On a pleasant Sunday morning, the air was filled with freshness and chill breeze passing around a team of around 20 plus individuals were on our way to capture the beauty of nature and also the creation through their lenses at 2 different places in the city of Chennai at St. Thomas Mount and Madras war cemetery.
Pic courtesy – Prasanna
Initially when the mail was received from CTC with regard to a photo walk, I was in a doubt whether to register or not since I am not a professional photographer, but defying the gravity in the mind I went ahead and registered for the event thinking that having lived in chennai for close to 30 years I have not yet visited these places till now.
Pic courtesy – Harish Karthik
At the time of registration, I never thought what is in store for the morning, but I must admit that the 2 places which we went were fabulous and beautiful. I must thank the organisers for inviting us to capture such beautiful places in our lenses so that the memory can be etched for the life time. We were asked to report at 5.20 am at Guindy Railway station, accordingly I planned and reached the place to be welcomed by a team of energetic people, waiting for others to join and greeting each other. I joined the team and we waited for few others, once all of them had arrived we started our journey to the first place scheduled for the day – St Thomas mount.
Pic courtesy – Hemnath Annadurai
Since I did not have my own mode of transportation, I was assisted by the members there to join them and I joined along with Harish in his two wheeler. Our drive to St.Thomas mount was for a very short span as we reached the destination quickly. Harish who was a regular member for the photo walk briefed me how beautiful the place will be and true to his words the sight of the city, was very beautiful. The city which is usually busy during the weekdays portrayed a different picture on the Sunday morning, a picture of peace, a picture of stillness and a picture filled with abundant views of nature at its best.
Pic courtesy – Prabhu Raja
As we were climbing towards the mount we could see a Flight coming towards Chennai airport for landing. It was an AWE moment and a very special sight, as I could see the flight land in such close quarters, it was as if me and the flight were at same height and in fact within few moments the flight was below me at a very close distance. I was excited and as the excitement carried on, we had reached St. Thomas mount. The bikes were parked in the place allotted for the same and the team then started their walk towards the Mount as vehicles were not allowed beyond a particular point.
After few minutes of walk we reached the top of the Mount, only to be welcomed by a chill breeze and a devotional music from the shrine. The sight from the mount was beautiful and the entire place was very peaceful. We could feel the silence all around the place and we could hear the birds chirping and adding to the music which was flowing from the shrine. I was wondering how did I miss such a beautiful place in Chennai for so long.
Pic courtesy – Anbu Victor
The organisers briefed all of us about the place and we were then allowed to be at our own to capture the beauty of the place and the view from top of the hills. Everyone assembled their equipments(camera) and went on taking snaps and trying to capture the nature and its beauty from the lenses. I was just excited to see the place and was awe in the beautiful sights of the city visible from the top. We could see the airport very clearly, take off for the flights and how beautiful it looks, on the other side we could have a bird’s eye view of the city with METRO TRAIN bridge, traffic moving in a swift pace and small houses built in their own style giving the entire scenery a picturesque look as if it was a painting drawn by an artist, but yes it was very real and in front of our eyes. Once everyone completed capturing as much as possible through their lenses we then proceeded towards the MADRAS WAR CEMETERY.
Pic Courtesy – Sekar rao
On reaching the place we were welcomed by a very rare sight of a zone with bright green grass with dew drops sticking to the glass as if few drops of water is resting on the grass for its morning nap. Madras war cemetery was built and maintained by CWGC to honour the victims in World war II. I was awe struck at how beautifully they are still maintaining the place ensuring that the grass is cut evenly throughout the place, the stone engraved with the names of the brave heroes is neat and clean, the pillars and the trees growing there are all cut to perfection. The place though reminds of the people died in the world war II, it is an excellent place for photographers to capture nature maintained at its best. Team members were excited at the beauty of the place and immediately on reaching the place were on work with the cameras doing all the talking and in full action. I was just enjoying the beauty of the place filled with bright green grass and a picture perfect location.
Pic Courtesy – Arunachallam Kannan
As time progressed hunger took over all of us and as such when hunger strikes rest part of the body obliges to the same, accordingly one by one we started assembling at the meeting point, packing the cameras in the bag and awaiting the call from the organisers for break fast. Once all of us assembled at the meeting point, we had a small session to introduce ourselves so as to get to know each other and to learn from each other the art of PHOTOGRAPHY. Since I like to meet new people and get to know them, it was a learning experience for me to come to know so many people sharing the common passion towards photography, their hobbies, their back ground, it was in fact completely an enriching experience. I thoroughly enjoyed knowing the members and also learnt few things about photography. Since I was a beginner I was guided by fellow members on how to begin and take the learning experience forward.
Pic courtesy – Sashi Bushan
Half way through the introduction, We were disturbed by the sirens of the PATROL VEHICLE asking us to move our parked vehicles, we had to immediately rush and as such many members of the team dispersed from there. The remaining few of us carried on the experience and proceeded for a breakfast discussion in a restaurant just in the opposite side of the war cemetery. We had a sumptuous breakfast discussing about ourselves and post breakfast we all proceeded to our respective homes.
Throughout the session it was as if SUN GOD had decided not to show its temperament / heat on us, which was a bliss for us as we could enjoy the beauty of both the location without being to be bothered about the usual heat in chennai, but the photographers were little disappointed since they had to capture such wonderful locations without adequate bright natural lights.
Pic courtesy – Prabhu Raja
Overall the entire experience was a happy, peaceful and a learning experience for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed being with the team and getting to know each other and the passion they share for photography.
I thank the organisers for taking me through this wonderful experience on a Sunday morning which is usually spent dreaming about various things in a comfort of the bed at home.
Written by Amith Rathi.