The Country Within
The journey of a photographer through thirteen mostly unknown Indian festivals in twelve months
A photographer sets out on a 12-month tour to experience 13 festivals in India. During this journey spanning more than 45,000 km, he travels from villages in Nagaland where the sun rises at 4 a.m., to Himalayan villages that have no telephone connections or even to the hostels of one of the premier technological institutes of the country. He celebrates gun-firing mock wars with a traditional headhunter tribe, is astounded by dancing pot-bellied men painted as tigers and relives Krishna’s childhood in an eleven-day enactment put up in a town where all the world, literally, is a stage! And as the colours of Holi at Krishna’s birthplace and the sights of dancing monks at a Buddhist monastery embrace him, they are captured by the lenses of his camera.
The Country Within, a book of 13 essays of candid photographs with an introduction at the beginning of each, is a colourful montage of the diversity and uniqueness of India.
It is a journey not only into the soul of India but also to the soul within. It is a journey to the country which one has within one’s soul.
List of festivals: Holi in Braj (Uttar Pradesh), Aoleang Monyu in Mon (Nagaland), Goncha in Bastar (Chhattisgarh), Hemis Festival in Hemis (Jammu and Kashmir), Ramadan in different parts of India, Onam in Kerala, Kangdali in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), Illumination and Rangoli in IIT Kharagpur (West Bengal), Shri Yellamma Devi Fair in Saundatti (Karnataka), Dhanuyatra in Bargarh (Odisha), Jaydev Fair in Kenduli (West Bengal), Nagaur Cattle Fair in Nagaur (Rajasthan), Mahashivratri in Gokarna (Karnataka).
"Shubhadeep Roy seems to have travelled across the length and breadth of the country and has come up with a book with fascinating photographs and descriptions of lesser known festivals throughout the country, from Kashmir and Ladakh all the way down to Kerala. This will be of interest to all lovers of India, particularly those interested in the unique anthropological diversity of our beautiful country."
Dr.Karan Singh, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament); President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
"This is a bridge-building book. There was a time when I wanted to tour India as a street singer. But my dream could not become a reality. Shubhadeep turned his into a reality," said theatre director Rudraprasad Sengupta . "The book is a manifestation of the author's spirit of adventure."
Chandreyee Ghose, The Telegraph