I recently read this book ‘Tamarind City’ – a unique chronicle of Chennai, from its earliest avatar as the foundation of modern India (even before Delhi & Kolkata were born) to its present day reputation as a tech-savvy yet traditional city.
This book is a treasure trove of trivia. For instance, did you know that:
- The Yale University was established with wealth from an illegal diamond trade in Madras?
- The capital city of Tamil Nadu is named after a Telugu-speaking Chennappa Naidu?
- The oldest railway station in this sub-continent is in Chennai?
Candid, but non-judgmental, the author Bishwanath Ghosh touches upon:
- The political landscape in Tamil Nadu
- Showbiz and the politics within
- Religion and spirituality (esp. the long standing yet amusing ‘feud’ between Iyers and Iyengars)
- Culture and literature (Carnatic music, the sabha culture, Chandamama, etc.)
- Sex and the city’s changing mores
- Chennai’s growing prowess as a technology hub
Enriched with anecdotes, interviews and the author’s personal experiences as a Bengali in Chennai, this book beautifully describes how this city holds its own against metros like Delhi and Mumbai.
An interesting read, do check it out.