Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Chennai and former Madras I love

Homeless by outer Church wall Chennai
My love for the great cultural conglomerate called Dravid and narrowly Tamil is greedy and selfish--more I relish  much more I desire. Though my focus of study for my book is early Tamil art of Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras I can not isolate and ignore all that marvellous in art and culture I come across.
After spending two and half months in Tamilnadu I was to take flight on Monday from Chennai. Since i arrived in Chennai on Saturday evening I decided to explore Chennai whole of Sunday. I arrived in the George town walked through Flower Bazaar, China Bazaar and surrounding areas. The life in these Bazaars is more quiet on a Sunday since all shops are closed and movement of people takes place.

A house for a  Sunday--Chennai street

Invoking God  in the street Chennai

Statue of king George v  where families live with their sweet children in squalor

Mothers n Children near king George V Statue Chennai
 I saw buildings that came up during Colonial period of British occupation of India. I also confronted beautiful people with warm souls but deprived of a respectful life. I discovered not persons but families, social groups, sharing poor humanity and a bleak life that blankets large number of people Chennai. There is daunting homelessness that is visible in its nakedness only on a Sunday. For sure these people are  the manual sinews of the the businesses that run in these Bazaars, they exist outside of most exquisite and stately Churches. for me the contrast of the opulent Houses of sufferer for the poor Jesus and the poor on the streets of Chennai was very daunting. I also wonder why  all the political parties offer lollipops at the time of elections without an effort to solve the problems of inequality, economic enablement and permanent improvement of the abject life of the very poor. 

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