Lights on!- Diwali @ Chennai:We get a vision of the sparkling Chennai during Diwali which is just a fortnight away. Navarathri ushered in the festive season and we are on a buying spree haunting the snazzier shopping malls for avant garde attires and renowned textile houses for silk sarees. T Nagar the shopping district of Chennai holds a lot of charisma for the discerning buyer.

Men and women are trapped in the vibrant Usman road and Ranganathan street which caters to all sections of society. The changing face of Usman is palpable in every sphere.The latest addition to Usman road is the flyover which is like Scylla and Charbdyis.

Visitors go around the globe to reach a nearest spot. The sea of humanity surging towards Ranganathan Street makes us wonder whether the whole of Chennai is assembled there. Only the heads are visible and it seems as if they are in a slow motion.

The textile merchants have stocked their shops with trendy outfits and of course run of the mill stuff to satisfy all sections of people. Nalli , Kumarans , Pothys, RMKV, Chennai silks who form the nucleus of T Nagar are alluring everyone with their a la mode designs. Fastidious families ransack every shop to settle down with the latest. All the shops are bursting at its seams and Pondy Bazaar is a world of its own.

The incorrigible traffic snarl have not deterred people from stepping into Naidu Hall and other shops.

With women having very little time to devote for preparing Diwali bakshanam the sweet stalls are God sent. A horde of sweet meat stalls entice the buyers with their Diwali sweets and savories which tickle our taste buds.

I know ladies who swear on Mylapore's Dabba chettis Diwali marundhu lehyam and podi. In some houses collecting the ingredients for the Marundhu is still in vogue in many houses Dabba Chettis Podi is the best substitute.

Though the cracker sales have dipped in recent years yet the some cracker sellers still put up stalls.

We are soaked in the festive atmosphere and Chennai reverberates with crackers which brings alive the tradition of Diwali.

Usha Raja