Renowned dancer, architect, artist, curator and hotelier, Krithika Subrahmanian recently launched her first book ‘Treasures’ at the first edition of Pondicherry Lit Fest on, August 19.
Treasures is a guide to the experience of South India, connecting one with the Indian soul, redrawing the map and reinventing it as the pulsating heart of the subcontinent. Tamil Nadu is the state with the most authentic heritage, be it in music, dance, art, literature or architecture. DC got in touch with the maiden author and got her to spill the beans on her debut book.
For Krithika, research and writing falls under her many habits and Treasures took a lot of that to finally come into being. “It took me a year to write the first draft but then I rewrote some portions and had a research assistant working in the edit. We made several designs for the layouts /covers and made several mock ups. In all it took about 2 years. I research and write every single day; sometimes it’s a script for a dance production or sometimes essays,” reaveals Krithika.
The experiential elements of a place lasting in human memory are sounds, textures, patterns and fragrances. Emerging in habitual tapestry, these elements unfold in our travels. The first volume of Treasures focuses on Thanjavur representing the precise documentation and keen eyes of talented local photographers. “The Idea was to write about the “must see” destinations of historic relevance in ways that will engage the next generation,” she adds.
The author is of the opinion that riding on the universal tendency to browse rather than read voluminous rhetoric, the book is designed to be that connect for youngsters with all the visual and performing arts, architecture, literature and provide insightful nuances to engage the mind .
Delineating nuances without posing an academic tone, this book focuses on weaving together the multifarious fragments of a small culturally vibrant Tamil town. Treasures seeks to unearth the hidden gems of Tamil Nadu. DCwas curious to know on why she chose Thanjavur. “Thanjavur is a treasure — a civilisation that has remained unspoiled for over three thousand years and portrays history, culture, art, discovery and religion as one valuable life experience that one should experience at least once in a lifetime,” explains Krithika.
The author’s love for the country’s culture and specifically of Tamil Nadu was almost palpable. “No country or subcontinent can offer a traveller what India or Tamil Nadu can and a lifetime is not enough to soak it all in. India cannot be visited superficially and a taste for Tamil Nadu cannot be satiated. It will draw you in with its vibrant culture. The sights, tastes, fragrances and wisdom are in the air you breathe and will forever draw you into its psyche,” says an elated Krithika.
The author who wants the reader to fall in love with Thanjavur keeps the topic for the next volume of Treasures a secret. “The next state will be a surprise element which is what Treasures is all about,” she says.
The author quickly shares some mantras with the readers that she herself follows in her personal life as well. “Enjoy everything you do wholeheartedly and that increases your awareness of how to pack in more activities on a daily basis. Days that are more productive are with all activities in equal measure and greater efficiency as l started giving importance to each rather than obsessed over one.
I chant pray, breathe, exercise, stretch, read, write, dance, and work in equal measure. I don’t over analyse or over engineer just dream and work,” she signs off....