“All change is not growth,
as all movement is not forward.”
Little heed has been paid to the preservation of the traditional tile roofed structures of my once charming hometown in its race to ‘big-townhood’. Their distinctive profiles are fast being replaced by characterless concrete high-rises. And malls! What is it with Asians and malls? How many malls does a town really need? How many generic chain stores can one shop in?
Our visit to Mangalore last week marked the passing of yet another elder of the family, and the changing rhythm of the place echoed our sadness. We felt an urgency to ‘experience’ what is left of its slow cultural landscape, as we walked past its once beautiful narrow lanes, lined with countless terracotta roofed buildings, desultorily awaiting their turn to be sacrificed at the altar of progress.