How Chennai has changed, and how much it remains the same. The exponential development of infrastructure across the city and the robotic pace of life that has set in makes it appear the same as any developed metropolis in the world. And yet, the sight of the gentle lady selling flowers in front of Grand Sweets in Shastri Nagar serenely reciting the Lalitha Sahasranama as she nimbly strung jasmine into strands made me pause, and feel humbled at the thought of how life went on in the same way that it has done for several millennia.

pexels-photo-304694[1]While in (Rupert’s) Grantchester yet ‘stands
the church clock at ten to three’,
in Shastri Nagar, the flower seller still
sits under a flame of the forest tree
stringing jasmine to the rhythm of her chants
softly invoking the thousand names
of the Goddess Lalitha as she weaves
the pinkish-white flowers into fragrant strands
In Chennai, parts of which remain
Madras yet, my beloved city