East Mada Street, Mylapore has turned into a busy street today evening, occupied by vendors selling everything from jewellery and toys to balloons and beads. Vehicles entering East Mada Street from Sundareswarar Street are being routed to South Mada Street.
Right outside Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Saroja from Avadi has set up her bangle shop. She says she comes every year and will be here till the end of the festival.
Next to her, Ramesh from Besant Nagar has set up a merry-go- round for children. "This is only for toddlers", he says, "but sometimes we make an exception and allow children aged 6 and above to ride this. This usually happens when both siblings want to ride together, he adds.
Further down, the shutters of the ther have been opened, the kalasam clearly visible on the top. On both sides of Sannidhi Street, you can see the statues of the bhuta ganas which will be placed on the four corners of the big ther.