Friday, March 28, 2014

Leaving Chennai

I am taking off on the next phase of my India adventure today after lunch.  I am not normally a lover of cities, especially big, noisy, chaotic cities.  But for whatever reason, Chennai has captured my heart.

There are usually quite a few people out on the beach at sunrise.  Days start early here because once the sun is up, it's too hot to be out unless absolutely necessary.

The sunrise over the Bay of Bengal; the women in brightly colored saris, kurtas and salwars;  the men in plaid veshtis with striped shirts; the bougainvillea; the people people people everywhere, walking in the streets; the cows, dogs, goats, emus;  the beautiful houses; the piles of garbage; religious festivals; temples; political rallies; the street vendors; the piles of fruits and vegetables on carts everywhere;  the colorful flower vendors outside every temple; families of four all on one motorcycle; the kolams outside every house.

The waves pounding;  people speaking the kings English with the distinctive Indian accent;  people speaking Tamil; dogs barking; horns honking, honking, honking all the time;  chanting here at home and in the distance; ceiling fans whirring;  crows cawing; the squeak of the gate out front opening and closing; the zoom zoom of motorcycles; the putt putt of autorickshaws; 

The wonderful smells wafting from Indrani's magic kitchen; the ocean; fresh mangos; autorickshaw exhaust; the cow shelter down the street from us; 

These have been the sights, sounds and smells of home for me these last three months.  I will miss them.

The puja room.  Sheela does a morning ritual here each day.

On the terrace, chanting the Yoga Sutras with Ravi.

Sheela and I enjoying the sunset breezes at the beach, while Pravin and Shruti look at the shells they've collected.

My best attempt at a kolam so far.  I need some practice.

In about 15 second, Indrani drew this crow.  Crows are always given the first rice anytime rice is served, usually every lunchtime.  It is symbolic of feeding one's ancestors.

One of the many constructions sites I pass on my morning walk.  Many have these dummies hanging out front, which kind of freaked me out at first.  Ravi said they are hung to keep away even spirits.

The construction workers, usually whole families, live in the shelter of the home they are building.  I often saw their laundry drying in the morning.  Ravi said these families are often farm workers who come to the cities when the seasonal farm work dries up.

This fellow does all the mending for families in the area.  His treadle sewing machine sits on the corner just down the street from us.

The rooftop vegetable garden at Lalitha and Kannon's lovely home.  The solar panels provide most of the energy they need.

Yep, that's what it says.  Dizzied World.

Just down the street is VGP Universal Kingdom.

Outside HeyMath!  Where Sheela works.

I don't know how they do it.

Stringing flowers to be used as a temple of offering.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere and most are quite inexpensive.

This is beachfront property.  There is a family who lives here.  I suspect their home will soon be torn down to make way for one of the big new homes being built in this area.

Like this one just down the street.  It has been decorated for the first night.  A puja is done when the house is ready, and people spend their first night in the house.

I think it must get hot sitting in the middle.

I will miss the bright colors.

I will miss the cultural events....

and the quirky storefronts.


  1. I think I will miss Chennai too! Safe travels. (And now you can say: I'm going to Dizzee World!)

  2. WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO YOUR HOME TOWN IN INDIA! Hope your next stay is as enjoyable!