Chennai – The city that has managed to retain the culture and blend it beautifully with the urbanization. And at a corner of this city, lies the trading hub of Chennai – The Parry’s Corner. There are a few sights that can only be witnessed here – the rickshawalas, street full of small shops that offer products beyond your wildest imagination. This place has always held my fancy and having visited a couple of time to buy various goods – This time my friend and I wanted to explore a bit of Mint street and taste the fabled street food!

We managed to find our way through the maze of streets and trotted down the Mint street. Even though we walked down to treat our taste buds – It was quite an experience to all our senses. The hustle, the evening colors, the yell of people and honking of bikes, rickshaws, people moving without people sense; one might get knocked down if they are not careful; which was exactly the case for a passer-by. There was a middle-aged lady, she was walking towards us, I distinctly remember her because she wore a pastel green dress. I was in the middle of eating a murukku sandwich, ideally the time she should have crossed me, I saw her slip and fall on the ground. Startled! all of us went to help her up and a sandwich-wala gave her water to cow dung off her dress that she had unknowingly stepped on. What I should have probably mentioned before narrating the incident is that, there are so many cows roaming in the streets; the narrow streets. Looking at their big hooves and even bigger horns it was only natural that a sense of fear struck me every time I had to cross a cow (psst! Even while I was on a bike) and the cow kept twirling its head and giving me death stares did not help the cause.

After a long search for cash and ATMs that swore they would only bless us with Rs. 2000 notes, we managed to find one and withdraw money to fulfill our hunger pangs. We had innumerable sugarcane juices (Lemon for me though). They were common to find, with a stall put up every second shop. After discounting entering many many chat shops, we had vadapav from one that was pretty crowded – Metha Bros. Later I realised, it was one of the best on the street. Thinking about it now, my mouth still waters and I’m craving for one already. Yes, how I could forget to miss the Anmol Lassi serving size one huge cup. When I say huge, it is true to every syllable. We opted to skip Kakada Ramprasad and opted for other foods this time. (especially when they have a branch in Kilpauk right next to my friend’s office we thought it would be a great idea to save it for that rainy day). After looking for a few more eateries (to be read as futile search) and gorging down murukku and bhujjia sandwich, as we found the famous tiffen stall serving dosa to be closed; we trotted back happily licking kulfis (Futile search included Maharaj Kulfi stall and we settled for a street vendor). Yes, those on sticks which needed to be eaten fast because of the climate and they would slip out and fall. It was a relief to taste the kulfi the authentic way (to others who have had better tasting kulfis, you must know I tasted kulfi served on a plate and the kulfi itself was round, worst case, it did not have a hint of milk flavour, it tasted plain ice upon almonds). I would want to say it was a great evening, which I would shortly because we had a couple of overpriced sweet lime juice before we parted ways for the evening.

I managed to sneak in a few shots before my friend got bored. It was interesting to see people from various walks of life in that single street. My first attempt at a photo story. Please find the links to the Flickr here for higher resolution images and the photos are shared below.

Full Size | Stage 1: All for Expressions – Life that started out as a toddler to a kid, looking up, dreaming, exploring and wondering.
Full Size | Stage 2: Sparkling Sweetness and distributing Noise – Candyman – The next stage in life when we make so much of noise just to make others know and we show outwardly that we carry sweetness with us, sprinkling joy always! Little do we know that too much of sweetness and too much of noise will not come a long way!
Full Size | Stage 3: Zooming Motor Cart – The prime portion, possibly the largest portion in life that we spend rushing, zooming, that we barely notice anything around. We honk, yell, take heaps of loads upon out shoulders, moving with caution, but not too much!
Full Size | Stage 4: A little but not too much – It is that stage when we realise that we powered through life so much that we barely noticed the age rolling over; the wrinkle setting in; we take up things to enjoy and lose oneself in that moment
Full Size | Stage 5: Resting – The last stage when we sit back, take a breathe and watch the whole stage unfurling with a hint of nonchalance !

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