It is almost five years now since I moved to Lakeside, and in that time I have seen a great number of changes to the way people live here in Tamil Nadu. The pace of change in India is breath-taking and I have often found it difficult to describe to ‘non-Indians’ what it is really like, partly because my own experience here only covers such a short time. How can I tell you about the way life in a big city has changed? Or the changing role of women? Or the massive differences in life for a youngster in rural India as compared to the experiences of their parents?
Well, now I don’t need to tell you! I’ve just finished reading ‘India Becoming’ by Akash Kapur, and it has been a revelation. Kapur was born in Tamil Nadu before moving to the US as a child. He returned to his native country in 2003 to raise his own children in the emerging India. Kapur was struck by the struggle India is having to find the balance between the old and new and so began to interview local Tamils to try to understand their experiences. From this grew his book ‘India Becoming’ which, for me, very clearly shows life for Tamils today, their links to the past and their hope for the future.
If you want a more ‘in-depth’ view of Tamil Nadu than I, an outsider, can give, then I can highly recommend this book.