26 July, 2021

Following The Lifeline

East to west, insightful lenswork brings alive the Grand Trunk Road

Following The Lifeline
THE bottomline on any review of a book of photographs is: are you going to value it for the rest of your days or wait for the first Hyatt wedding reception and offload it on to some unsuspecting happy couple? Judging by the number of remaindered large-format portfolios in the capital's plusher bookshops, it seems being a good photographer is not enough. The production has to be high quality but not showy, the text sound and second fiddle, the captions clear and accessible. To rope in Sir Ed Hillary or Dr Karan Singh to write a foreword is to declare publicly you have no trust in your own talents. Raghubir Singh is too old and too good a hand to allow anyone else to usurp the conductor's podium. Nor is he that semi-crepuscular cameraperson who will not venture out between dawn and dusk. His forte is to plunge in the deep end of spontaneous democratic action and emerge from the debris of old dredged boots with an occasional crock of gold. This is what distinguishes the master. Most of us have major collections of old boots.

If at first the plates seem a random...

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