In search of a photograph: Tales from Tirunelveli

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Without much ado, I will jump to the next travel post, which happens to be my last leg in the 1 week trip across Tamilnadu. And yay, this is my 500th post too!

This is a post about the sleepy little city (?town) of Tirunelveli, a place as sweet as the halwa they make there, synonymous with the city. (Actually , the city is not as sleepy as I describe. It is as crowded, polluted and busy as any other small city. “Sleepy” was just a lazy first impression.)

SONY DSCHere’s my friend, whose eyes are allergic to the camera shutter unlike the phantasm in the background.

SONY DSCLater, in a bus, I found a friend with curious eyes, wondering at the little things going past.

SONY DSCThis was in the Nellaiappar temple, which charges an exorbitant hundred rupees for a camera. I was hoping I would get a few quality images from there (so as to make the most of the fees).



After a few ‘meh, keepable’ images, I was a wee bit disappointed at not getting a real keeper image. I kept trudging on, hoping lady luck will smile at me in the dark corridors somewhere in the temple complex.

SONY DSCI was walking and thinking , “What do I need to get a good photo now? Ah yes, one of the many faithful visitors to the temple. Dark dress . Check. An (almost) empty pillared hall. Check. Rule of thirds. Check. OK. Maybe I’ll walk a little more to explore.”

I went around the corner, the corridors were even darker and there was hardly anything there. But again I looked around in the darkness, there was a stone doorway leading to an adjoining smaller temple. I decided to try my luck there.


SONY DSCIt was fiendishly dark in there and I had to use my camera flash at an arms distance from this lady in the midst of her prayers. This made me think for a moment about the audacity of us photographers, who would almost interfere in sacred moments like these.


SONY DSCThere was a temple tank, as is wont to all the south Indian temples, incorporating the element of water in the structure.


SONY DSCThe moment I saw this elderly couple, my mind was filled with joy and anticipation for this photograph above.  Fraility, fidelity and faith along with a fillip of color from the kolam (design on the ground) made this image for me. My quest for a single keeper from the temple was finished.

There is yet another tale from the Tirunelveli trip which I want to narrate to you and it involves bumpy one lane roads, flamingoes and ladies. See you later in the next post.







2 thoughts on “In search of a photograph: Tales from Tirunelveli

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