Book Review – behind the beautiful forevers

When a non-fiction  book is written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author and when it is a reportage of life in ‘Annawadi’, a makeshift settlement behind a row of luxury hotels and close to the new International Airport in Mumbai, it cannot but be a gripping and touching read. 

The aspirations and goals of parents and the younger generation strike a chord. One is guilt-ridden as ones eyes move around the room in which they are sitting and reading… Maybe sunk in a favourite couch, coffee at hand, fresh fragrance to soothe and create an ‘atmosphere’ perfect for reading….and then you enter the slums, gagging on imaginary stench, and gut-wrenching poverty.

The excitement of rag pickers when they come across trash thrown by the rich,  gives a clear insight into a world very few pause to think about. The suppressed emotions and tensions over sex, religion and power, show the layers in which society exists. It also reflects on how idealism is a luxury one affords when the belly is full and the children are healthy, otherwise one would sell ones soul and ones body too. 

Catherine’s book is relentless and no-holds-barred account of life. It has a truth that all of us are aware of but few are comfortable enough to confront, quite like Arvind Adiga’s ‘White Tiger’. 

The stories that pan out are touching and shocking… How can people live like this, one wonders?

But they do… Millions of them…

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Waiting… 

The heat and the earth are so much a part of some people. It seems that they are carved out of the very stone on which they rest their weary bodies… 

Patience courses through their veins like blood. They know not to hurry time… They have been at it mercy always… 

Now they sit still, as still as the figures engraved upon the urns that they wait to sell…. 


#labour #earthcolors #work #vases #hardwork #everydayindia #InredibleIndia #respect #nikon #people #NewDelhi #peopleofindia #wethepeople

Tulip Gardens of India 

Tucked away in a breathtaking location in the Northern regions of India, in Srinagar to be precise, lie our Tulip gardens. Their ephemeral beauty can be enjoyed for only the first two weeks of April. 

The space where they grow is visually intimate, the eyes are brought back constantly to the gardens after they reach the mountains that cradle them. 

Definitely worth a visit for anyone who loves nature and flowers! 

Water roads and Lilly embankments! 

When taking a ride on a shikara in the backwaters of the Dal lake, the parting between the Lilly pads become roads for navigation! At a certain point a right turn takes you to a floating market, another one to the main lake, yet another to a housing colony of homes on stilts. . 

I am told that when the Lillies and Lotus bloom, sometime in June, these backwaters are a sight to behold! Imagine water roads and Lilly embankments! Truly magical! . 

#nature #beauty #stillness #magic #floating #srinagar #india #shikara #InredibleIndia #travel #travelogues #adventure #justgo #travelbug #Dallake

Everyday India…

Flower sellers with bouquets, come and go like the seasons. They take over an island at a busy crossing and seem to create a home out of nothing. 
Plastic tents, some utensils, firewood, bedding and the ubiquitous children, complete their world. 

I marvel at their resilience and wonder about their life…. And sometimes I carry them in my thoughts into my studio, where they give me company and inspiration, and then, like with everything else, they move on… I move on….