Saying Goodbye To India

The Last Supper beautiful depicted on the front of the St. Thomas Mount National Shrine on the outskirts of Chennai, India

This image was made shortly before I headed to the airport on the last night of my most recent trip to India. It was a warm, balmy night and I was atop St. Thomas Mount on the outskirts of Chennai (i.e., Madras) in south eastern India.

A crowd watching the night sky on the steps of the beautiful St. Thomas Mount National Shrine on the outskirts of Chennai, India

The mural on the wall is, of course, a scene from the Last Supper. I made this second image a little later in the evening when the front entrance to the church was lit, predominantly, with artificial light.

I like the contrast of the cool blue night sky against the warm neon illuminated cross and the mural itself. The eye travels around the frame taking in the cross, sky and the mural.

A portrait of the head priest at St. Thomas Mount National Shrine in Chennai, India.

I'd been photographing kids in a catholic church orphanage earlier that day and was visiting with some of the staff prior to heading out to the airport for my late night departure.

While it had been an exhausting trip, during which time I came down with a really nasty stomach bug, I felt a real burst of energy during this, my final night in India.

I was fortunate in that it was a Sunday night and an open air mass was being conducted. It was great to be able to photograph the Catholic priest and the gold colored statue of the crucifixion in the fading light, just before the open air service commenced. 

A statue of the crucifixion at St. Thomas Mount National Shrine in Chennai, India.

It was interesting that the mass seemed to consist almost entirely of hymns, which was kind of nice. The songs were all in Tamil, the dominant language of Southern India, so I'm unable to comment on the words or the message contained with those songs.

Days end, after an evening service at St. Thomas Mount National Shrine, Chennai.

But under that clear sky, on that last balmy night in India, it didn't really matter. The music and the gentle fervor of the congregation was quite beautiful and a lovely and somewhat unexpected way to bid farewell to India.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru