The Country Within

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).

Author
Shubhadeep Roy

After graduating from IIT Kharagpur and subsequently from IIM Calcutta, Shubhadeep Roy spent a couple of years working as an analyst and consultant before leaving the corporate world and setting out on an unplanned, indefinite journey across the various parts of India in 2009. Since then, he has spent much of his time on the road, with camera in tow. His style is a mix of documentary and candid moment photography. Shubhadeep’s work has won international acclaim and has been published by the UNESCO.

Apart from photography, Shubhadeep is actively involved with theatre and cinema.

After spending two and a half years in the mountains near Rishikesh in Uttarakhand - during which time he also made the journey that has shaped this book - Shubhadeep has recently shifted to Kolkata.