I lived in Chennai from 1990 to 1995, mostly as a bachelor. And I have driven down to every nook and corner of that city - day and night and beyond that city to places that many of us wont even go. Some of the places used to look like Paradise on earth.
And I have been closely associated with that city for the past 25 years, with some of my close friends living there and my parents as well.
I have seen the city transform - or should I say - distort into a shrub of apartments built with gay abandon. Town planning at its worst, especially at a place which is known for these skills.
Sometimes, I am reminded of the way Mahabalipuram was drowned by the seas and the way that city got submerged by the follies of nature - taking away quite a few of our precious traditions.
But this time, it is not the nature that destroyed Chennai. It is the greed of the land. Rampant constructions across the river beds (rivers will flow when there is water and we should give them space, even when there is no water!) and gross abuse of all town planning principles.
People will say, this is not the time to talk about all this.
But I believe THIS IS the time. The spirit of Chennai held its head high and saved its city. The same spirit should hold its breath and ask the question, am I building (re-building) the city or handing it over to the same people for further exploitation?
I continue to PRAY FOR CHENNAI. It is where I belong!
The author is Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific Mindshare