Monday, January 13, 2014

Mylapore Street Festival: Portrait of an Artist

Saturday afternoon, Elise and I went to the Mylapore neighborhood for a street festival. She showed me some of the sights from one of her recent photowalks, and we even made our first cautious foray into Indian street food, tentatively trying some kind of fried cake and coconut chutney for ten rupees (16 cents!).

Moreover, I got to see the photographer in action!

We found the kolam drawing contest. A kolam is a drawing made from rice powder sprinkled in an intricate design usually found in front of homes to bring prosperity. Most mornings on my way to work, I see Hindu woman bent at the waist creating the intricate drawings. This contest was a lot like the street painting festival in Lake Worth my brother and his girlfriend do every year!

Of course Elise's photos will be much better than these snapshots taken with my iPhone camera. Wait for them! But as she was angling for the best shot, we noticed a group of photographers on a rooftop. We knew right away we had to get up there, too, so we walked up the block, and a nice man in a dhoti waved us into his home, pointing us through the small living room.

We dove into the dark apartment and hooked a right when we saw the steep, concrete steps. Each apartment in the building was small and dark and without doors. One families home bled into their neighbor's or was stacked right on top of, and there was no pretense of privacy. On the roof, underwear, t-shirts, and socks hung on clotheslines.

The sun was starting to set and we glimpsed a unique perspective of the city before deciding it was time to eat and rest of peds.

But, of course, not before stopping at Baskin and Robbins on the way home. 

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