Captured over a 15-year period, Xavier Zimbardo's India Holy Song
records the exquisitely color-filled experience that pervades everyday life in India. The workaday environment of a textile-dyeing factory becomes a frenzy of whooshing fabric like a moment out of a Martha Graham performance. An expansive hillside landscape shows a mythically large tree dwarfing a man in the grassy field. Cows and dogs traverse the city streets. Each photograph captures a very different aspect of India, and each is full of tremendous energy, whether an intimate close-up of an elephant or a field of camels. Most energetic of all are the spectacular portraits of holy festivals: children painted like lions or dressed as Krishna, a crowd in the midst of being drenched in sacred colored powders.
A lovely foreword by writer Jhumpa Lahiri presents a very personal childhood experience of India. At the back of the book is a helpful little guide, replete with mini-pictures of the full-page images and explanations of when and where each is taken and a bit about the background of the photograph. This book will make you want to pack your bags and head straight for the airport to try to experience even a fraction of the vitality that's in these 135 color illustrations. --J.P. Cohen