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Perfect as it is

Author Torsten Van Dulleman’s camera captures the true colours of Rajasthan

india Updated: Nov 06, 2009 19:25 IST
Sonal Kalra

A lot of us have grown up having a cynical, though unfortunate, impression of how foreigners, especially those from the more economically developed countries, project India in a clichéd way. And that’s exactly why author/photographer Torsten Van Dulleman’s Rajasthan as it is comes across as such a breath of fresh air.

Here’s someone who has attempted to look beyond the snake charmers and the impoverished children, and tried to capture the same reality, but with a positive eye on the other side of the lens. Rajasthan as it is, is a coffee table book replete with photographs about the everyday life of people in small towns in the erstwhile princely state of Rajasthan.

The Dutch author, who interestingly has a day job as the general manager of one of the most luxurious hotels in the world— Oberoi Udaivilas, felt he needed to use his passion for photography to project Rajasthan in a ‘realistic’ way. His first pictorial book Udaipur as it is, treading the same genre, was a huge success, and inspiration enough for him to present a larger picture of the state through his second endeavour.

The photographs in the book, at the risk of sounding clichéd, speak to you. Right from the women donning bright and colourful saris, to the street urchins playing without a care in the world — every photograph depicts reality in a visually delightful manner.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the book is that no photos were prepared for in advance, nor were they edited afterwards… and that comes across very well, as none of the pictures look ‘posed’. The author shares that at times, he had to wait for hours lurking around the subject for the right moment to click.

Dulleman has funded this book mostly from his personal savings and has committed the profits from the books’ sales to charity for orphaned kids.
If you are a coffee table book fan, Rajasthan as it is, published by Bougainvillaea gallery of contemporary art and available at book stores across the country, is sure to add tremendous value, and charm to your collection.