October 15th, 2009 | Published in Books
British Council Library, New Delhi.
Photo © Mohit Gupta, All Rights Reserved
Recently I attended the launch of latest offering from one of my favorite authors – Nine Lives by William Dalrymple. The book explores lives of nine people and recounts their strange journeys into the sacred in these modern times. Interestingly, two of these characters were present in the book launch – Haridas, (the Theyyam dancer from The Dancer of Kannur), Debu & Kanai (the Baul artist from Bengal and the protaginst of The Song og the Blind Minstrel). (The photograph is of Haridas performing at the book launch).
Ever since a friend told me about In Xanadu, I have been an admirer of William Dalrymple’s work. For me, he’s currently one of best travel story tellers around – for the simplicity of his narrative and for the amount of research he puts in studying people and their beliefs. His books have told me so much about India that I would have probably never known.
Sometimes the photographer in me thinks what if William was a photographer (not sure if he is one), the possible majestic imagery he would have generated from all his amazing travels…