Thursday, October 26, 2006

Champions Trophy - India-West Indies

What a farce that match appeared. It seemed both teams were trying hard to lose. I can't believe that the weather conditions were so bad that it was either difficult to score runs or for the bowlers to bowl to a line. Before the start of the match, I had remarked that Agarkar would be the man of the match for the West Indies and quite true it turned out to be. Wonder why he is in the team, after all these years. But, the guy who deserves the biggest kick is Rahul Dravid. Still can't get over how he got himself run out. Must have got out in a similar fashion more than half a dozen times. One learns from one's mistakes. Not so in his case, it would appear. A captain should lead by example and his carelessness only transmits itself to others. Remember some time in the 1980s, Kapil Dev was dropped from the team because he got out trying to cut an off-spinner in a test match between India and England at Delhi. India lost the match and the captain was Sunil Gavaskar. At that time, Kapil's carelessness/recklessness was cited as the reason for him being dropped. Will the same logic apply to Rahul Dravid?
Let me add. I am not bothered by the result. In fact, I wanted the West Indies to win. This Indian team does not deserve to win.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pachaiyappa's Hall - NSC Bose Road

Posting two pictures of this nice building on busy NSC Bose Road -- one a vertical shot and the other a horizontal one -- just to give an idea of the tall pillars in the building and what use the building is now put to. This building, named after the philanthropist Pachaiyappa Mudaliar, is opposite the Flower Bazaar Telephone exchange. The Pachaiyappa's Hall was built in 1850. Numerous shops line the ground floor. If my memory serves me right, there is a restaurant too on the ground floor after one takes a long passageway. The shops and pavement hawkers of all kinds make access difficult.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Anderson Church - NSC Bose Road

Standing at the corner of NSC Bose Road and Linghi Chetty Street is Anderson Church -- a pure white building with a nice steeple and bell tower. The church was built in 1859 as the religious edifice of the Madras Christian College School, which was once located in its vicinity. The church was named after John Anderson, a Scottish missionary and founder of the school. There is a plaque at the entrance to the church. Regular service is held on Sundays. The picture of the church was shot on a week day, in the afternoon. I was lucky to get a blue sky with a little bit of cloud cover. I was impressed with the bell in the church and hence decided to post that picture too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

General Post Office - North Beach Road

One of the few buildings in Madras when conservationists successfully restored a heritage building, especially after it was ravaged by a fire. The GPO on North Beach Road, yet another of those impressive structures on this wonderful stretch of road, was destroyed by a fire caused by an electrical short circuit in October 2000. Unlike other instances -- notably the Spencer's building on Mount Road or the Moore Market next to the Central Railway station -- this building has been restored to its past glory. The full restoration work will get completed by 2007.
The GPO was completed in 1884. The halls inside are large and, according to Madras: The Architectural Heritage by K. Kalpana and Frank Schiffer, the "speciality of this structure lies in its varied roofs and long tiled gables placed parallel and perpendicular to each other, intercepted by dormers and towers of varying heights, the central ones reaching a height of 38 m."
I hope the series of pictures taken early on a Sunday morning do justice to the magnificence of the building.

Monday, August 14, 2006

State Bank of India - North Beach Road

Going back to the old, majestic buildings on North Beach Road. This time it is the State Bank of India's building, built in the Indo-Saracenic style. Both S. Muthiah in Madras Discovered and K. Kalpana and Frank Schiffer in Madras: The Architectural Heritage say that this building was constructed by the well-known builder of that time, Namberumal Chetty. Work on the building began in 1896 and was completed at a cost of Rs 300,000! This building is truly majestic and the huge central banking hall (it has been some time since I have gone inside the building) is truly marvellous.
This was first built for the Bank of Madras, which later merged with the Bombay and Bengal Banks to become the Imperial Bank, to be renamed the State Bank of India in 1955.
The building is thankfully well maintained. Apart from a side angle of the building, I have posted one that shows the portico and the grand staircase.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Devaraja Mudali Street

Ever wondered where the kungumam, manjapodi and assorted such items come from. Sri Vidya Stores in Mylapore, near the Kapali temple, is one shop. This row of shops on Devaraja Mudali Street, quite close to the Chenna Kesavaperumal temple, sells these items in bulk. The shop keepers, who include a post-graduate from Madras University who opted for the family business, have their own "factories," as they prefer to call them, to make the kungumam or manjappodi in the Kotwal Chavadi area. The second picture is more for the verandah on top, which, with its wooden railing, I found quite nice. Ideal place probably for a nice cafe, but for the heat and dust of Madras.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Badrian Street

Badrian Street in Parry's is like any other street in the area. Crowded, cacophonous, narrow... Walking along NSC Bose Road towards the Flower Bazaar police station, it is quite easy to miss Badrian Street. It is almost bang opposite the Flower Bazaar telephone exchange. In this narrow and crowded street, business thrives and life goes on as usual for hundreds. It is the home for the retail flower trade in the city. The wholesale trade has shifted to Koyambedu, on the outskirts of Madras, but there are still some shops on Badrian Street selling different variety of flowers -- malli, kanakambaram and the like -- for the street-corner flower sellers to buy and thread them together.
Amidst this mix of people and smaller vehicles, a conservancy lorry crawls to the end of the street for the conservancy workers to clear putrefied flowers and leaves. And, amazingly the conservancy lorry driver backs out of the narrow street on to NSC Bose Road with barely an inch on either side -- all without hitting a pedestrian or knocking down parked cycles and other two-wheelers. That the same drivers turn out to be monsters on an open road is another story.
And, in this constant throng of people this woman carries on her work -- selling colourful tie-bags. This medley of Badrian Street is yet another in the series of pictures on Parry's.