Has Madras changed? 20/08/2013

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


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