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Capturing the old and the new

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CLASSIC SHOTS: Vignettes of Puducherry on postcards. Photo: T. Singaravelou
CLASSIC SHOTS: Vignettes of Puducherry on postcards. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

INTACH brings out Puducherry heritage postcards

PUDUCHERRY: Life is nothing but a long series of memories that we cherish. A relaxing holiday trip to an exotic destination, marriages, and even small material benefits such as a new television set become a a part of our memories.

And something that lets you capture the present for the future is a photograph.

The Puducherry chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has brought out postcards with images of the heritage of past and present day Puducherry.

The pictures of old Pondicherry provide an opportunity to revisit the past. One of the best pictures is that of a beach with waves hitting the shore and children playing difficult for residents to imagine especially since the Union Territory no longer has a sandy beach off Goubert Salai.

There are pictures of an old Tamil street, the police headquarters, an almost empty Rue de Bussy, the old pier with the train tracks in the middle of the pillars from Gingee and an image of the Bharathi Park with the Aayi Mandapam in the middle of a plain.

Photographer Sebastian Cortes has taken three photos two of the inside of a typical traditional well-preserved Tamil house and one of the Talvaram in front of a Tamil house.

The remaining pictures are by INTACH's Ajit and Shadish. The other pictures in this modern collection are that of Hotel De l'Orient, a heritage hotel, the road just behind the Sri Aurobindo Ashram with the Mother's balcony in sight and facades of houses in the French quarter.

INTACH has also brought out a CD and a booklet on the architectural heritage of Puducherry and several other publications. Tourists from abroad prefer these cards and the CD. "Airlines don't permit us to carry too much weight, we cannot carry many books and souvenirs. So the CDs and postcards come in handy. Also when we visit a country, we send post cards to our friends and share the marvellous images that we have seen," said a traveller from New York, who had come to INTACH to take a look at their exhibition about Puducherry.

Copies of the postcards can be had from 14, Rue Labourdannais.

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