Chennai 7-Up: lighting up the Luz
Wonderful, joyful, to be back in Chennai! I am teaching here for a seventh successive year. But because of the pandemic, over the last two years the teaching sessions have been on Zoom. So this is the first time in three years that I've been in the city that was once known as Madras.
I had a walk round my Chennai 'manor' last night. The bookshop has gone - and the gym - and the coffee stall; the 'Winter Palace', the local Russian restaurant (really!), is another casualty of Covid. But the paan stall is still here, and the local shops - I've heard word of a new tapas bar nearby - and of course the Luz church is still going strong after half-a-millennium as you can see.
I am ridiculously pleased with the photo above, and the way in which the young girl's trousers reprise the colour of the evening sky, which in turn reflects the electric red cross at the apex of the building.
The Luz church was built by the Portuguese and bears the date 1516 - so older by far than the first Anglican church in India (also in Chennai) or the oldest Armenian church. Not that the Portuguese brought Christianity to this corner of India. Many local Christians would credit that to St Thomas, 'Doubting' Thomas, who not only brought the gospel to South India but is said to have been martyred near Chennai in 53 AD/CE.
The church's full name in Portuguese was Nossa Senhora da Luz, Our Lady of Light - and in the early evening light, it's at its best.
Leave a Reply.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
Welcome - read - comment - throw stones - pick up threads - and tell me how to do this better!