|20 years earlier - Kalpakkam beach|
|The same spot. Notice the plastic?|
What I mourn is not the modernity or the power of gadgets, but the loss of character the place had. Its now just another place. You could speak in Hindi and very well be in Indore, or speak in Telugu and be in Vizag.... or whereever. That is disturbing. Take the popular Phoenix Mills mall in Bombay. It used to be a fave, until it opened shop in Chennai. Walk in, and if you ignore the Tamil around you, you could well be shopping in Bombay!
The wonderful element called 'character' we've traded in exchange for the newest, fastest, bestest. I wish we did a bit more to preserve some element of the unique nature of our villages, cities, country in fact. The bigger consumerist players have more money, but is there anyway we can protect the artisans? Give them their place under the sun? I wonder how I would ever explain to my grandkids what a 'kumiti' is (well, its a contraption used to burn fragrant sambrani over coals to dry one's hair) or worse teach them kinship. Well, everything has its price. We lose some, gain some. Would I be able to live without my iPhone? NO! Or travel in a bullock cart? NEVER! But that doesn't mean I shouldn't mourn the loss of handmade paper or a string of flowers so thick that a child would need 2 hands to hold it or feel terrible about my beloved casurina trees now making way for highrises.