Downtown

In the frame

Fifty years: Its rare collection of portraits of deities is its selling point. Photo: R. Ravindran   | Photo Credit: R RAVINDRAN

Thanjavur Padakadai, a small shop selling portraits of a pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses, has held its own against competition from a slew of multi-storeyed and sleek shops engaged in the same business, in Mylapore. Instituted in 1951, the shop has stayed on in Ponnambala Vaithiyar Street, near Kapaleeshwar temple.

P.M. Radhakrishnan, the proprietor of the shop has a faithful employee in S.M. Rahamathullah (see pics), who is 66 years old and has been employed at the shop for exactly 50 years now. Rahamathullah runs the shop single-handedly.

“Our rare collection is our selling point. Our portraits of deities include Thirukadavur Abirami Amman, Kothanda Raman, Guruvayoourappan, Kanchi Kamakshi, Kapaleeshwar and Karapagambal seated on Nandi. We have a portrait of Andal, sourced from Srivilliputhur temple,” says Rahamathullah.

“The shop’s clientele includes celebrities from the film industry. To name a few, Ilayaraja, ‘Crazy’ Mohan, Shankar Ganesh, M.S Vishwanathan, late TMS and others,” he adds

Rahamathullah has also become a celebrity of sorts: hailing from Kanchipuram, he joined the shop as a 16-year-old. He has made numerous friends in Mylapore.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:17:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/in-the-frame/article5762173.ece

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