Author: C S Lakshmi
Editor(s): C S Lakshmi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 014303026-4
The gateway of south India, Chennai, formerly Madras, is a 350-year-old city that evolved from the English settlement of Fort Saint George, absorbing the neighboring villages and towns over the years. A fascinating blend of the past and the present, the historical and the personal, Chennai, with its unique proximate location to three south Indian states, is a crucible of the traditions and cultures of peninsular India with its variety of temples, shrines, forts and palaces and its traditional art and dance forms. While retaining a lot of its old-world charm, it has also emerged as the nerve center for trade, commerce and transportation in south India.
The Unhurried City, peppered with photographs and illustrations, puts together stories, articles and poems which celebrate the amalgam that is Chennai. Presented in this anthology are writers as diverse as Ashokamitran, Arundhati Subramaniam, Pudumaippithan, Ramachandra Guha, Timeri Murari, A.R. Venkatachalapathy, Janaki Venkataraman, Theodore Baskaran, V. ARasu, Vijay Nambisan, Gopikrishnan, Salma, Ilampirai, Manushyaputhiran, Gnanakoothan, Dilip Kumar and S. Muthiah, and the marvelous illustrator Manohar Devadoss. Their captivating stories detail some defining aspects of the city: the evolution of the New Black Town which today stands as the commercial heat of Chennai as George Town; the birth and development of cinema in India; the famous Marina skyline, the Thousand Lights Mosque and other heritage buildings; the Ghana songs which rise from the slums; and the river Cooum… The city they create is fascinating and enticing; threatening at times but also rewarding.
Absorbing, thought-provoking and rich in detail, this anthology is evocative of the spirit of an exceptional city.