July 25, 2008

Here’s the Luz part of Mylapore, Chennai:

Let’s start with that landmark of “Luz Corner”, the Ashta VinAyakar Kovil (temple), all lit up at night:

luz vinayaka temple

Almost opposite this temple are several pavement bookstalls that deal in second-hand books, and have been doing roaring business for years: bookstalls in luz As usual, unusual trades are plied here. Here's someone who will make the duplicate of any key you give him, within an hour: key maker luz 290608 Some people still think of others. On the footpath was this mud pot, set in the sand; the evaporation cools the water, and anyone who wants to can have a much-needed drink of water in the heat: water pot This is a typical house dating back from the 40's or 50's in Chennai: Photobucket I spotted this somewhat dilapidated cement statue of a young student on top of a house! boy's statue My daughter had been joking that vehicles get so slowed down in traffic, that it would be better to have holes in the floor of the cars, with foot pedals! A foot is "kAl" in Tamizh, and I was tickled immediately thereafter to see this sign for "kAl auto"... "kAl" auto sign Of course, here it's not "kAl" as in foot, but "call" as in "call the auto"! Donkeys are still used to carry washermen's loads; here's a cute little one near Vivekananda College: washerman's donkey As I walked along, I was refreshed by the cool breeze of a thunderstorm coming up: thunderstorm in mylapore

And I passed the KarpagAmbAL Nagar home of this famous Carnatic musician Madurai Mani Ayyar , who had also been a close family friend:

madurai mani iyer nameboard

In fact, I was very happy when many people who heard my concerts said that I could sing kalpanAswaram with some of the fluency of this gifted singer, whose music was melodious and did not resort to mathematical “kaNakku muttAyippu”s. I think I must have heard his concerts so often–my parents were one of the first I know to invest in a spool-tape record player– that probably something of his style did percolate through! (Though I must say that in my opinion, he was not very clear in his diction of Carnatic lyrics….)