Writing about your city where you have spent your entire life must be really tough, at least I believe so. There is so much to tell and I know for a fact that people do it brilliantly but I can never see myself writing a concise book on my city and maintaining the essence of it all. After reading A Matter Of Rats, a short biography on the city of Patna Aleph Books came up with another brilliant book from their boutique i.e. Degree Coffee By The Yard by Nirmala Lakshman which is a short biography of Madras. Brilliantly put with carefully chosen words, anecdotes and trivia, I enjoyed every bit of this book.
This book sums up most prominent things about Madras now known as Chennai in close to 150 pages. It opens with the chapter named reflections of a Chennai vasi, a typical resident of Chennai and how his day starts and progresses. The book pulls together a sense of the city from lives that have been fashioned by it. Coffee has always been an integral part of people living in Chennai and this book dwells on the coffee and filter kaapi phenomenon.
Then comes the story of Madras and Chennai, where the author has vividly painted Madras and the current version of it Chennai through her words. She takes us through the history of Madras and how it came into the existence and how modern India influence the socio-culture scenario of the city.
As the book progresses, the author goes into the multiple layers of the city, what the city has got to offer when a person to spend some leisure time there, the variety of food it offers and the significance of Degree Coffee By The Yard followed by how she sees Chennai growing up in future. Nirmala Lakshman has put up everything in a very concise manner but yet so elaborate. You would end up making a list of things that you wish to do in Chennai while you are reading it. That’s what I did because a trip to Chennai will be happening in near future! 🙂
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Aleph Book Company
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price : Rs. 295/-