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Vol. XXX No. No. 11, October 1-15, 2020

Marina Snapshots – 1962

The Covid 19 lockdown has had its truly positive(!) outcome too. As we were organizing the cupboards at home, my mother and I sifted through several albums and photographs. It was like striking gold when we found some lovely pics of Madras clicked by my father in 1962 when he was 33 years old. Photography was his favourite hobby.

S. Srinivasan had graduated with Geology major from Presidency College, Madras and gone to the USA for higher studies. Having achieved the distinction of becoming the 25th person in the world to secure a Masters MPE in Petroleum Engineering, and gaining experience in the US oilfields, he returned to serve his motherland, inspired by his earlier interaction with India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He joined the ONGC in Dehradun and worked in the oilfields in western and eastern India.

After a three-year stint he decided to try his hand at scientific agriculture initiated by his late father (who had retired as a police officer) in his native village of S. Pudur, in Tiruvidaimarudur district. Having traveled widely, ‘Seeni’ had a big collection of his own b/w photographs and colour transparencies / slides of places and persons. He had bought a new Yashica camera in Madras and enjoyed taking pictures and developing prints of the 12-frame film rolls at Klein and Peyerl photo studio. Fond as he was of photography and driving, he would often drive his car to Madras or down south with his wife and kid daughter (me), taking photographs along the way. It was on one such visit to Madras /Chennai that he captured these picturesque shots.

Of course, the call of Oil was too powerful, and he headed back in a year to the North, to soon become Senior Professor and serve as Head of the Dept. Of Petroleum Engineering at the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, for over two decades. His connection with Chennai was finally cemented when he settled here happily in 1989 after his retirement, and lived till his demise on Ramanavami day in April 1995.
– S. Janaki

Chepauk Palace Tower in the background

Gandhi Statue at the Marina Beach

Munroe Statue near the Esplanade. Srinivasan’s car in the foreground.

Presidency College with its unique dome.

PWD Annexe.

Sunrise at the beach.

Madras Band Service seen playing at the Beach.

A view of the Senate House.>

S. Srinivasan – whose photographs are seen in this spread.

The DGP Building.
A view of the University Clock Tower.
The Hostel Block of the Madras University.
The magnificent domes of the Senate House built by Robert Chisholm.
The Marina Swimming Pool.
The Pallavan House near the Central Station.
The Lady Willingdon Institute.
Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury’s famous sculpture The Triumph of Labour.
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