Introduction by Bharati Mukherjee
Published by Welcome Books
Hardcover, $60.00 ($69.00 CAN)
One of the perks of writing my blog, besides getting to know other bloggers of course, is receiving the occasional book to review, so when Welcome Books asked me if I would like to take a look at Eric Meola's new collection of photographs in his new book titled,"India : In Word and Image", I jumped at the chance.
After saying "yes" to Welcome Books I went about my work not thinking too much about it. So, the other day, when I received a box, a rather heavy box I should add, in the mail I quickly opened it (I was curious to find out why the package was so heavy, after all, this was just a book), and was delighted to find, not just any book, but a beautiful ,glossy coffee-table book, about the size of a school atlas, filled to the brim, (yes, all 272 pages of it) with sumptuous color photographs from all over India!!!
Celebrations, people and sacred architecture dominate the book and I am not surprised, after all, religion forms an intricate part of the social fabric of Indian life and with a pantheon that is tens of thousands of gods strong, religious celebrations are in abundance! This is Meola's second book. The first is a collection of photos from what he calls "The Last Places on Earth" where he covered Burma, New Guinea, Africa, India, the Galápagos Islands, Mongolia, India, and Tibet. He returned to India to devote a complete book to the country, because as he says in his personal essay from the book,
“What I see more than anything else is a nation embracing life. Every day there is a celebration, if not dozens, throughout the country, for that is what India is about — a continuous celebration of life and its mysteries.
“As a photographer, I am drawn to India because of the psychedelic colors that seem to permeate every facet of life. I go there for all the contradictions of a place that is like no other I have ever been to; but I am drawn to India because the people are blessed with childhood’s sense of wonder, which they have never lost.”
"India: In Word and Image" is a beautiful way to get to know India. Leave it on your coffee table, not only will it look fabulous, but just watch how your guests will be drawn to it (I know I tried it!). Beyond it's silky cover, there's a colorful look at a country so vast that it would take several lifetimes to see it. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a copy this Christmas, its vibrant and warm pictures will give you several hours of joy over the cold winter.