The Navratri Season is just round the corner. The appearance of host of roadside shops selling idols (Kolu Dolls) and various other items associated with Navratri serve as precursor and curtain raiser for the festivities to follow. For a first time observer North Mada Street in Mylapore (adjoining the Kapaleeswarar Temple) is a puzzle beyond comprehension. A casual glance at the street during the busy hours of the day will stun anyone with its chaos of several orders of magnitude and an order within all this chaos.
It’s my firm belief that Chennai’s Road Transport Offices should conduct all their driving tests in North and South Mada streets of Mylapore. If they find these street not to their liking then they should try North and South Mada streets of Triplicane. Anybody who passes this driving test in first attempt is an amalgamation of Superman, Spiderman, Batman and all the other Marvel Superheroes. There is so much economic activity happening in and around temples, I sometimes wonder if ancient kings had economic consideration in addition to the religious consideration in the building so many temples and places of worship.
A walk down the North Mada Street during the busy hours before or during the Navratri season, despite all the discomforts is joy worth experiencing. We would be awestruck when we witness these endless shops selling dolls and idols in multiple permutation of size, color and material, to the same extent as walking into a colorful garden in the height of spring. Over the years, in addition to making generic idols the shop keepers have started making idols resembling deities of famous temples.
The highlight of this year is the ‘Srirangam Sorkavasal Idol Set’ which is quoted at Rupees Fifteen Thousand (!!!). By the way, negotiating for price with these street side vendors is an art form that even the best negotiation experts will not be able to teach us. Yesterday I went to North Mada Street to look at these shops and take a few photos. As it was a Sunday, it was crowded than a usual. A couple of poor policemen who were on duty there were having hard time regulating the traffic. I had leave within an hour but I enjoyed every minute of my walk in that street.