The city through her eyes – The Hindu Metro Plus, September 16, 2015

Chennai Collage by author Meera Raghavendra Rao offers stories related to the city

CHRONICLING CHENNAIMeera Raghavendra RaoPhoto: S.R. Raghunathan

CHRONICLING CHENNAI, Meera Raghavendra Rao

Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Collage, as the name suggests, is a collection of things which may be alike or different. Similarly, author Meera Raghavendra Rao’s Chennai Collage consists of disparate events and experiences related to the city, as seen through her eyes, over four decades of living here. The first chapter, for instance, called ‘Eldams road — travelling through time’, talks about how the road received its name and the many changes in the area that the author observed over the years. “Earlier, only a few independent bungalows existed. But now, they have given way to apartments and commercial complexes, and the place has generally become commuter non-friendly,” says Meera, over e-mail. Some of the chapters that follow include ‘Culture shock’, ‘Beware of watchman’, ‘Health care’, ‘Navarathri kolus’ and ‘Wedding celebrations’.

Meera started writing the book sometime in July 2015, when the Odyssey book store invited authors to participate in the ‘Madras Authors’ festival’. The author of seven published works, including Madras Mosaic, Slice of Life andJournalism — Think Out Of The Box, Meera is not new to writing. However, with Chennai Collage , she had to race against time, and managed to pen the book in less than two months, all the while juggling her everyday affairs and updating her e-journal simultaneously. She says, “I managed to complete the 100-plus pages, suggest a befitting cover picture which represented all the topics I covered, and hand over the manuscript to my publisher, Palaniappa Brothers. They, in turn, brought out the book just in time for me to launch it at the book store, before the conclusion of the festival.”

According to Meera, the book, though about the city, is meant for everyone. Says Meera, “I never thought of a particular audience while writing the book. The theme is universal, and anyone, even a non-Chennaiite, can relate to the characters in it.”

She had to race against time, and managed to pen the book in less than two months

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