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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vanishing Homes of India

By Savitha Hira

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
                    The Inviting Cover                                      A house in Pallathur village of Chettinad  

“Vanishing Homes of India” is a monochromatic photographic monologue that peeks into social-architectural history and rekindles one’s reverence for one’s roots…
Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan’s “Vanishing Homes of India” is a tribute to the world we once lived in – or rather our ancestors lived in. The kind of lifestyles they led, their personal spaces, architecture of yore, and their dress-sense and spatial configurations are captured through the adept monochromatic palette of the photographer’s expertise.

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
An aristocratic mansion built in 1745 in Pune - predominantly Maratha influence reflecting a decadent refinement

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
Inner courtyards with elaborately carved wooden ceiling & pillars in teak

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
Carved by Christian artisans these 150 year-old recliners depict a Lord Krishna thematic

The book is clearly a labour of love, Nagarajan’s journey of twenty years, travelling across the Indian terrain, his lens forever searching and seeking out century-old homes that were still lived in. He does not document any specific period, or style of architecture and the like. Instead, his creative lens captures poetic compositions of homes that he managed to gain entry and access to.

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
Mansions in Kolkata

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
Typical Parsi home in Navsari during 1970s

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
Breakfast time at a home in Mapusa, North Goa

Every frame plays on the senses with its natural lighting, chiaroscuro elements, deep perspectives and rich history. One tends to see a sprinkling of everything: a hermitage; a palatial home; simple dwellings in Indian villages, handsome mansions… As the photographer says, “I have chronicled their presence not as structures but as events; not as antiquities but as affinities. We need to nourish their presence in the fast-changing scene of contemporary India so that we may preserve the values of a rich tradition.”


Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
A jeweller's home in Jaisalmer. Almirah on the wall is made of Jaisalmer's yellow stone

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
A rural kitchen in Kutch. Little openings in the mud walls let in sunlight before the arrival of electricity into these villages

And pride in our traditional lifestyles and rich cultural fabric does surge to a full heart as one glances through and pauses to read through this coffee-table publication. A hard-bound magnetic fold cover, with silver-lined page rims showcases concise focused text set minimally in the black and white tome; whilst pages of home interiors allude to a bygone era – a fading memory of erstwhile India.

Vanishing Homes of India by Photo-journalist T. S. Nagarajan
The cover of  'Vanishing Homes of India' by T.S. Nagarajan

“Vanishing Homes…” is a special treat for history and architectural enthusiasts.

Publishers: The HECAR Foundation
Art Director: Geeta Simoes
Editor: Umaima Mulla-Feroze
Graphic Designer: Avadhut Parsekar
Pages: 144
Price: Rs. 2500/-

Available at: Kitab Khana, Fort, Mumbai & Somaya & Kalappa Consultants Private Limited (022 4300 1234)

5 comments :

  1. Looks interesting, both from the architectural heritage as well as the 'Slice of life' photography perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Charumati Kattamuri KMarch 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nigel EckersallMay 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    At my heart,.. we should connect and lets do an example project,...?
    Nigel Eckersall
    Senior Design Manager at Shapoorji Pallonji Middle East

    ReplyDelete
  4. still present in some parts of rural India where I travel. With the concrete technology the value for fine carvings has take a step back now.

    ReplyDelete

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