Your road, and mine, to the past

Monday, April 17, 2006

People, places and Palaces

An old man just concluded a talk with his friends by the road and prepares to set out to wherever that is he goes. I asked him if I could take a photo of him, but he didn't hear me from across the road. I clicked anyway. Cyclist
AVN Telecom, somewhere between Neyveli and Gangaikonda Cholapuram. STD. ISD and PCO. But their best product was the sweetest water I've tasted. These two were sitting there, probably waiting for the next traveller to give them some business. I stopped, and even though I had a mobile phone (well, OK, a prepaid that was fast running out of talktime) I called home and assured my folks I was alright. AVN Telecom
4 little girls in a ruined temple outside of Kumbakkonam. Running around, chasing one another, following me as I went about shooting the ruins, asking me how my camera worked, why would I shoot this dead place and trying vainly to answer my questions about the age of the temple. I asked them if they would like their photos taken. Immediately, they stop prancing about and gathered themselves into this tight knot. Eyes, sparkling. Faces, bright
In Darasuram, the ASI has cleared a huge area outside of the main temple and put up lawns and flower beds and the like. They also have fences to keep out dogs, cats and goats. This guy cycles up to a fence, vaults over the ropes. He proceeds to light up the Suruttu (tamil for cigar) and makes himself comfortable in the shade of the tree. Cigar-dude

Darasuram-View through the grill Darasuram-Vanishing Point
Darasuram-Pillars Darasuram-main-structure

Sunday, April 16, 2006

F I S H I N G in troubled waters

F I S H I N G in troubled waters
F I S H I N G in troubled waters,
originally uploaded by Ravages.
The river Cauveri splits into two near Trichy. One arm of it, the Collidam, travels northwards to empty at the Bay of Bengal not far from Chidambaram.

My route to Kumbakkonam took me near the Kollidam, where I saw this old man fishing. I told myself that this was exactly the kind of thing Claude Renault, a fellow Flickrite would look for. And though I was running late, I stopped and clicked 4-5 shots. And then I went and showed it to the man who was delighted and surprised to see somebody would shoot him, and more specifically show it to him immediately. He still hadn’t come to terms with photography, let alone Digital photography.

I have 1000 other stories like this from my trip yesterday. Eventually, I think, I will put them all down.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Toll Booth

Welcome to NH45. A travel blog. Not just any other.
NH45 - or National Highway # 45 is Tamil Nadu's most important highway. The Highway that connects the major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu to the capital, bringing the state and its citizens closer.

But that is not the only reason why this blog is called NH45.

Many of my travels have been to cities connected by the NH45. Trichy, Madurai. Kanceepuram (only passing), Tanjavur, and more. But that alone isn't why this is the NH45 blog.

What is now the NH45 was a heavily trafficked royal road in the past. A road that's seen Pallavas and Cholas using it. And a little while later, the British and the French and the Portuguese. In search of Colonial glory. And for that alone, this blog is the NH45.
For I am obsessed, nay, possesed by history and historical expeditions. I have this overwhelming desire to know what my ancestors knew. And lived. I would like more than anything to spend hours in search of that perfectly preserved artefact or chasing after a mythical king. And I have done it. Never enough, but a good start.

Here, I will share some of my roadtrips and photographs. Stuff that I have had a ball doing. In the hope that somehow, somewhere, I find what I am looking for.

Welcome to NH45. Your road, and mine, to the past.