Hartosh Singh Bal’s ‘parikrama’ of the Narmada spanning many years, manifests itself in this fantastic piece of work as part travelogue, part anthro-socio-cultural documentation, part retelling of the modern history of central India.
This broad canvas is littered with carefully placed strokes that mimic the tapestry of India and that only a keen eye could have observed in the first place. Much like his criss-crossing journey, the book leaps across eras as we deal with mythology, identity, social structure, tribal art forms and their fight for relevance. Where there is talk of Narmada, the dam and ‘development’ can’t be too far behind.
Bal manages to effortlessly create lucid imagery in the reader’s mind , someone who has never seen a gond settlement, wouldn’t have too much trouble imagining it and the paintings that adorn them.
We hope you’ll pick it up and do let us know if you enjoyed reading the book as much as we did.