Righto. August. Which means Madras Week and Madras Day. Which means PhotoWalks. Two. Also a special project details of which in a short bit. Before we go to the PhotoWalk announcement, just a small note about Madras Day on August 22. I know it is almost gospel that the date of Madras’ founding in August 22, especially since it has Madras history heavyweight Mr. Muthiah behind it. But then, even he acknowledged there was once doubt, and I think records say September 22.
But then, if I know anything, I know that history and records matter little when it comes to celebrating events, and August 22 is as good a date, if not better, than any. So then, August is Madras month, and here is how we celebrate it.
Firstly, Ram N brings you the photowalk announcements
—Though many walkers and the citymates think we’ve done enough walking in and around Parry’s Corner / George Town, we still think there could be atleast 9-10 walks more in this neighbouthood alone without repeating the same route.
Walk 1: 12th August 2012
Lets walk through the maze of Attorney at laws offices’, the Kaligambal Temple, 150+ years old Muthialpet School, Mannady, Krishnan Koil, Coral Merchant Street Nagarathar Chathirams, The Lungi Merchants, Kachaleeswarar Koil, YMIA’s Gokhale Hall, Catholic Centre, St Mary’s Church & Armenian Church. Hopefully we get to see the trade starting in the morning around the places of worship and thereby a melange of colours to capture. (We could end the walk heading for a breakfast at the Cosmo Cafeteria for many and for a few at the Hot Chips and for very few at Ramakrishna Lunch Home)
Starting Point : Front of Anderson Church, NSC Bose Road.
Time : 6:30 am
Date : 12/Aug/2012
Walk 2: 25th August 2012
This walk would also be a Gastronomic delight for many, yes we check the Kandasamy Koil, South Mint Street – Haven for snack food, Ekambareswarar Temple, Chenna Kesava Perumal & Malleshwarar Temple, the Electrical, the Gold trade pockets and end at the Rattan Bazaar Road. Obviously without mentioning the stopovers to check the Pav Bhaajis, Paani Puris, Kachodi’s in between would be a crime.
Starting Point : M A Ethirajulu Naidu & Sons shop @ Evening Bazaar Road / Kandasamy Koil Arch.
Time : 4:30 pm
Date : 25/Aug/2012
So there you go. Two walks this August. As always, be there with your cameras (or even without one). Call Srinath on 99625 10275 or Ram on 94440 62684 if you are lost or need further information.
Have I talked to you folks about a film my mates from Uni and I did?
Called “An Introduction to Contemporary Archaeology”, the film is all about the growing interest in the relatively new area of study in Archaeology – called, well, Contemporary Archaeology. The film has been selected for screening at the Eugene – Orgeon Archaeology Channel International Film Festival.
My friends – Ros (who played Brooklyn Hornswoggle-Smythe) and Pods (who played Max ‘Exeter’ Dexter) – are flying to Oregon in a month to talk about our film and the implications of it at the festival. Too bad the US visa process for an Indian passport holder is atrocious, or I would too.
So, my reading public, the legion of my fans in the USofA, please book tickets, make arrangements and plan to be at the festival. And cheer our film to victory.
Vatsan’s got this one, I should say, in the bag.
The Chennai Corporation has grown. Chennai has swallowed up nearby villages/districts into the metropolitian area. This photowalk goes to one of the villages that have grown to become a part of the city. Thiruninaravur.
Making a list of books you have/are selling is a bit of dubious pleasure. Looking at the books you have makes you evaluate your own reading habit and your taste in literature. What if the books you list are, coughlowbrowcough, or at-least appear so to others. Or other way round? What if others evaluate your bookshelf based on what you are selling. Perhaps the ones you’re selling are the ones you enjoyed purely for fun and therefore disposable. Perhaps they are the ones you attempted but gave up for various reasons. Or perhaps these were un-loved, un-needed books thrust un-asked on you by others.
Why does one ascribe greater relevance and import to books, a greater signifying power than are theirs intrinsically. The value of information about/on the book is indeed greater than the value of the book itself.
As I mentioned on twitter here (mirrored on Fb), I have stuff I want to dispose off.
Photos – shot, printed and framed by me.
Books – bought, read, enjoyed and savoured by me.
I’m giving them away for a couple of reasons.
1) I am going away for a bit of time and won’t be carrying these books with me. 2) I need the space for new books.
So here’s a list of books.
- The Fourth Protocol, Icon, Fist of God, Veteran & the Negotiator – Fredrick Forsyth
- 1984 – George Orwell
- Amazing Maurice & Educated Rodents – Terry Pratchett
- Gift of Wings & Illusions – Richard Bach
- Short Stories of Kafka
- Fountainhead, Anthem & We the living – Ayn Rand
- The Plot – Irving Wallace
- Lord Kim – Joseph Conrad
- Last Don – Mario Puzo
- Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
- Siddharta – Hermann Hesse
- Sandman 1-10 – Neil Gaiman
- Footloose Doll/Perry Mason – Erle Stanley Gardner
- Milo Talon – Loius L’Amour
- Richard III – Manga in Shakespeare
- Hammer of Eden, Triple, & Modgiliani Scandal – Ken Follet
- Train to Pakistan – Kushwant Singh
- Labours of Hercules, Miss Marple’s final cases & N or M – Agatha Christie
- Lighthouse – PD James
- Ranch War – JT Edson
- Eureka – Edgar Allan Poe
- Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K Jerome (leather bound)
- Hotel – Arthur Hailey
- The Spy’s Bedside Book – Graham Greene
- Lolita – Vladimir Nabakov
- Complete short stories of Sherlock Holmes
- Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
- Machine that changed world – James P Womak et. al
- Being Indian – Pavan Varma
- Guns Germs & Steel – Jared Diamond
- Candy is Dandy – Ogden Nash
Also have a bunch of Tamil fiction, if you’re interested.
Don’t forget – I am also selling framed (thin, black frames, matte, black padding) photos of Madras, shot between 2007 & 2008. 25+ photos.
Anyway, stone circles, cairns and dolmens are common across the world. We’ve all seen them, seemingly random boulders strewn across our landscapes. But they are in fact the result of human agency. For instance, here’s one.
(Photo credit: Pandiyan)
That’s in Thiruvakkarai, near Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu. Petrified, fossilised trees lie half buried in the ground, and dolmens, cairns and stone circles abound. There are many legends associated with this place: the trees-turned-to-stone are demon limbs, signs that a protective diety watches over the little village; while the stones are the hearth of other, less frightening demons.
The petrified trees and the surrounding land have been fenced off and put under the Geological Survey of India care. On my many visits there, a tired old man repeats the much-abused information+legend of the trees, and people go away barely interested. Instead, if archaeologists, historians, story tellers, documentary filmmakers were allowed to study and talk about this fascinating place, imagine what it could do, what it could tell us.
When did people first come here?
Why did they come here, what did they do?
What they ate and when, how did they cook their food?
Are the people of the villages nearby related to the people buried under the hills?
How old is the piece of rock, formerly a living tree? Where did this tree come from? Why did it land here?
When did this place flood up? When did this place dry out?
So many questions can be answered, if only people looked at their landscape as something more than just a maze to conquer on the way to work or play. Which is something I do, try and get people interested in their landscapes and city scapes. Because:
That was shot, to complete the loop, on another old site with a stone circle. Hawkcombe Head in Exmoor.
I mentioned this on Facebook, but I thought I might stress the point here.
When I began the Chennai PhotoWalk, I had intended it to be a fairly regular event that showcased Chennai and help clear the city’s name somewhat. As you all know, the walks have managed that. For the good part of four years, we’ve had one walk everymonth, with the odd 3 walks in a month every so often.
Unfortunately I have been unable to keep that pace up through 2011. For professional, health and personal reasons I’ve had to abandon walks I’d planned, or have just not organised any. I don’t see this situation changing much. For one, I have very little time. And what little time I do have (nil) I have to spend chasing up doctors or that little elusive thing called money and personal glory.
So here’s what I propose we all do. The Chennai PhotoWalk community is rather large and quite well connected and well informed. So, why not let the community take charge of the very thing that brought the community together? So, from March 2012 onwards, I’d like one of you (or a lot of you in turns) organise walks every month.
Pick a route, read up/ask people about it, figure out historical and other significant information about the routes, the landmarks and the buildings, get in a word or two about the architectural merits and such and you’re in game. All you then have to do, of course, is turn up to your walk and lead the assembled masses to their goal. Deal?
For my part, I solemnly promise to pimp your route here on my blog, on flickr, facebook and twitter.