A thin, cold air wraps the ‘Mada’ streets of Mylapore—the four streets around the iconic Kapaleswarar Temple. The locality has bestirred itself by six in the morning, with a few shops and coffee stalls open for business. And then the tunes of a bhajan resonate from one of the streets.
The singers are a group of thirty men, women and children, marching slowly, their chorus hanging in the air, as they halt at intersections to register their presence. After an hour of ambulatory singing, the group returns to its starting point—the eastern tower of the temple. After a short crescendo, the bhajan ends.