What is Chennai?

TAMARIND CITY (2012) 4/5 YES Travelogue Rs.49 (Kindle ebook) Bishwanath Ghosh [3.85/386 ratings Goodreads]

Review #437 (Book Review #137) :

So I completed my 2nd ever read of Bishwanath Ghosh, I read his other travelogue some time back named CHAI CHAI. And that book encourages me to buy this one. His simple writing style and mixing up simple happenings and emotions in his writing, plus always sharing the positiveness of Indian countryside made him the guy to read, unlike many other Indian travelogues where the writers only share the negative parts and the problems they faced. And ask me, I was not at all disappointed after reading CHAI CHAI, or even this one TAMARIND CITY.

(check out my review of CHAI CHAI here: https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/lets-stroll-at-forgotten-places/ )

This book is a travelogue on one city’s history and its legacies, and the city is MADRAS aka CHENNAI. His last book covers some small cities which falls on railway tracks where ideally less people get down from trains, but this one covers one of the 4 metropolitan city of India CHENNAI. The writer tried to tell and cover as many aspects of a city as he can, he tried from beginning, not only cover the story of the city but also the story of people who made it chennai the way it is.

Now let’s explore the book chapter by chapter. This book contains 11 chapters in around 314 pages.

Ch.1 tells how did the author, a Bengali journalist from Kanpur UP lands in Chennai for a job and how did he liked and stick to chennai for more than 10 yrs

Ch.2 is all about some initial history of chennai and prominent people landing in the port city

Ch.3 covers religious aspects of chennai, the differentiation between Brahmins and Dravidians upcoming and ruling over Brahmins and how chennai excels in curbing the high caste Hindu culture but still maintaining the temples in the city

Ch.4 covers some of the main areas and iconic places of Chennai like Triplicane, Mylapore and Ratna cafe, parthasarthy temple and area’s history

Ch.5 covers a taboo topic about se* and the city plus feminism dealings in chennai, also covers the famous doctor (India’s no 2) of se*ual disorders and his story

Ch.6 covers the Ganesan family and chennai’s affairs with movies

Ch.7 covers the story behind one of the famous yesteryear children magazine Chandamama and of the artiste behind it

Ch.8 covers the life on Marina beach, the 2nd largest beach, and the story of a self-made entreprenur cum restaurateur and her struggles and also about Tsunami havoc

Ch.9 covers the story behind December music festival/month which happens in chennai every year and how the music is related to chennai

Ch.10 covers some developments related to the city and what makes chennai a better place to live, for e.g. the medical revolution, industrial revolution (chennai and its neighbouring towns are manufacturing industry hubs)

In Ch.11, finally but not the least he covered the details and history related to the street where he lived, and who all big named guys lived there.

So I must say that if you’re into city travelogues, and into good reading this book is for you, and if you’re a fan of Indian cities esp. chennai you should have this book in your collection. BG’s language is very simple, he writes in common man’s language, so you can enjoy all the scenes described without looking at dictionary. Only negatives I found is typo errors, which are at some pages on the book, I counted more than 10, which can be rectified in further editions (however I’m not sure if typos are only in the kindle edition or in all the editions inc. paperback). The descriptions of locations, history is explained nicely, and the reader was able to relate to it, and still it didn’t went boring (as usually the case with history books), the book is informational and enjoyable at the same time.

I liked the book, I’ve even bought 2 more books of him (I guess he’s written 4 travelogues till now), Bishwanath Ghosh is the guy to look for. I rate the book 4/5.

GRuchirG. (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews: pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

About GRuchirG ("Jee" Ruchir "Jee")!

Well, I am an Indian, by birth and by soul, and my hobbies are Traveling, reading novels, listening music, watching movies, and writing Reviews/Blogs/Stories. "kaun kehta hai aasma mein surakh nahi ho sakta ek patthar to tabiyat se uchaalo yaaro" (Who Says you can't make a hole in the sky, Just throw a stone with all your will-power) You can do what you want to, you just have to be true with yourself, you are not answerable to anybody but yourself. So never lose hope and just try and try till you die..
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