Ever since covering this year’s Thaipusam procession (on the eve) along the grounds in Little India, I knew I had to come back for more. I had passed by this place several times, mostly for other assignments and each time, the temptation to snap a few shots would get the better of me.
My thoughts through the lens
So on last Saturday, I made sure that my mind was purely on Little India and anything else could wait. Covering the notable areas around Lebuh Queen, Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Pasar (Market Street) that make up Little India in the heart of George Town, I was greeted by the sights, sounds and scents. The sights of the dhoti-wearing men, the saree-clad ladies; the sound of Indian music blaring from the shops selling Bollywood movies and traditional Indian songs from shops and street stalls. Above all, who could disregard the scent of spices and incense wafting through the air in a dizzying concoction?
My heart was led astray.
Here’s my story and the scenes captured. In the meantime, let me savor some of the things I brought home with me this time around. Hmmm, I think my camera smells rather spicy now from the walk around Little India. Well, spice is nice!
Meendum santhipom! Vanakkam!
All photos and texts by Calvin Kwok
The imposing Mahamariamman temple, quite possibly THE icon in Little India. The temple is over a hundred years old with a charm that can only be best experienced first hand.
Lord Ganesha, brother of Lord Muruga, guarding the inner shrine. The Mahamariamman temple is rich in history and definitely rich in colors as well.
Brightly-colored sarees being lined up high on this saree shop, making them a bold and vivid advertisement to woo potential customers.
Standing among the sarees in his shop, I asked this ‘uncle’ if I could take a picture of him. He willingly obliged and his straight-as-arrow pose sort of make him appear like one of the mannequins behind him. I smiled.
A close-up look: Boxes of colorful incense sticks being lined outside an Indian wholesaler’s shop. Walking around Little India, I was made to feel welcome by the sweet-smelling aroma from the incense sticks that seemed to fill the air every turn I took.
An assortment of brightly-colored prayer garlands can be found at various shops in Little India
Not for the faint-hearted: I was very drawn to the cube-like shapes of the machine-cut meat. They remind me of the square-shaped melons that they had (or still have?) in Taiwan or China. The blood and contours of the meat add further drama to this scene, in my opinion. The butcher, Encik Tajudden, was very accommodating and allowed me to take several shots of him at work.
A street vendor with his array of goodies; candies, juicy magazines on the latest Bollywood gossips, fruits, ointments and other knick-knacks. I find it amusing that despite the space constraint, these vendors are able to lay out their wares in a very neat and presentable manner
One of the Indian bookstores found in China Street with a bright yellow signboard which caught my eyes almost instantly. The hunched figure of an Indian lady add a sense of silence and loneliness, perhaps from waiting for the shop to be opened
Two men walking along a giant motif on the street.. Street engravings, with embossed motifs of flowers and other similar-inspired designs, are quite a sight in Little India so do take note of them the next time you are there
Master craftsmen at work in a jewellery shop along Market Street. Although very much engaged in their work, they were still very welcoming and obliging with their smiles when I approached them
What is Penang without its food? Freshly-prepared roti canai and murtabak tempting the taste buds of anyone who walks by. Shot from the Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant which serves northern and southern Indian cuisine. A must-have quick tuck before heading off home for me
Born, bred and schooled within the vicinity of George Town; Penang has been my home for over twenty years. As a way of saying ‘Welcome to Penang’, I would like to share scenes of Penang with you from my perspective as a keen amateur photographer. More [+]