A Book Series Shining Light On Everyday Indian Objects Through 14 Lenses & 108 Stories

A Book Series Shining Light On Everyday Indian Objects Through 14 Lenses & 108 Stories
Dr. Alka Pande

Dr. Alka Pande, an eminent art historian and curator, has launched a book collection titled "108 Portraits of Indian Culture and Heritage". This series, consisting of 14 books, delves into various aspects of Indian art, aesthetics, and traditions, offering a comprehensive exploration of the country's cultural landscape.

Each book unveils the intricacies of a specific discipline, ranging from objects and dance to architecture, textiles, and contemporary art. Dr. Pande employs a unique approach, using the lens of Indian art and aesthetics to unpack the rich cultural heritage embedded within these domains.

The number 108 is significant in Indian art and philosophy, serving as a unifying thread throughout the collection. Each book features 108 narratives, interwoven with captivating visuals, to tell the story of its designated subject. This creates an immersive and engaging experience for readers.

The series boasts an exhaustive exploration of diverse topics. One book, for instance, titled '108 Portraits of Indian Objects',examines everyday utilitarian objects, showcasing how they seamlessly blend functionality with artistic beauty. The ubiquitous pot, or lota, takes centre stage, with Dr. Pande tracing its evolution from ancient times to the contemporary world. This approach encourages readers to appreciate the aesthetics hidden in plain sight, transforming the way we perceive ordinary objects.

Food, another pillar of Indian culture, finds its place in "108 Portraits of Indian Food." Dr. Pande embarks on a captivating journey, exploring food's portrayal in literature and paintings before delving into its broader cultural significance across the globe. She then delves into the fascinating world of regional Indian cuisines and the emergence of modern fusion fare.

Similarly, '108 Portraits of Indian Textiles' takes readers on a mesmerising exploration of weaving techniques and costume styles. Dr. Pande sheds light on the art of draping and stitching, showcasing the grandeur of silks and cottons, and the meticulous use of natural dyes and intricate embellishments. Visuals from ancient sculptures and paintings further enrich the narrative.

Dr. Pande's personal anecdotes pepper each book, adding a touch of warmth and relatability. In "108 Portraits of Indian Crafts," she reminisces about her childhood encounters with potters, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of the craftsmanship practiced across various Indian states.

This collection goes beyond mere knowledge dissemination. Each book incorporates an interactive takeaway, such as a recipe (Food), a guide to garment construction (Textile), or instructions for creating traditional art forms (Traditional Art). This fosters engagement and encourages readers to delve deeper into the practices they discover.

The '108 Portraits of Indian Culture and Heritage' series is a treasure trove for anyone interested in Indian art, traditions, and cultural heritage. It encompasses diverse Disciplines– the series offers a comprehensive exploration of 14 distinct disciplines, ensuring there's something for every reader, regardless of their specific interests. It also contains Dr. Pande's approach of using Indian art and aesthetics as a lens to provide a fresh perspective on familiar subjects.

Lastly, the takeaway sections in each book encourage readers to go beyond theory and gain practical experience. This collection serves as a valuable resource for understanding and appreciating the depth and richness of Indian culture.