One of India's living photographic legends

Published: Feb 3, 2011

From princes in royal settings to village craftsmen outside a mall in Delhi; from Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama to Arundhati Roy and Satyajit Ray and from formal family portraits to people on the streets — images spanning more than two centuries have been brought together in this volume by Raghu Rai, one of India’s living photographic legends.

The reader is left enthralled by this careful selection of portraits that seek to represent the essence of a nation that is so diverse.

The book has two sections. The first is a selection of images by photographers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including stalwarts such as Raja Deen Dayal, Bourne and Shepherd and Johnston and Hoffman.

These rare pictures have been collected and curated by Rai over a long period. The second section in the book comprises solely Rai’s interaction with the people of India over 40 years.

Hundreds of pairs of eyes look out at the reader when the leaves of the book are turned. One cannot help but feel drawn into the gazes, into the lives of these people who transform a house into a home, and a piece of land into a country.

The book is a wonderful record of the history and evolution of portraiture. Those who are interested in unearthing stories, tracing memories and reliving the past, will find this book an invaluable guide.

Title: The Indians: Portraits from My Albums
Author: Raghu Rai
Publisher: Penguin Studio
(penguinbooksindia.com)
Price: Rs. 4,999
Courtesy: Better Photography

(This story appears in the 11 February, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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