Sunday Photowalk through the ‘Hood

Monsoon season has come to Chennai, India.  According to the weather reports, it’s only raining in Chennai.  But it seems that all the rain which should have fallen elsewhere is also falling in Chennai.  So when I woke up this morning for the planned photowalk in town (with other photographers) and heard the pouring rain, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Hours later, I saw the photos posted by one of the others on that walk and regretted not having gone.  So later in the day – when the rain had finally cleared for a bit! – we went on a photowalk of my own through the neighborhood.

Today was one of those days when everyone wanted their picture taken.  Walking through a working-class, semi-informal neighborhood, groups of boys were playing marbles at regular intervals and would greet us as we walked past.  Spotting the cameras over our shoulders, they would invariably call, “photo! photo!”  so that’s mainly the kind of photos we got today.


In the second shot, you can see a bit of the neighborhood. In the background is a man in a red shirt.

Kids II

So as soon as we left these kids behind, the man in the red shirt wanted us to photograph him and his friends.  So I did that.

Guys Posing

Not everyone looks happy in the photo, but immediately afterward, every one of them came to shake my hand when I showed them the photo.

We also spotted a few animals on the way. Cats everywhere. And dogs in Chennai generally sleep wherever they happen to be when they’re tired – even on a city street with cars going by. But this little guy squeezed in under the stoop, where he was joined by a chicken:


In another neighborhood, we spotted these goats. Try getting THEM to all look at the camera at the same time…


On the way home, we picked up some flowers from one of the flower sellers. They sit at tables on the sidewalk and string together Jasmine, marigolds, and other flowers. They are measured and sold by the “forearm” – i.e. they hold the string at one end and measure to the elbow. Cost: 20 rupees. About 30 US cents.

Flower Seller

And finally, I spotted this lady – taking a break from sweeping. I thought the garage door, along with her, would make an interesting photo. She was tickled to have her photo taken but I think she was a bit surprised when I showed her the result.

Boss Tailor

And that’s how I spent a good part of my Sunday.


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