups and downs related to family and home environment, but the part of my life travels on similar path, more or less, nothing bothered me much and I don’t feel much change in my life, apart some mishap with father (who’s just back to normal after his bike fall) which led our life thought physically trouble and emotional stress. For nearly two months, mom had been the only caretaker of mine to take care of my needs indeed without the support of dad, which was the troublesome phase ever in my life.

Our small backyard
our small backyard
Today everything seem to be nothing and the difficult times are no more, because, they are almost become a part of my practical life. Leaving those behind, life has been wonderful with pros and cons and the weather on other hand had been very pleasant these days unlike extremely hot when we shifted home back in April and followed by sultry May. The rain that make way through last two months had sent wakeup calls to mosquitoes (even though they aren’t new for us and they are almost everywhere around Chennai) we are forced to close all the windows and door before 6 pm to prevent them enough. Even we can’t sleep without fans on; glad we have an inverter to keep us asleep when the power goes off often when it rains.

Yellow flowers
 The house is well lit throughout the day without a need for lights (each room has two wide windows) only the wind couldn’t enter much unless there’s heavy blow outside. We aren’t daring to keep all windows open to make free entry for mosquitoes since we haven’t put nets for windows like how we done at our early house. Though it isn’t a matter anyway, but maintaining the house to keep clean wasn’t easy enough which was double the size of our early one and with trees around we can’t stop leaves thrown down.  But what I liked more was the small garden space of the backyard, which is enough to say than nothing, and who won’t dream of a house with garden space. I liked it much and want to see it bloom with flowers and grasses.

White frangipani
Before we come to this home, my bro wanted to make lawns with the open spaces around but once rain stared to pour the grasses began to grow on its own on the open space. I know they aren't the grasses use for lawns, but a kind of wild weeds growing fast to a foot now and looking for a cleanup. I suggest mom to direct a cow (those pass our house everyday and some time lie close to our compound for the shadow of the tree) to have the grasses as its breakfast, but she don’t like my idea saying that it will also eat our others plants.  

Button roses
We had re-planted some of our pot plants there and there’s already a yellow flowering shrub and bougainvillea that need to grow enough to see blossom. There are jasmines, hibiscuses, anthimanthaarai (4 O'clocks flower) and button roses (check the collage above) growing close to ground. It’s so good to see them blooming like white bulbs every morning and 4 O'clock flowers in cheerful yellow, there’s also a white frangipani tree at our parking dropping fabulous flowers. Just four months old, the neighbors were still strange enough except for this only family that made touch with us, since facing our side front it was easy making friendship with them.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

PowerShot Sunday - Dashboard Ganesh

Dashboard Ganesh

Dashboard Ganesh is the name I given to this pretty little idol that embellished our car dashboard before it broke away a year ago. The idol was made of marble and about 2 inches in size!

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Picture by Jeevan
A bubble
breathes for a brief
like a fish out of water.

how colorful our world
being a transparent globe.

Like a projector
 reflects creative lights
using its thin layer of film. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Smokey and the Bandit

I had fun on Sunday watching the film Smokey and the Bandit, a comedy action entertainment featuring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason. The 1977 film, based on a series of high-speed pursuit has commendable comedy scenes comprising action and hilarious lines, settles on a simple track of transporting a truckload of beer across state lines of US.

Two truck-divers (Bandit and Snowman) accepts the challenge of picking up a truckload of beer from Texas to southern Georgia, which is illegal at that time to transport specific kind of beer across state lines, for the refreshment of two big-shots.  Soon enough both were at the highways; Bandit on his black Pontiac Trans Am (a speedy car) kept roping the police towards him (as a decoy) to keep away their attention from the illegal truckload driving by Snowman. Meanwhile Bandit picks up a runaway bride ‘Carrie’ on his car where he becomes the target of Texas Sheriff ‘Justice’, a senior law officer whose younger son was yet to be Carrie’s groom.

With specific time and distance in miles, the film runs at high speed chasing, skating, jumping and floating of cars was highly influenced by CB radios, through which they seek acquaintance from fellow truckers that help them to escape from police pursuits. The most interesting part of the film was music, which captivate the mood exactly while on pursuit and increases the speed thrill. The best of all was legendary Jackie Gleason’s character as law officer targeting the Bandit, whose serious intentions all make laugh as it become funny.

Apart Burt Reynolds and Sally Field - as lead make charm and become sweet companion on the pursuit - the ‘Pontiac Trans Am’ has been hero wades through different terrains. The film seems to be inspiration for many films unrolled on the series of pursuit and I could relate many Indian movies with similar stunt sequences which perhaps could be a replica of Smokey and the Bandit. The film director (Hal Needham) himself been a stuntman has left impression. It is the only movie I have experienced with constant chasing entertainment… may be there could be some need to check.