diwali with cookbooks

by Pritya Books on October 5, 2009

Both of us (Jigyasa & Pratibha) love diwali time, wedding season and the like. It means we can indulge in creative ideas with which to package our books. We love shopping for candles, perfume sachets, bangles, spices,  and ganeshas in colors of our books! We have 2-3 shelves in office stacked just with these! And this is what became our connecting link with a new friend we just made!

Ishrath of Wandering Mist truly brightened our pre-diwali mood with her sunny smile and brilliant ideas. It is tough to believe we did not know of her existence till a week ago. Thanks to black gram, its search brought her to this blog, and to our sheer delight we realized that this wanderer was right next door :) – as the Hindi proverb goes -  “bagal me chora, gaanv mein dhindora”.

Her blog has a lot of gifting ideas, and so when she sauntered into our office and saw all our gift boxes, ganeshas, hand-crafted paraphernalia and the like which we use for gift wrapping our own books, she was supremely excited. Instinctively, she grabbed a copy each of Cooking at Home with Pedatha and Sukham Ayu, some candles and flowers, and came back the very next morning with a CD full of fabulous, festive pics of our two cookbooks.

We were beside ourselves with delight! And all through our ballistic excitement, she stood there calmly enjoying our excitement on one hand and on the other, scrutinizing the pics for flaws. When she asked us if she could post them on her blog, we told her it would be our honour if she did so.

So here is the link to her beautifully written post describing her labour of love with her camera through the night.

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This simple and elegant composition was done for our website. Keeping in mind the color of the book cover, the arrangement was created in white and green.

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A few green leaves add such cheer. Dilip Mahapatra created these lovely marble design handmade cardboard boxes for our two cookbooks. His sense of colour and proportion is unmatched in itself. It is always a pleasure working with him, and seeing his creative finish to suit the occasion at hand.

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As the night progressed, the lights were lit one after the other. This photograph was shot by Ishrat using “one side light, candle and a light diffuser. To give it earthy feel, the brown shades were chosen in its composition. Rattan mat, terracotta pot, sepia tainted lampshade, etc, have contributed to the base warmth of the image.” How well the satin curls heighten the deep colour of the book! Note how Ishrath kept changing the background between green and orange according to the books.

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It is obvious that Ishrath was indulging herself, even though it is obviously a lot of work.  Her passion and aesthetic sense shines through every photograph. In this pic, the props and simple addition of candles brings in the festive cheer.

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Lord Ganesha – symbol of prosperity, bangles, tiny hand-crafted boxes with fragrant spices, diya etc are classic icons of Indian tradition. For a wedding gift, we pack the books with all these accessories to signify auspiciousness.

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A bed of fairy lights and the fresh green leaves creates unusual drama for the books. Ishrath says it was like a “partial aromatherapy session :) . Everytime you handle the delicate flowers or change their position, they let out their mesmerising fragrance and one cant help but notice these little gifts of God.”

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She lit up the fairy lights to create a “golden glow…a magical and ethreal bed on which the two gifts were placed with props…Now this may be going the Eastman color way but the moment Pratibha saw it – her only words were “its very diwali”. (Actually Jigs said it, ok? :) That phrase is stuck in my head.  Very diwali. Very very diwali indeed!” she said.

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It is tough to believe that all the pix have been shot with her point-n-shoot camera! Of course, the icing on the cake was when we said we missed Pedatha, she would have been so happy to see the pics and this whimsical blogger replied, “I am sure Pedatha was somewhere there watching me, for that’s how I felt.” This photograph is a befitting tribute to the radiant Pedatha!


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