My book ‘Madras Mosaic’ published by Parity Paperbacks in 2005 and launched by the Madras Book Club was a light take on the changing society of a ‘conservative’ city. I keep wondering if Madras and its people have undergone any drastic/visible changes the past seven years and I do notice they certainly have in some respects whereas consistency reigns in others.
The good news is there has been an upward mobility with more and more people owning apartments (no matter under whatever scheme), flashy cars-an evidence of their prosperity, purchasing the yellow metal despite its escalating cost, eating out at the most expensive restaurants (more as a status symbol), and splurging on all sundry things thus adding to the clutter!
Women of the city dress more tastefully and carry off their artificial jewelery and saris with tested zari with equal aplomb as they do with their diamonds, gold and kanjivaram silks.
Well, all the above are like embellishments which require least effort on the part of the individual but what really matters is whether there has been a change within, i.e.in the attitude of the Madrasi/chennaiite. I am afraid there hasn’t been any visible change, even the most subtle for that matter. Conservative outlook, miserly practices of the well to do, lack of consideration for fellow human beings’ feelings happen to remain the same!
n.meera raghavendra rao