It is really a wonderful feeling, more so for ppl living in Chennai, when it even drizzles in Chennai during peak summer. Rains are so unheard of in this part of the country during the hotter part of the year that even a small cloud covering brings out expectations(in Chennai’s context the hotter part lasts for 8 months in an year) . Last Saturday (Apr 14 2007) was one such day. It also turned out to be the Tamil New Year day, the beginning of a new year with a pleasant drizzle, a nice feel good feeling to start a new year in such a pleasurable environment.
Kaushik sent out a mail a few days back proposing a photo shoot at koyambedu market on the early morning of Apr 14. But he had called up on Friday evening to cancel the same as he would not be able to make it. I was not very disappointed until the next day morn when I woke up to the most enjoyable smell of wet earth breezing through the windows (saniyan, “manvaasanai” ku englishla word kedaikala, enna englisho ennamo po…). It was not any torrential downpour but just a little heavy drizzle though it gave us the happiness all the same.
Dad wanted to go out that day early morning to meet someone and asked me to drive him to Purasawalkam in my mayilvahanam. Not until that moment did I regret not having a photo shoot that morning. When I stepped out the setting was perfect for just about anything - jogging, walking, chatting and most of all… photography. Such beautiful and enchanting mornings with Venkatesa Suprabhatam resounding from Murugashramam was just enough that anyone could ask for.
Lots of mamas and mamis with their children, mostly in new colourful attire, all freshened up for special archanais at Satya Narayana Perumal koil were the inhabitants of Srinivasa Pillai Street, West Mambalam at that time. Sricharanams and Viboodhi pattais were in abundance all around us and added to the auspicous feel that is normally tagged with such festivities. Madisars and panchakachams formed the dress code of the day and believe me these are just uncomparable to any outfit that modern society or fashion can ever think of. One gets the feel of one's own culture in more than one way on seeing ppl clad in these attires and makes the heart swell in pride.
The road wore a look as though it had just been washed away of all dirt. The whole road was fully wet, the yellow flower tree had shed all its flowers in the morning that formed a kind of carpet adjacent to the compound walls to which these trees belonged. The contrasting yellow colour of the flowers against the dark, black background of the road was just perfect with the harsh white light from the sun being shielded by the clouds. Autumn had just passed and all the trees and plants had newly sprouted warm green leaves (tamizhla sollanumna thulutthundu irundhudhu… don’t know how better I can frame it in English) which provided the much needed tinge of nature to the whole scenery.
Moreover in arguably the most posh area of Chennai(Purasawalkam and chetpet) the whole place looked like some foreign location out of some bollywood starrer and was all the more captivating what with all the streets housing only picturesque bungalows, clean roads, fresh pollution free air etc.
This was more special as it happened between probably the two hottest days of the summer until then(Sunday was just as hot as Friday…!!!!!) and also because it was a nice way start to a new year. Pity that I had to take dad out and couldn’t get even one shot cause by the time I was back things were back to normal in Chennai - sunny, dry, sultry…