Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Kolams, Kutcheris & Kaapi*

* I step out of the train, my nostrils are welcomed with the familiar humidity.
* The healthy, sweaty, hot & humid weather. Yes, it is December in Chennai.
* Fragrance of Jasmine flowers isn't the same anywhere else.
* Early morning walks on the cool sands of the beach.
* The symphony played by the aromas of various brands of filter coffee emanating from the kitchen windows of hardcore 'Kaapi' drinkers.
* Mammoth hoardings of the southern superstars compete with beautiful 'kohl' eyed models in traditional Kanchipuram silk sarees.

* 'Margazhi Mahotsavam'- a series of Carnatic Music concerts by vocalists & instrumentalists during the month of December grips the city.
* Mami's in their silk sarees can be seen rushing to various concerts in the evening.
* Large 'Kolams' ( Rangolis) adorn the entrances of homes.
* A trip to Chennai isn't complete without tiffin at 'Saravana Bhavan' & savouries/papads from 'Ambika Appalam'
* Relaxing with family, solving 'The Hindu' newspaper crossword, hogging on homemade 'Murukkus' & having freshly brewed filter- coffee is a great way to unwind:-)Here are some images of Chennai seen through my eyes:-)Larger than life hoardings of Silk Sarees
The various popular coffee brands displayed.Saravana Bhavan for a quick bite:-) Crunchy MurukkusA great place to pick up papads, pickles, sambar, chutney powders etc

* Translated Rangolis, Carnatic Recitals & Coffee

15 comments:

Charlotte said...

the top image is absolutely stunning!!! it's just beautiful.

looks like you are having a great time - would love to visit for a day :)

Charu said...

I love December in Chennai - margazhi, to be more precise - kutcheris, early morning prayers in temples, the slight nip in the air... am off to chennai tomorrow - hope to catch a couple of concerts while there :)

vineeta said...

Sooppar! Chennai Images all- I especially loved the silk saree hoarding pic with just a hint of the man for proportion & the 'murukku' pic- lovely!

vineeta said...

One more thing- LOved your header pic! Its positively bursting with life!

Pacchai Milagai said...

Hi Archana...what a great post and love your banner. you really captured the essence of chennai beautifully. did you pick up any good sarees from Kumaran?

Life Unscripted! said...

hey Arch,

Long time, yes the picts are beautiful as always...

lovely post :-)

N'Joy
K

kavitha said...

Great pictures. as always. Love your header picture too. so real. was in chennai this december on the way to pondy. managed to pick up some goodies from grand snacks. if u havent been there and want some aunthentic stuff... podis, masalas, pulikachal, sweets, whatever.... try to stop by. service is not that great... so be prepared to wait.

Arch at Rang said...

charlotte- Thanks:-) Sure you should visit Chennai:-)

charu- Yes, December is a great time to visit Chennai- Do let me know how your concerts went...I would have loved to attend Aruna Sairam & Bombay Jayshree's:-)

vineeta- Thanks:-)) The hoardings are so outrageously huge...I had to capture them;-)

kanchan- Thanks:-) Hey, don't go missing on us:-) Drop by often!

kavitha- Thanks:-)
Do you mean'Grand Sweets'? Yes...it's a great place for traditional sweets & savouries. Actually the wait is worth it cos they keep serving hot Bisi Bele Bath etc during your wait;-) Cool eh??
Drop by often:-))

Arch at Rang said...

Pacchai- Thanks:-) Nowadays I just admire the silk sarees in shops & hoardingg cos ultimately they land up in suitcases that are stored away to be worn once in a blue moon;-))

Latha said...

oh my arch! u are making me sooooooo homesick! I can almost smell the kaapi aroma wafting through the air, and also hear my chitti say "Lathu konjo cofi??" :-)
My trips to chennai also never are complete without a stop at saravana for some delicious ven pongal and 14 idlis.. yumm! Love the beautiful pink saree in the kumaran's ad! Time for some new sarees for me i guess!
Thanks for sharing.

~mE said...

:) arch u forgot sukra, grand sweets :P pictures are simply great :))

adi said...

a many years ago, when i crossed chennai on my way to chidambaram, i too had the similar notion of imagery... huge billboards, beautiful girls wearing gajra(s), cleaner roads (compared to delhi) and yes, the food (coffee and idli andsambar and dosai.) mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing the experiences so vividly-a virtual voyage for the senses from a fabulous writer-the gift of gratitude and awareness is ever present and rather contagious!!
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Dilip said...

nice set of images and notes.

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