Chennai is changing and changing for the better. There are different changes but one change that I have noticed off late is the response to ambulances on the road. There have been days when an ambulance has been stuck in traffic and the other drivers not conceding an inch of room despite the blaring signal, but today it is different. I have observed on a few occasions when jam packed roads have opened up magically to allow an ambulance to pass. The motorists usually the cars and even LCVs pull to the side and patiently wait for the ambulance and then they resume. Sometimes the traffic cop also helps if he is around.
Another thing that you will notice is the rapid mushrooming of restaurants of all kinds, from the humble all stars thattukadai to fancy five star joints there is one restaurant to suit each one. One reason for this is that food has now become a form of recreation and beyond. Functional eating or eating to live is passé it is now living to eat and living it up large eating. The other reason is people are cooking lesser for want of time and the advent of the app based food delivery services ensures that the best restaurant food is available at home. The trade-off that comes with all this is health.
You may not have noticed that the next craze, that is laundries. The laundries of old were cramped dingy places that operated near water bodies and in fact Chetpet still has a large dhobi ghat which is largely obscured by the newer and larger buildings around it. Today the laundries are bright, colourful, modern and in tune with the times are app driven. You can book the clothes to be collected, washed and delivered at the touch of a button on the phone. Whether it is water scarcity or time paucity, there seems to be lesser washing of clothes than before.
An after effect of December, the very mention of rains brings a sense of unease in the minds of many a resident of Chennai for obvious reasons. The floods left a lasting effect in the minds though if you were to pass by once flood ravaged areas you may not find any trace of it. The city has bounced back very quickly and many homes now look new and fresh thanks to the repairs undertaken, the scars however remain, unseen but felt. Chennai always had a tenuous relationship with water and this was highlighted by the Metrowater trucks and the emotions it caused during water scarcity times. We also had the tsunami but the floods impacted almost all, causing a change that will not be forgotten easily.
The last change that you may have noticed is that Chennai has become a fertile ground of infertility treatment; this branch of medicine seems to have equalled the number of mushrooming diabetes specialty clinics in the city. Changing lifestyles have caused a drop in the fertility rates and though it is a touchy topic especially among men these clinics are now becoming very fancy and are now in the mainstream. Assisted reproduction is a big time business and if you pass by any of these clinics the crowds in them will attest to their popularity.
Chennai is changing.
Image courtesy Internet. You can check this out