Monday, October 1, 2012

Silhouettes and reflections

You know it is not a dressing room, that it is not even a room at all. It is not even inside a house. But somehow, the air of domesticity is apparent on this mirror. Is it the Mickey Mouse sticker? The three toothbrushes jammed on top of the mirror? Those daubs of pink? 

Chennai has anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 homeless people. Those are the official numbers, but it is quite likely that the family using this dressing room would not have been included in that count. Walking around George Town, you see them on every street; for all appearances, there are even extended families staying together, occupying their corner of the world, having learnt to shut out the traffic and gawkers around. The Corporation of Chennai has recently announced that it has opened 8 more night shelters for the city's homeless, taking the total to 23; that's just over one-third of the 66 that Chennai requires, according to the Supreme Court Expert Committee's recommendation earlier this year.

Today's theme - for the City Daily Photo community - is 'silhouette'. The mirror does reflect, but silhouette? Well, the word originated from the actions of √Čtienne de Silhouette, who, as Finance Minister of France sometime in the 1750s, imposed severe austerity on the French, to the extent that his name came to be applied to the 'shadow pictures' that were far cheaper than portraits. Silhouette was also said to have proposed taxing external signs of wealth such as ornate doors and windows..... well, the family here on the corner of Armenian Street and Errabalu Chetty Street need not fear good old √Čtienne - they are shadows themselves!



If you would like to check out other interpretations of the 'Silhouette' theme, click here!

14 comments:

magiceye said...

Brilliant take on the theme Shantaram!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

the shadow people - good post and your interpretation of the theme is effective

Bibi said...

Hello to you in Chennai, where I visited a friend two years ago. Sorry I didn't 'know' you then. Thanks too for your comment on my blog. I thought also that the domes I featured looked like somewhere in Northern India...where I visited and loved it, too!

LONDONLULU said...

They are like shadows indeed - a poignant take on the silhouette theme!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Such an interesting post Shantaram, to be honest I hadn't even thought of the origins of the word silhouette, good to know. I do on the other hand think a lot about homeless people and how their situations came about. A very evocative post for the theme.

VP said...

A quite good choice for this theme day!

Lois said...

Interesting post and a wonderful choice for Theme Day!

Shantaram said...

Thank you, all. It was great 'going around' to different parts of the world and seeing the silhouettes!

Carraol said...

Interesting image of a harsh reality of our cities!

Meghan said...

Very thought-provoking entry for theme day.

EG CameraGirl said...

So many homeless people! I do hope the city finds places for more to stay on!

Shantaram said...

Thank you, Carraol, Meghan and EGCG...

Buck said...

A very thoughtful interpretation of the theme. Thank you.

Shantaram said...

@Buck: Thank you!