Pukka Indian: 100 Objects That Define India

Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan, photos by Shivani Gupta. Roli (ACC, dist.), $34.95 (224p) ISBN 978-93-5194-140-8
India’s multifaceted culture is on full display in this terrific design book, in which Indian expat Nandan (Tokyo Style File) collects 100 objects that serve as social and political touchstones of Indian culture. The selections include fixtures that have been around for millennia, such as charkha, a spinning wheel that dates back to 500 CE, as well as more modern staples of Indian society, like the Tata Ace, a fuel-efficient minitruck designed for small businesses owners in cities. Nandan includes mundane items, like Kalnirnay, a popular paper calendar almanac that includes all the important dates of all of the major Indian religions, and auspicious items like a note mala, a traditional garland of bank notes worn by grooms in wedding ceremonies in Northern India. Each entry consists of a full-page photo accompanied by another full page denoting the object’s significance, applicability, and use. Nandan’s thoughtful work is sure to strike a pang of homesickness among her fellow expats, and will also leave armchair tourists with a better appreciation of Indian culture and customs. Color photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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