March 31, 2007

Photo Docu on Mylapore's Mada Veedhis

If you are anywhere near Mylapore this weekend, please swing into the temple area.

And spend some time to look at a unique set of photographs, which my colleague C. P. Dhanasekar has painstakingly shot the past month.

In a quiet, old world street that goes by the name of East Tank Street, Dhanasekar, the photographer of 'Adyar Times' newspaper, is having an exhibition titled - Mylapore's Mada Veedhis.

Forty pictures that he has shot of life, people, places and things on the four streets that describe Sri Kapali Temple.

I yanked Dhana, as we all call him, from his routine beat of Adyar, to work on this assignment.

Perhaps, the annual Panguni fest of the temple triggered the idea.

Dhana has captured a few nooks even local residents were unaware of.

The FH plates on the mada streets.

Plates, which denoted the water tanks with outlets, which fire services of yore, used to tap into with their hoses to combat a fire in this neighbourhood.

Dhana has just begun what should be a long assignment.

A project to document in pictures the life of this area. And it will take him many more weeks to document just the Mada Streets.

Social documents of this kind are rarely undertaken.

Dhana was actually working on a different area.

The village of Kottur had fascinated us because here was a long line of tiled street houses, which sustained themselves as the giant apartment blocks rose all around them.

But when some of these houses were demolished, we felt we should begin a photo document on them, the people and their local lives.

Much of the heritage of Mylapore's Mada Streets is gone.

However, there is a certain life that stays on.

I experienced it this past week as the brahmotsavam events unfurled. As some of my friends here began to prepare to entertain their friends and relatives who drop by for this festival, year after year.

On Friday, cameraman Mohandas Vadakkara and I were on the mada veedhis, shooting for the web cast of the 'ther' procession.

We will go back on Saturday, to web cast the procession of the 63 nayanmmars.

For all those who couldn't soak in these events, the web casts are posted at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr De Souza,

About 6 months back , through Mylapore Times columns , I was ablw to locate a supplier of home meals suitable for cardiac patients like myself - no or minimum fat and no coconut fibre either.This worked well , so long as we were staying a RA puram.Due to ag & health Iam now shifting to be with my son at Besant Nagar from RA Puram. I need yr help again in finding a supplier of low fat home meals for aged persons like me with a cardiac history.
Iam posting this to yr blogsite as Iam recovering from poor health and unable to loacte yr email id and my son has therefore assisted me in this post to yr blog.

Our family - 3 generation have stayed at RA Puram. Yr neighbourhood newspapers are extremely effective in building better local community.

SS Narayanan
Email id -
Phone- 24331956 , 24916762
(RA puram , Chennai 28)
New address , E116 , 16th ross street , Besant Nagar
Chennai 90