Bringing India to Indians (and the World): Shiv Kunal Verma conducts a soft launch of his new series of Illustrated books at PLF
One Heritage Media breaks seminal ground as it initially produces three dazzlingly books that showcase parts of the Indian subcontinent in a spectacular manner. These books are part of a major ground-breaking initiative to raise the bar and majorly impact the Indian educational system through another series of slightly smaller-sized illustrated books that are a part of the developing ‘Value Education Programme.’
The three large format books authored by the versatile filmmaker, photographer and writer, Shiv Kunal Verma, brings to the fore decades of his dedicated work across various platforms. With layouts designed to enhance the quality by printing in six-colour metallic colours, the three books — Beyond Kanchendzonga: India’s Aerial Northeast (Gold); Beyond the Rainshadow: Zanskar, Ladakh, and Nubra (Copper); and Beyond Dakshinapatha: Tamil Nadu & Puducherry (Copper) are the flagship publications that the BluOne group is positioning to generate funds for its main Value Education Programme that, according to Anirudh Chakravartty, ‘is being designed to enhance the quality of education by bringing to our children, across the cross section of society, world class material that hopefully will open up their horizons beyond the classrooms.’
The three Gold-standard books, have their soft launch at the Pondicherry Literature Festival that is being held on August 5/ 6 and 7. Shiv Kunal Verma, who is expected to reach the city by this evening, when contacted on the telephone in Kullu where he resides, said he was delighted to be returning to Puducherry that also features in one of the three books. Having done his undergraduate studies at the Madras Christian College, he recalls travelling to the city by clinging onto ropes on top of trucks in the early 1980s. ‘Pondicherry was like a magnet,’ he recalls, ‘if we got an extended weekend, we would take off and we just loved the place.’
Even the blurb, ‘Bringing India to Indians’, which would become the driving emotive slogan behind this ambitious project, was the brainchild of Krishna Kumar Candeth who was Shiv Kunal’s teacher at the Doon School, while they were sitting drinking a beer in the French Quarter four years ago. ‘Things have a way of coming around again and again. I am delighted to be heading for the PLF and thrilled to have the soft-launch of the three pilot books here.’ Incidentally, Mr Candeth’s own book, considered to be a classic, All Street Dogs Go to Heaven is also being published by One Heritage Media’s sister concern, BluOne Ink.
The smaller-sized Value Education series will provide an insight of not just diverse Indian terrain and the challenges and beauty of these regions. Some of the titles in the category include An Eastern Palette, Uncharted Waters, Children of the Dawn and Eternal Tamilakam to name a few. These artistic works will showcase the serenity, history and magnificence of the various parts of India and its people. Four of the twelve books cover the entire wildlife of the subcontinent, the fourth volume of the quartet being devoted to the continental shelves and the Island chains on both the eastern and western seeboards.
Speaking on the advent of the new book formats, Shiv Kunal Verma said, “These books will help facilitate the value education program and aspire to bring India to Indians. We believe our small format and large format books will not be restricted to just the student body but will extend and permeate through their families as well. These books will help us deep root our cause of bringing India to Indians and eventually India to the rest of the world.”
Shiv Kunal Verma is an author who has closely experienced the war situations and life in the remotest parts of the country. Some of several books, including Ocean to Sky: India from the Air, The Long Road to Siachen, The Northeast Trilogy, The Assam Rifles, 1962: The War That Wasn’t, and 1965: A Western Sunrise are a compilation of his thoughts and work. One of his many interests is to develop a Value Education Program that entails books on diverse subjects, including wildlife, military history, and anthropology. His collection of books will be a delight for the audience at the Pondicherry Literature Festival.
Kunal graduated from The Doon School, Dehradun and Madras Christian College. In the mid-1980s, he worked as a journalist with India Today and the Associated Press. From 1980-the 90s, under the banner of KaleidoIndia, he shot and directed numerous films mainly for the Armed Forces, including filming the Kargil War as a cameraman. For the last six years, he has been at the helm of the seminal Military History Seminar conducted by the Welham Boys’ School, Dehradun. With such a strong legacy and background of history and art, Shiv has made his name in the world of artistic writing and illustrative depiction of emotions and history. His works at the various literature festivals including the PLF, are enjoyed by the readers.