Book Review: A thing of beauty

Opening this beautiful coffee-table book is akin to burying your nose into a handful of petalled blossoms — the pages literally emanate a fragrant perfume! Art critic, cultural theorist, teacher, curator, and author, Dr Alka Pande’s Flower Shower: The Culture of Flowers in India is validation of the integral role that flowers play in our world.

The power of flowers is seen everywhere — as cultural signifiers; as motifs in Indian, art, architecture, sculpture, literature, and textiles. The book is a reminder of just how special a role flowers occupy in our culture, history, myth and tradition. Whether in worship or adornment, there are specific flowers for every season and reason, and also for the many gods and goddesses of Indian religions.

This sumptuous book shows how flowers surround us — whether as offerings during ritual worship, intricate carvings on temple walls, embedded in modern paintings by contemporary artists, in the patterns of colourful carpets, fragrant garlands exchanged by Indian brides and grooms, and even in essential oils and perfumes, used for seduction and relaxation.

Book Review: A thing of beauty

Dwelling on a range of topics from botany to aesthetics and history to poetry, Dr Pande takes you on an immersive journey, laden with the beauty and perfumes of the exotic, nutritional, and decorative role of flowers within Indian tradition and aesthetics.

Book Review: A thing of beauty

Filled with interesting insights and featuring a vast compendium of images, this book traverses the range and depth of Indian culture and transports you on a journey, which is part memory, part research, part aesthet ics, and part lived experience.

Flower Shower is one fragrant reminder of the power of flowers to refresh the spirit and elevate the soul.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

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