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Vol. XXIX No. 11, September 16-30, 2019

Pavithra’s Perspective

Old Town House

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Once I realized that North Madras was the soul of the city, I began to pick my way through old lanes and byways, stumbling upon unexpected heritage sites and unlooked for treasure-troves. And this – this dilapidated building, stuck like a limpet to one wall of the Chenna Kesava Perumal temple, was a beauty indeed. The first thing that caught me off guard – aside from the shrine itself, which was like an oasis of calm within the confines of a busy city, with a cow tethered to a tree, to boot! – was that it was seemingly part of the temple structure itself, its ancient, creaking door, crumbling windows and even the arches and protruding architectural features fitting perfectly with the décor.

I stared at it for a long while, but I’d decided the moment I set eyes on it that I’d draw it. Not only was it alluring, but it carried with it the ever-present danger of heritage sites in Chennai: it could disappear any moment, with not a trace even in memory. To my enormous satisfaction, most who saw it simply did not believe that any such place could still exist in modern Chennai – and for this reason, it’s a favourite!

Details about the miniature: Black and White; Pen and Ink.
Dimensions: Approximately: 3.5” X 5”

Pavithra Srinivasan is a writer, journalist, artist, translator, columnist, editor and is fascinated with History.

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