Most residents of Velachery do not head to Besant Nagar to buy beads. They rely on K. Rajendran, a beadsman who comes calling on them every weekend. He sells knickknacks made of beads near Dhandeeshwaram Nagar Road on Saturdays and Sundays.

His offering includes beaded rings, anklets, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The beads come in various colours, including turquoise blue, jade, white, black and saffron.

When asked to give beads of a particular shade of deep purple, he states that his had gone to Delhi to procure beads and they would likely return with beads of that colour in another 15 days. Rajendran says the items he sells are the result of the labour of around 25 households. These families source the beads from Delhi and Andhra

Rajendran, always seen wearing a black cap and sporting a typical gypsy hairdo, has his stall up around 2 p.m. every day Saturday and Sunday and packs up for the day around 10 p.m. He says he makes close to Rs.1000 on each of these days.

The chains cost somewhere between Rs. 50 and Rs.150, depending on the intricacy of the jewellery work. The earrings come at Rs. 30 apiece. Rajendran entertains haggling.

More In: Downtown | Chennai | Arts