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TAMARIND CITY : WHERE MODERN INDIA BEGAN (English)

(Paperback)
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 344 pages
Publisher: Tranquebar

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TAMARIND CITY : WHERE MODERN INDIA BEGAN (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs. 295

‘While in other big cities tradition stays mothballed in trunks, taken out only during festivals and weddings, tradition here is worn round the year.’

This is just one of the author’s many keen observations of Chennai. With mordant wit, this biography of a city spares neither half of its split-personality: from moody, magical Madras to bursting-at-the-seams, tech-savvy Chennai. And, a minute into the book, the reader knows they are inseparable-and Bishwanath Ghosh refuses to take sides.

And yet, he tells us, while Chennai is usually known as conservative and orthodox, almost every modern institution in India-from the army to the judiciary, from medicine to engineering-traces its roots to Madras’s Fort St George, which was built when Delhi had only just become the capital of the Mughal Empire, and Calcutta and Bombay weren’t even born. Today, the city once again figures prominently on the global map as ‘India’s Detroit’, a manufacturing giant, and a hub of medical tourism. There have been sweeping changes since pre-Independent India, but even as Chennai embraces change, its people hold its age-old customs and traditions close to their heart. ‘This is what makes Chennai unique,’ says Ghosh, ‘the marriage of tradition and technology’.

Bishwanath Ghosh wears a reporter’s cap and explores the city he has made his home, delving into its past, roaming its historic sites and neighbourhoods, and meeting a wide variety of people-from a top vocalist to a top sexologist, from a yoga teacher to a hip transsexual, from a yesteryear film star to his own eighty-five-year-old neighbour, from the ghosts of Clive, Wellesley, Hastings and Yale to those of Periyar and MGR, two people who redefined the political skyline of Tamil Nadu.

What emerges is an evocative portrait of this unique city, drawn without reservation-sometimes with humour, sometimes with irony-but always with love.

About the Author
Bishwanath Ghosh was born on 26 December 1970 in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where he began his career as a journalist before moving to New Delhi to work with Press Trust of India and The Asian Age. In 2001 he relocated to Chennai where he spent seven years at The New Sunday Express and three at The Times of India. He is currently a deputy editor with The Hindu. In 2009 he wrote the bestselling travel book, Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop But Never Get Off, also published by Tranquebar.
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Specifications of TAMARIND CITY : WHERE MODERN INDIA BEGAN (English) (Paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Tranquebar
ISBN-10 9381626332
Number of Pages 344 Pages
Publication Year 2012
Language English
ISBN-13 9789381626337
Binding Paperback
Contributors
Author GHOSH BISHWANATH
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Reviews of TAMARIND CITY : WHERE MODERN INDIA BEGAN (English) (Paperback)

4.4

Average Rating

Based on 42  ratings

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Recent top reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★

Shruti S Ramjee

Mar 8, 2015

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Excellent tea-time companion

I'm a Chennai-ite, and I'm impressed. The author has done a great job in trying to cover all aspects of the city, including the people's appeal to cultural values and taboos.. If you've never been to chennai before, this will make you visit it. A great read.
PS - Chennai has changed a lot than t…
(View complete review)
★★★★★
★★★★★

Arun Kumar

Jan 9, 2015

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

interesting but....

the book is very interesting. it talks about many aspects of the Chennai...its history, people, cultural etc. but i found too much history in it. first two chapters (lengthy one) talks about the history of the city since from its establishment. rest of the chapters are very good. overall a good read… (View complete review)
★★★★★
★★★★★

Nisarg Kanitkar

Dec 29, 2014

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certified buyer

Just grab this thing in your cart !

Awesome narration. Its a complete jukebox of awesomeness one reader would expect. My eagerness for Madras has gone to a next level after this TAMARIND CITY experience. ! Luv you Ghosh da :-) Hail for the city of Tamarinds .
★★★★★
★★★★★

yojitha

Jun 26, 2014

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certified buyer

keeps you hooked!

travel writing is surely an interesting genre!
having read Maximum city by Suketu Mehta earlier [ which was about mumbai]....i was intrigued by the title of this book!
and i have no regrets picking it up!
a thoroughly interesting read that keeps you hooked without any boring lines! thou…
(View complete review)
★★★★★
★★★★★

Ganasunder Narayanamurthy

Jan 29, 2014

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Great Read

This book provided a good insight about Chennai and its rich history. Loved the narrative style and the layout of the book. Looking forward to reading more works of this author.

Top reviews

View all top reviews(13)

'Top Reviews' lists the most relevant product reviews only. Show ALL instead?

★★★★★
★★★★★

Dharma Raman

May 16, 2012

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certified buyer

A Treat!

I like Bishwanath Ghosh for 2 reasons – his writing is simple and straight from the heart- he does not pretend to be someone else and never tries to impress with complex words or ornamental sentences. That said, there is always a touch of poignancy in his observations that do not preach, but leave the reader with questions to ponder over.

As someone who has enjoyed his columns in newspapers immensely, I found 'Tamarind City' a treat – almost visual, as Bishwanath paints Chennai in varied colours - tracing its history, delving into it’s heritage, interviewing celebrities from various fields
★★★★★
★★★★★

Sudeep Chowdhuri

Apr 18, 2012

First to review
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Bringing a city to life

One would expect a book such as this to cater to a very select audience, because books on a particular city either end up doing a deep dive into the history and geography of the place, or take us on a picture postcard tour across the ‘places to see’, functioning as virtual tour guide.

In Tamarind City too, there is history – lots of it, there is politics, there is religion, there is tradition, and of course, something that Chennai would be incomplete without – Movies. What makes Tamarind City different is that Chennai is treated like a person who grows and matures, and changes over time. One
★★★★★
★★★★★

Shruti S Ramjee

Mar 8, 2015

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Excellent tea-time companion

I'm a Chennai-ite, and I'm impressed. The author has done a great job in trying to cover all aspects of the city, including the people's appeal to cultural values and taboos.. If you've never been to chennai before, this will make you visit it. A great read.
PS - Chennai has changed a lot than the author's time, but the roots still remain...
★★★★★
★★★★★

Arun Kumar

Jan 9, 2015

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

interesting but....

the book is very interesting. it talks about many aspects of the Chennai...its history, people, cultural etc. but i found too much history in it. first two chapters (lengthy one) talks about the history of the city since from its establishment. rest of the chapters are very good. overall a good reading.....
★★★★★
★★★★★

Nisarg Kanitkar

Dec 29, 2014

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Just grab this thing in your cart !

Awesome narration. Its a complete jukebox of awesomeness one reader would expect. My eagerness for Madras has gone to a next level after this TAMARIND CITY experience. ! Luv you Ghosh da :-) Hail for the city of Tamarinds .
★★★★★
★★★★★

yojitha

Jun 26, 2014

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

keeps you hooked!

travel writing is surely an interesting genre!
having read Maximum city by Suketu Mehta earlier [ which was about mumbai]....i was intrigued by the title of this book!
and i have no regrets picking it up!
a thoroughly interesting read that keeps you hooked without any boring lines! though I've been to Chennai only a couple of times- reading this book made Chennai a really interesting city for me now!
Ghosh is certainly a terrific writer- the way he described the city with different adjectives at different times is interesting!
next time i visit Chennai i'm surely going to look at it from a
★★★★★
★★★★★

Ganasunder Narayanamurthy

Jan 29, 2014

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Great Read

This book provided a good insight about Chennai and its rich history. Loved the narrative style and the layout of the book. Looking forward to reading more works of this author.
★★★★★
★★★★★

Lakshman Srikanth

Jan 26, 2013

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Not a Travel Guide!

A very nicely written book. The book talks about Chennai and its evolution and its philosophy, and also about eminent personalities of Madras upbringing.
Art, Culture, Music, Movies, Food, Technology, Healthcare, Education, Economy, Politics, Romance and Sex all are given proportionate weight-age and written in a brilliant manner to get me thinking..whoa Chennai does stand for this...and pretty more...
The author takes the readers through a journey of his life in Chennai, thereby, subtly introducing facts about Life in Madras ...and thereby successfully beseeches the curiosity in me to come ou
★★★★★
★★★★★

Arvind Jayasankar

Jan 23, 2013

The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer

Not just abt history

Doesn't bog you down with too much of history/geography. It does help if you have bit of an idea about chennai though. Easy read and nice selection of characters to view chennai from their perspective(including the author's). History abt the December music season was interesting and surprised to learn that the tradition is not that old as few claim it to be. The chapters have been arranged in such a way that you don't feel bored and each one has a distinct flavor of its own. The author sharing his street with the original Maestro Ilayaraja does have its effect.:)

★★★★★
★★★★★

Madhan

Jan 7, 2013

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certified buyer

A Portrait of Chennai worth a visit!

A portrait of modern and historic Chennai written by a Bengali who chose to move in here. The author's passion for the city is evident in the book and the book is brilliant mostly, covering several aspects of the city in breezy chapters. The first few chapters on the North and South Chennai divide, the ones on Mylapore and Triplicane are all really well done. But the author chooses to digress midway to talk about personalities that he happens to meet in his life and moves away from the general theme about the city. Topics on changing liberal outlook, and the city's cinema connection seem to lo
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