By Savitha Hira
|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…
|An aristocratic mansion built in 1745 in Pune - predominantly Maratha influence reflecting a decadent refinement|
|Inner courtyards with elaborately carved wooden ceiling & pillars in teak|
|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.
|Mansions in Kolkata|
|Typical Parsi home in Navsari during 1970s|
|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.”
|A jeweller's home in Jaisalmer. Almirah on the wall is made of Jaisalmer's yellow stone|
|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…” 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
Price: Rs. 2500/-
Available at: Kitab Khana, Fort, Mumbai & Somaya & Kalappa Consultants Private Limited (022 4300 1234)