Thursday, February 4, 2010

Empty station

On the Beach - Tambaram suburban train line, there are some 'important' stations and others which are not so. Chetpet is not one of the important ones - to me it had always seemed to be a station which was placed more to break the monotony of the stretch between Nungambakkam and Egmore than to serve any commercial or even public interest.

Even so, Chetpet station is normally not so empty; it is just that, close to noontime on Sunday, there are just a few people on the platform - and fewer in the train!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last light?

Heard that work on renovating the Victoria Public Hall has begun. Look forward to the first meetings there soon - wonder if the coloured glass panes will remain in place!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The old, the new

For a long while, I wasn't sure why this building - at the junction of Flowers Road and Dr. Alagappa Road (Ormes Road) - had caught my eye. Looking back at the few pictures I had taken of this, there didn't seem to be anything special about this building: like many others in the vicinity, this seemed to be another building with shops at the street level and residential spaces in the floors above.

Now I think I've figured it out. This building goes back to the 1930s; unlike many of its contemporaries, this one does not present itself in its original form today. A lot of the flourishes have been replaced by more recent construction - take the fascia under the eaves on the first floor, for instance. The houses of the '30s typically had carved wooden ones, (like this one), but here, it seems to have been replaced by a more functional wooden plank. The verandah has been protected by bars taking up space between the original wooden columns. The tiles are newer, and have flattened the gables - I imagine there must have been a couple of them initially.

And most of all, the construction on the second floor seems to be completely modern. Even though this building does not have the stately look of an old construction, it seems to be in better shape as a habitation right now!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A decade of the festival

The Mylapore Festival can justifiably claim to have inspired at least two other public celebrations, the Madras Day/Week and the Chennai Sangamam. The former is, of course, coordinated by the folks at the Mylapore Times, the same people who run the Mylapore Festival also.

While the newer events are run on a much wider scale, the Mylapore Festival retains the charm of a neighbourhood mela. As the website says, it has grown from being a kolam contest to a 30-event, 4-day festival - and yet, retains the spirit of a small village fĂȘte, where everyone knows everyone else!