Saturday, January 28, 2006


A few days back I heard the familiar whirring, and sure enough the 75-year-old -- can't recall his name -- was right outside the house going through his bicycle routine. A tin can contraption tied to the cycle frame acts like a giant rattle to attract viewers.
I grabbed my camera and started clicking away. After the show, he came up to me and announced - `I do not drink, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. I have married off four of my daughters and lead my own life independently.' I don't know why he felt he had to tell me that. I just managed to stop myself from apologising for having smoked while in college.
He puts in an appearance once in two or three months. Goes through a 5-minute routine, collects some money and cycles away.
As for the captions that go with the pics... I hope they don't fall flat.

(Check out other visitors we have had in archives - October and November 2005.)

A 75-year-old learns to cycle.

He first checked the balance. Posted by Picasa
Demonstrating a new and safe way to pedal... Posted by Picasa
Practicing pedalling. This way you do not have to worry about falling off. Posted by Picasa
satisfied with the practice he decided to go for it Posted by Picasa
managed to clamber on Posted by Picasa
getting into position Posted by Picasa
He finally got the hang of it. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. These pictures were taken a few years back in black and white. Since I am still in the want-to-try-something-different mood, thought I would sepia tone them digitally. So here goes... Next week I will try to post some details of the great sculptures in this temple. Posted by Picasa
The deity being taken out in a procession at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple. Posted by Picasa
The Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Posted by Picasa
A mantapam in front of the Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Just thought of trying something different - posting other than photographs. Starting a series - without committing myself to any frequency - that I will try to continue. Hope bloggers like the idea.
Stamp of Chennai - 1: A scanned image of the miniature sheet with an image of the more than 100-years-old Museum Theatre. This sheet and the stamps were released by the Depart of Posts in 2003 as a part of the 150th anniversary of the Museum. Some details from the information sheet: The first stamp is one of Shiva in Natesa form, a 12th century AD bronze from Thanjavur. The second stamp is a picture of the century-old Museum Theatre, a heritage building in semi-circular shape, and the third is a sculptured medallion (150 AD) from Amravati figures. The other figures on the sheet are a selection of exhibits from the museum.  Posted by Picasa
A close up view of the Museum Theatre. Posted by Picasa
The Museum Theatre. Posted by Picasa
A view of the Museum Theatre. Posted by Picasa
One of the more ornamental cannons at outside the Museum Theatre. (Adding information after seeing comment: Like the board says, it is a cannon used by the Tiger of Mysore, Tippu Sultan in 1799. Today it may be silent but it has roared in its day.) Posted by Picasa
The first day cover and cancellation. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The butter ball at Mamallapuram. Actually, this rock looks this spherical only from this side. From the other side, it looks nothing like a ball - it is just another piece of rock. Posted by Picasa
A few kilometers ahead of Mamallapuram you have a cluster of sculptures, the tiger caves. Posted by Picasa
Here are a series of sculptures carved on the walls inside caves. Here is a outer view of one of the caves. Posted by Picasa
Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain to allow villagers of Gokulam take shelter under it from the storm let loose on them by Indra, the king of the gods.  Posted by Picasa
Mahishasuramardhini - Goddess Durga, mounted on a lion, destroying Mahishasuran, the buffalo headed rakshasha. This is one of my favourite sculptures - you can almost feel the energy here. Posted by Picasa
A cowherd. One of the cave sculptures that depict a rural scene. Posted by Picasa
A sculpture inside one of the caves at Mamallapuram. Vishnu reclining on the serpent `adhiseshan.' The figure standing at his feet is one of the rakshas `Madhu' or `Kaitaban.' The other five figures are personifications of Vishnu's five weapons. The scene seems peaceful - more like a calm before the storm - the weapons are asking for permission to attack the rakshas. Of the two figures hovering over Vishnu, the one on the left is the conch, `Panchajanya'; and the other is the mace `Kaumodaki.' At the lower end of the frame (from left) are the discus, `Sudarshana;' the sword `Katkam;' and the bow, `Saranga.' Posted by Picasa
Monkey tricks at Mamallapuram. A gypsy and his monkey in front of the Ganesa Ratha. This structure is also a monolith but away from the five ratha complex. Posted by Picasa