Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Stopover by Ram Prakash and Deepa Pinto - Book Review

The StopoverThe Stopover by Ram Prakash


I got a few sample pages from this book for a review. The following words, voice, opinions are my own.

My rating (for the pages I read): 3 stars

I won’t call myself as the clich├ęd “amateur photographer”, but, yes, I do love photography. In addition, I don’t believe that you have to have an SLR camera to be a photographer (although the quality is impeccable!). A capturing lens, an eye for beauty (or horror, irony, joy) in anything around you can help create lovely art. Add to that absorbing lines about the picture and things mystify further.

With The Stopover, the author manages to go several steps farther and weaves stories around stunning photographs. “4 stories, in 4 locations, brought alive with over 100 photos,” is the way this book is described.

I read the story "The Tibetan Wheel of Wisdom," revolving around Varun and his trip to Leh, Ladakh. The photographs are beautiful and the story is engrossing. At times, the pictures and story blend well (look for a picture of the ever calm Buddha, the source that strengthens the anguished and its positioning); at times one overshadows the other, while at times one orphans the other.

I wonder if this book is a gamble. After looking at an image, you perceive things very subjectively, individually. There could be a large overlap of these perceptions when two people see the same picture, but several factors add to the beauty of an image. In this case, we see the pictures and try to feel what the protagonist must be feeling. This works with some pictures, but for some you keep looking for a picture that matches the poetry created by the words and your imagination.

I would like to read the remaining stories and see how they blend with other scenic pictures and how the stories are concluded.


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