South India and Sri Lanka, First Glance


Tamil Nadu, the South Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, includes Chennai, Mamallapuram, Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram. Here marked the start of my 18 day visit to South India and Sri Lanka with Stalin,

Stalin V

a magnificent guide, and six truly experienced travelers. Our trip, so abundant in its events and aromas, its sights and tastes and textures, goes well beyond my ability to document or encapsulate it. One blogpost will certainly not do.

I’m not going to begin with the beauty shots or even the exotica. I’ll start with just a few images and a very few words taken from Chennai’s George Town, an area of dense and intense wholesale, retail and distribution activities. More than the sounds or the smells or the jostling I experienced here, the attitudes–yes! attitudes–I encountered here foretold all my subsequent interactions with folks I’d met or just rub up against in the rush of life in this remarkable tropical world. Everywhere–even in Kerala, the Upper West Side of South India–people were simultaneously humble in their lives and proud of what they did, determined to get things done but willing to pause when pausing was the only–or most desirable–option.

Yes, I’d return in a minute.

Georgetown, Chennai

100 kilos

balanced above his grin–

“I work in George Town!”


Georgetown, Chennai


Georgetown, Chennai


and I hope it is not you–

is not me.


Georgetown, Chennai



Georgetown, Chennai

The English drive on the left

Americans drive on the right

We drive wherever we can.


Georgetown, Chennai



Georgetown, Chennai



Georgetown, Chennai



Georgetown, Chennai



Georgetown, Chennai

You travel so far

to watch me work—

I am honored.


Published in: on November 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm  Comments (25)  

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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Annie down in Florida said this:

    Really close up and personal with your amazing technicolor eyes. xxx


  2. I love the humor in their faces. They are so at ease with themselves.


    • Well seen, my Sister. There is that very real feeling of people happy to be themselves.


  3. This wonderful surprise from Margaret, a former co-worker:

    Hello Richard!

    This is Margaret from Samaritan. How are you? Your recent photos you shared are beautiful!

    Take care and hope to talk with you soon.


  4. From Terry in DC:

    Liked the first batch very much, Dick. Like especially the close head shots.


  5. Roland, one of my Australia tripmates writes:

    Very nice, thanks Richard.


  6. From Tobi:

    beautiful !


  7. Neighbor Stan says:

    You do great work and I love the photos.

    Can no longer read stuff though…too old or sump’n.

    But keep ’em going.



    • To which I reply:



  8. From Connie in Connecticut:

    Awesome colorful pictures, Richard. Thanks.


  9. Again Connecticut, this time Lew: sounds like a wonderful, intriguing many of your sojourns are. Thanks for sharing the journey.


  10. From Marianne on the Upper East Side:


    Love your photos, your eye…communication


  11. Mark in Connecticut writes:

    GREAT pictures and insight.


  12. From Harry in Riverdale:

    Hi Richard,

    Great pix and really like the haigas.




  13. Dick, I was blown away by all the colors & the pride in their faces. Thanks for sharing.
    Best to you both…Arlene


  14. From Dennis out there in the Midlands:

    That was fun.. great pics


  15. And Paul in the Lower East Side:

    Thank you for letting me look at these many wonderful pictures.
    It shows that we miss a great deal if we don’t “inhale” what’s around us.


  16. What wonderful pictures! All the colors! This brings back so many wonderful memories. We did have such a good time, didn’t we?


  17. Great stuff, Rich. The photos are powerful, and the poems are eloquent. I like that third line (you know the one I mean), but, on the whole, I think ending on the grin is the strongest choice. Blessings.


    • You know I agree. I only wish George Town were as well known as Calcutta.


  18. Beautiful pictures Richard! Keep traveling my friend!


  19. Richard,
    Your blog is an illustrated poem about the wonderful people we met throughout this trip: warm and friendly, genuinely happy that we came from far away to share that moment in their life.
    Thank you.


  20. From Daryl, 2 flights down:

    You do a really fine job..kudos…
    India… crazy incredible place.. Ive been tp Calcutta,Delhi,Bombay and Goa..
    missed Jaipur and Kerala etc…
    Best Daryl


  21. Great Pic’s



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