In answer to Delirious–here are some famous sights and sounds of my city.
Rice is the staple, curry on top,papad and banana chips to facing left. To the right is a cup of payasam or milk and molasses pudding and a milk payasam. In the background are a row of accompanying veggies cooked as a gravy, or dry, roasted or as a salad (carrots).
The temple is an integral part of the city life. The tall temple tower used to be like a lighthouse guiding travellers to the nearest habitation. Under the tower were huge gates that were closed when there was an attack on the village, in flood, pestlence and disease–like a fortress really. It had its own water source and so could sustain many families. The store was always full of grain.
This is a depiction of Lord Shiva and his family. The guy with the mustache is a dwarapalaka–the sentry who guards (Blackcats in those days).
The temple tower has a modern road lamp in the foreground and the name of Shiva stuck on it that will glow in red….sigh!! Like you say ‘My god’ we say what is written on that neon board “Shiva Shiva”!!
The Marina Beach
The 4.5 km beach and the second longest in the world, Marina Beach is part of
the cityscape of the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. A visit to the Marina, in
the morning or evening, strolling on the pavements or sands bordered by green
lawns is immensely refreshing and gives a snapshot view of the city’s people
and interests. The sea is great for paddling but beware of violent currents.
The Saracenic heritage buildings on the other side of the beach are reminiscent of
the British Raj. The Senate House of the University of Madras has just been
renovated beautifully and is worth a dekko. A few kilometres away, the Elliot’s
Beach is now a favourite spot for the health brigade and a shooting locale for
The one strong smell associated with Chennai–the strings of white jasmine flowers that adorn Gods statues and photos in homes and shops, autos and cars, ladies hair, wrist bands, marriage venues–just anywhere and everywhere.
Every Hindu household in the South will be decorated with a kolam (a geometrical design drawn freehand by women every morning.
According to custom, women of the household began the day by cleaning the front of homes with water mixed with cowdung. This was to sterilise the entrance from infections and to keep the dust down. Then a geometrical pattern, rangoli/kolam was drawn with rice flour to welcome visitors and passers by. It was also a subtle way of feeding insects. The tulsi (basil) plant in the courtyard of homes was also watered as a symbol of renewal, what is now being popularised as greening the planet. Water was offered to the sun again as a reminder of the natural process of precipitation that was the important cycle for crops, weather and the renewal of water bodies that was
vital for all beings.