Photo Walk - What is it?
Its an interesting phenomenon wherein folks with camera take a walk with the sole purpose of capturing the interesting moments happening around and then sharing the pictures usually online.
Chennai photowalk has been happening for quite sometime and I got the chance to mingle with the folks during the 18th Chennai Photowalk that happened on 19th April'09.
The plan was to assemble @ 6:30 a.m. at the Mylapore’s Kapaleeswara Temple, walk around the back streets of Mylapore, then board the MRTS line to Fort St. George. Explore Fort St. George, Fort Museum, Clive’s House, St. Mary’s Church, the Secretariat building (which one’s not allowed to photograph) and the many things there.
I reached MTC bus stand at Mylapore and got directions to reach to the temple.
It seems that it is too early a morning for these folks. Enjoying the Sunday morning sleep while the Philips Ad in the pic says "Step into a brighter world" Haa.
Afterwards I called Chandrachoodan to know the exact point from where the photo walk starts.
In black tee is Chandrachoodan, the man who is the reason behind the Chennai photowalks.
The walk started from the spot nearer to the Kapaleeswarar Temple's CAR
There you see the folks assembled. Behind them is a old building so good to look at though not well maintained.
OK shall we start the photowalking here!!
He is the first subject for my camera. As the scribblings behind this man tells "Browse, Chat & Relax" this person was seen relaxing by puffing a Beedi,the traditional Indian cigarette. Though he puffed three or four times, he managed to hide the beedi immediately after each of his puffs. He seems upset that the day has dawned.
An intellectual florist giving the fresh news paper the needed rub. He was at first tied up with the daily newspaper, but he then realized that a swarm of photographers making a sweep around, which made him, a little tensed.
The early day transportation vehicle, popularly called the "Kattai Vandi" (Wooden Cart) is rarely seen these days. Here this kattai vandi is being used to sell bananas.
Chennai Photowalkers include its own share of foreigners.
The next subject for my pic was a street dog. I was bit scary! Should I be unlucky, should there be a return gift as a friendly bite, I do not know if there is any hospitals situated nearby, finding a medical shop open gets little probability that too early morning and the fact its a Sunday.
Remember I am using a simple mobile camera and am the only person in the crowd to click using the simplest of the photo gadgets. My camera does not have an optical zoom and so I needed to go very near to my my subject to catch his moments. But my subject gave me the needed facial expression for me. Do you know that Dogs are pet animals and are intuitive about things that are going to happen. More about the spirits in Dogs is here
One of the old buildings, which gave out the construction style followed in those days.
The temple tank getting the cool illumination from the Sun God.
Guessed wrongly? Me too!! But, they are not spoiling the place, they are seriously capturing the moments, their subject happens to be there just below that iron gate.
The Kapaleeswarar temple gopuram, the temple tank and the Sun God making a perfect combination of reflecting His rays from the pond water.
Somebody came out of the premises of the temple tank by unlocking the door. We were gifted to tresspass inside the temple tank and make a few clicks closer to the water level. By that time, somebody from the other side of the tank was shouting. After a few minutes he came faster towards us. We realised that he should be the watchman to ensure that nobody comes inside the temple tank premises. We then came out smoothly as if we were deaf but with the content of doing few good clicks.
Yes these are the moments that happen during the early morning. Some of the men having a read of the newspaper at the milk booth. Both milk and the newspaper mark the fact that morning has dawned.
I salute this hard working old man. At this old age he is having the guts to make toiling as a rickshaw puller even though one of his legs is not suitable for doing the hard pedaling needed for his profession. I recall the people who make lame excuses while they get into situations which needed them to make a little hard toil.
The womenfolk taking their turn to fetch the much needed water for their family.
Getting the first glimpse of poster being pasted, while a slumdog child taking a surprised look at the photowalkers.
Then we went to Mylapore MRTS Railway station to catch the train to Chennai Fort railway station.
The old man sitting on the seat at the railway station. Though he was finding a solace at this age at the railway station, too many photographers and a few of them clicking him made him little disturbed and he went away from this place.
The awesome MRTS railway station with awful garbage seen everywhere around. Seems little importance is given to upkeep the MRTS railway stations. One can witness filth and cob webs around the walls of the railway station.
Then we got into the train to go the Chennai Fort Railway station.
The elevated pathway at the Chennai Fort Railway station.
The road below the walkers bridge.
Then we started walking on the South side of the Chennai Fort railway station. Its pleasant to see the assets owned by the Armed forces of Indian Govt.
Photographers swarming around a big tree...
to catch this Nandhi in their cameras.
An eco friendly vehicle that too bearing a 'valid' registration number is seen parked on to the side of the road.
The traffic is so dull, you might have guessed right, its a Sunday...
Thats Shillika. Sometimes people do want to do things which they are not supposed to do that too at the middle of the road.
All these places had the presence of the offices of the armed forces. I am surprised to see the clean and tidy road and got a question, whether I am in Chennai? Usually in a road you will witness it being encroached with shops and have a swarm of garbage. But this place is an exception.
Whether the strictness and discipline followed by Indian Militiary is the reason behind the clean and tidy place.
If this is followed everywhere, Man we should be enjoying our day to day life.
One of the important roads of Chennai.
There were police personnel making a gaze on the people using this road.
We were very tired and hungry and wanted to take rest. There was a shadow under a tree and the photowalkers took rest for a few minutes to be later questioned by a lady cop. She wanted us to move away and instructions for her was to ensure that more people should not gather nearby.
Why all these rules and regulations?
Why so many police are seen around on this road?
Yes, we were nearing the "The Secretariat".
We were neither VIPs, nor did we have a valid pass to enter this high security area. But got myself satisfied of my thirst with clicking this board. Hope that little more importance be given to this board at least to make it more attractive and a bit authoritative.
The flag mast of the Secretariat making a grandeur with the national flag fluttering with the clear blue sky making an interesting combination.
As per the plan we moved ahead for visiting the fort museum. But drawn aback when the woman officer at the museum did not allow us. The reason for denying entry for us, was that they will not allow a group of people (we were nearly 40 people) that too all of them were having cameras. Then Chandrachoodan tried to get permission from the director at the museum to be rather getting unlucky that he was not available at office.
Since all of us were damn tired of walking nearly 4 Kms that too hungry, we just wanted to disband and pack off. After clicks for a group photograph and having pep talks with some folks around we packed off.
Oh, does this man gets paid from so many sponsors and is a free mobile connection available for him?
The walk was so nice and had the opportunity of getting networked with some new folks.