Travel to Peninsular India: Chennai / Madras 5: New Chennai
India's changing fast, if not fast enough for all. Here are some pictures on the "half-full" side, followed by a few on the "half-empty."
One of the most astonishing sights in all of South India. Who would have thought it possible 20 years ago? Nobody. Take away the auto-rickshaw and you could be in Las Vegas.
"I rest my case." So says the optimist speaking of modernization in India.
A dealership straight out of the North American catalog. Bid farewell to the coconut-powered Ambassador, destined to be be cut down to the chassis, loaded with cotton, and pulled by a bullock.
Remember autarky? Self-sufficiency? Trade barriers that kept the global players at bay?
The New India needs New Offices. Here they are, straight out of the International Postmodern catalog.
You can see the new city arising from the old, like a squash plant blooming atop a compost pile.
Nobody ever said it had to be tasteful.
English sends a powerful signal to the uneducated, who hardly have to be told that this isn't for them.
"London shuttle's landed, sir."
Flip side: Madras crumbling into the dust.
Maybe something can be done about that decay. Here, for example, is The Daily Mail building in about 1990.
Ten years later, the newspaper had moved out and the building had been cleaned up.
Still, architectural renewal is rare. Commoner: huts wherever an inch of land is available. Here, from the grounds of St. Andrews, the back side of a line of such houses. Come around to the front.
No room for a hut? OK: stack it on a pukka building, in this case on the city's outskirts, past the airport.
Development's outcome? Both optimist and pessimists have to wait and see.
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