About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Chennai...

Just like we celebrate our Birthdays, I firmly believe the City we call home also deserves one. Today is my home town, birth place Madras/Chennai’s 372nd Birthday.

The month of August begins and the excitement mounts. I look forward to the line-up of events dedicated to Madras Day. Infact, it was only few years ago that I discovered Chennai was born on 22nd August, 1639.

There are Photowalks to explore various hidden treasures in the lanes scatted around the city; and there are talks where we get to learn about the rich history, culture and art embed within.  The events are quite a treat for those who have been living here and others who are keen on learning more about this city.  A chance for us to enjoy the architecture from the years gone by, visit monuments, buildings, parks and galleries filled with information and pictures related to Chennai and of course to create our own memories..

Earlier, Chennai was where I spent my school holidays in, among family and friends, But now, it is my Home, where i know I belong! Even though I’ve been living here for over a decade, there are so many places I’ve not visited, explored or even heard of. Hmm, about time I rectified this, what say?!

I have been eyeing the Madras Day agenda almost daily, wondering what all I can be a part of and there are a few that have caught my attention, which have been jotted down in my Calendar.  I am definitely looking forward to the TALK: Lesser known temples of Chennai by Chitra Madhavan on 23rd August evening [Tuesday] and the HERITAGE WALK : Meandering down Mint Street on 28th August morning [Sunday] amongst the lot.  Oh gosh, how can I forget to mention the NATURE WALK inside the IIT Madras Campus on 27th August morning [Saturday]?!

What are the events you are attending? Here is the link for The Madras Day Events

Let the celebrations begin!

This post was published on CLAY

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skywatch friday- In the laps of Luxury,Madras

Last evening, while walking down Pondy Bazar after visiting the Blackberry Service center, i noticed the sky was dark grey, and clouds were all over, as if they were brimming to the edge. Alas, rains happened only later in the night, albeit crazy rains.... 

This is the Hotel Residency Towers, that sits majestic at the junction, and looked like the hotel was literally blocking the clouds' path....  The hotel has become quite the landmark in Chennai, with the multitude of restaurants, banquet halls and ofcourse the infamous Bikes & Barrels- the pub.... There is also a beautiful Roof top restaurant called The Crown, that offfers both indoor and outdoor seating... From the outdoor area, one can practically get a 360degree panoramic view of the city below...oh, not to forget the infinity waterfall that seems to stretch right into the city skyline....

Its simply beautiful, on a cool dark night...

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Travel Tales- Familiar yet Strange

Am submitting this post for IndiBlogger’s  Expedia - Around The World Contest
Have decided to start a series labelled "Travel Tales" where i will share interesting experiences during my brief escapades..... 

The people we meet, rather, the people we bump into sometimes has me in awe... Wondering WTH! 

Instance 1
There we were, just about done placing our Coffee orders at Costa Coffee, Indira Nagar and looking for a table to sit in when suddenly a familiar voice and a face beckoned me. I looked up to see a blogger friend, who i'd not seen in nearly a year [could be longer]... Spent the next few minutes catching up on our lives, what she was doing in Bangalore and what i was doing in Bangalore.. Yada yada yada.... Finally, parted ways promising to meet in Chennai.... 

Instance 2

Walking towards the bill counter to ask if the man/lady behind the bill counter knew of a shortcut from Kanchipuram to Sholinganallur, i walked past a lady. She looked very familiar, but i could not place her. She stood frozen staring at me. Then a small girl came towards her and interlocked fingers. The lady then looked at me with a smile and said  "You are the one who gave us directions to the Jain temple in Chennai..How are you?"... 

Me: Whoaaa [this had happened nearly a week ago and on a random morning]... 
Am good, so did you find the place?
She : "Oh yes, we said a million thanks to you for guiding us... We are from Bangalore, driving back.. and you?"
Me: Oh, i was in Bangalore for the weekend and driving back to Chennai with friends now... 

............... I remember seeing that butterfly tattoo that day also and i told mom it was the same aunty, chimed the little girl :) 

Strange meets
Strangers yet familiar faces
and Familiar faces and strange situations.... Life!! :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ashtalakshmi temple, Madras

Thanks to a friend i found in the blogsville- Vi, i discovered this treasured temple in Besant Nagar in the city i call home.  Am talking about the Ashtalakshmi temple situated in the shores of the Bay of Bengal, at the long stretch of Elliots Beach, beyond the Velankanni Church

The architecture at this temple is very unique. The Goddesses and deities are across four levels, the top most opening out to the ocean. As the name states, the Ashtalakshmi temple is home to Eight avatars of Lakshmi.
Santaana Lakshmi (bestower of offspring)
Vijayalakshmi (bestower of success),
Vidya Lakshmi (associated with learning & wisdom)
Gaja Laskhmi (bestower of overall prosperity)
Dhanalakshmi (Goddess of wealth) 
On the ground floor is the main shrine for Aadhi Lakshmi,
Dhaanya Lakshmi (Goddess of food)
Dhairiya Lakshmi's (the Goddess of courage, strength & power) 

There are narrow flight of stairs leading from one level to the other and it is almost like an adventure making the way to the top.... I was excited and eager to see what was in the next level... 

A temple in Uthiramerur- Sundara Perumal temple is built in the exact same style as the Ashtalakshmi Temple!! :) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Valluvar Kottam, Madras

The memorial, dedicated to famous the poet & saint Thiruvalluvar has been built in the shape of a temple chariot. Infact, legend has it that it is indeed a replica of the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. Apparently, there is a life size statue of the poet within the chariot. 

The 133 chapters of his most famous work, the Thirukkural has been depicted all along the corridors of the chariot. There is an auditorium within the complex that is known to be the largest in Asia and today is used for exhibitions and conferences. Another unique feature of this auditorium is that it is a stand alone structure, with no beams or pillars for support.  Thirukkural, consisting of 1330 couplets has been inscribed on the granite pillars surrounding the auditorium.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Secretariat, or not, Madras

The Tamil Nadu assembly was being held at the Fort St. George complex for the last 53 years.  And then the Government changed and the new Government- the CM decided to create a new space for the assembly, which is this majestic huge building.. Alas, by the time they were done building it, the Government has changed and the CM has decided she will hold assembly only in the older building, at Fort St George and not here.... 

So, they are inviting ideas from people on what to do with this structure!!

Any suggestions?

Took this shot during construction stage, shall update it once i take a recent shot :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kamarajar, Madras

Kamarajar, the Chief Minister, the man who spread the value of Education[inspite of being uneducated]. He introduced millions of people to books, and also brought in the mid day meal system to motivate children to go to school. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna [India's highest civilian honour] posthumously in 1976...

Even today, we remember him, for all that he did for the people! The Kamaraj Domestic Terminal in madras Airport is named after him, and so are several other buildings and roads...

This statue stands tall in the Marina Beach, amongst several others, each of whom have left their mark behind!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

MGR Memorial, Madras

The MGR Memorial is a yet another memorial we find in the Marina Beach, Chennai. Today, it has become quiite the favorite among tourists..... M G Ramachandran [MGR] was a former actor & a politician from Tamil Nadu, MGR . 

The monument is quite lovely to look at, the design and style is unique when compared to others on the beach and this is probably what sets it apart...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Napier Bridge, Madras

Yet another famous landmark in Chennai,my home is The Napier Bridge. It is also known as the "Iron Bridge" . This bridge was constructed in honor of Lord Napier who was the Governor of Fort St. George , Madras Presidency.
It was built in 1869 across the Coovum river by Governor Napier who held this office from 1866 to 1877.
The bridge connects the Marina beach with Fort St George....

Today, every time you drive past the bridge towards the beach or away, the architecture, the sunlight streaming through the gaps will make you pause and reflect....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

[Skywatch Friday] Where the Boats rest, Chennai

Me: What is the one place you want to go to when you come to Chennai/Madras?
Cousin [over the phone from Delhi]- The Beach

I rest my case!! 

When she was here, one morning we all rose early[5am] and drove down to the beach, not just any beach, but The Marina Beach...  Spent about 2hours walking along the shore, while some played in the water a bit before joining us... What a fun morning that was! 

Did you know that the Marina beach is the longest in the country? yes, it stretches for over 14kms.... and one has easy access to the water as well, unlike in other places where you cannot get your feet wet :)

These were fishing boats resting before the trip into the ocean. There were a few fishermen sorting out the fishing nets nearby. They had done one round of fishing early in the morning [3-4am] and will go again in a while... What a life!! 

Am also submitting this post for the Skywatch Friday, visit the site to see more beautiful skies...

Red and white, Madras

The Majestic light house in the Marina beach is as much a landmark as the beach itself... I have always wanted to go up the lighthouse, but not done that yet....

The red and white tower is visible for as far as the eye can see and so is the light it shines out.... Quite a sight late at night...

Trivia[courtesy Wikipedia] : 
It was built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries in 1976 replacing the old lighthouse in the northern direction. The lighthouse was opened in January 1977.
The present lighthouse is the fourth lighthouse of Chennai. The first lighthouse started functioning in 1796 when the terrace of the Officers Mess (the present day's Fort Museum at Fort St. George) was chosen as the site for the first warning beacon which used a large lantern. It functioned till 1841. The second light house was erected during 1838-1844 on the north side of Fort St George and it was functioning until 1894. The third lighthouse was functioning from the tallest dome of the Madras High Court. It started functioning on June 1, 1894, with argand lamps and reflectors manufactured by Chance Bros, Birmingham which had originally been installed in the 160-ft-tall lighthouse tower. This was later decommissioned after the present one was constructed on the Marina beach near Santhome which was unveiled in January 1977.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gandhi in Chennai

The Marina beach in Chennai is the longest beach in the country, stretching across 14kms... There is a Mahatma Gandhi's statue almost at the center, and it is a beautiful one at that....

 This photo was taken during an early morning [7am] walk along the beach with uncles and cousins.... 

There are so many statues lining the beach, hope to capture them and share them all during the coming month :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

High Court, Chennai

The Madras High Court is yet another landmark building in the city... Yet another brick coloured building, it is not only majestic but buzzing with activity all the time! I have only seen the top tombs and pointed structures in movies, and so it was a revelation to visit the building and see it in person..

The High court is believed to be the second largest judicial complex in the world.. The building looms large, and there are so many corridors and floors, its amazing...

There is a statue of Manuneedhi Cholan near the main building... 

Manu Needhi Cholan or Manuneedhi Cholan was a legendary Chola king believed to have killed his own son to provide justice to a Cow, following Manu Needhi or Manu's law. Legend has it that the king hung a giant bell in front of his courtroom for anyone needing justice to ring. One day, he came out on hearing the ringing of the bell by a Cow. On enquiry he found that the Calf of that Cow was killed under the wheels of his chariot. In order to provide justice to the cow, he killed his own son under the chariot as a punishment to himself i.e. make himself suffer as much as the cow. His name has since then been used as a metaphor for fairness and justice in Tamil literature. - Courtesy:Wikipedia

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wesley Church,Chennai

Another beautiful Church that i am yet to pause and enjoy is the Wesley Church in Egmore. Built by the Methodists in 1905, it is part of the Church of South India, Madras Diocese. The brick exterior is something that i love, which is probably why  i take pictures of the church everytime i pass by.

Riding home from the Central Station, i strain my neck out the auto rickshaw to catch a glimpse of this landmark building before the trees block my view... 

The 1st picture was taken during a Photowalk and 2nd during a visit to uncle's home.... 

Vanakkam Chennai

August has become a month of great significance, it is when Madras celebrates The Madras day, its birth along with various other festivities. I was born here, born when the city was called Madras and have watched it transform over the years, heck, the city is today called Chennai.. 

I have decided to do a series to celebrate the city that has me feeling chirpy, high and proud ..... 

This is a photograph of the infamous Chennai central Railway Station. If you have seen tamil movies, or any other movie where any of the actors make a trip to this town, this is the first building shown on the screen. Looming larger than life, the central station with its brick red exterior and colonial influences is quite a mesmerising site.