Firstly, Happy World Book Day 2017 to all the enthusiastic readers out there! To make this day a wee bit better, we bring to you the story of Abhishek Gupta and Iridescence, and how a guy brings to us pictures from his experiences all over the world, accompanied by poetry inspired from his own life experiences. Yes, we bring to you ‘Iridescence’, which is a book of photo poetry. You haven’t heard of something like this before? Probably because it’s the first of its kind in India!
Presently working in Mckinsey & Company, Abhishek Gupta is an Economics major from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Iridescence’s synopsis is beautifully written, capturing the essence of the book in its best form. It shows how the author puts forth his state of mind, emotions, phases through just a few pictures and relatable poetry. The synopsis reads, “As we experience different places in the external world, we often find ourselves at different junctures in the journey to finding ourselves. This book, through the combination of words and pictures, will take you places, literally and metaphorically. It is a book for everyone and no one. You will find a lot of yourself in this book, and this book will help you find yourself. It will make you reflect, introspect, awaken, love, invigorate, and hope. This is a book to tuck under your pillow on cold lonely nights and it is also a book to flip through first thing on refreshing spring mornings. This is poetry for all seasons and the constant iridescence of all souls.”
We, at UE had a little chat with the author of Iridescence, Abhishek Gupta and asked him a few questions about his book.
- So tell us a little about your book.
“Iridescence is basically a collection of photo poetry. It is my travel diaries, of the various places I have been to- Mauritius, Nepal, India. The book, through its pictures and poems, reflects my state of mind about various things and phases. Every photo clicked has an adjoining poem to it. This book is the first of its kind in India.”
- Why do you think the reader would be able to find himself/herself in the book?
“Iridescence is a travel photo poetry. The poetry in it reflects on different states of mind- inspirational, romantic, hopeful, reflective. There is a poem for every mood and every person. Different moods are reflected through the different pictures and landscape as well.”
- Do you find yourself in the book? How?
“ The book reflects my travel journey. I write poetry when I am in a different state of mind- love, loathe and likewise. Iridescence is thus a history of the past three years of my life. It reflects all of those years of life and how all those phases I have been through have affected me.”
- How did you go about the photo poetry? How did the poetry and pictures fit into a page?
“Layout wise, the book is aligned throughout with the photo being on the left, and the poetry being on the right. The reader thus has a choice between what to see/ or read first. It can be done both ways-you can either read the poetry first, and leave various aspects to your imagination, and then look at the picture, or look at the picture first and then attain clarity by relating it to the poetry.”
- What motivated an economics major to help people find themselves?
“Writing has always been my passion. I realized my passion for poetry in Class 8. However I started writing much better poetry when I was 16, which was also featured in the The Hindustan Times. In Class 12, I started clicking pictures very frequently. I then got myself a DSLR, and enrolled into a course for photography. While I was doing an internship in Mauritius, while looking at the sunset, I suddenly thought of the sunset in a very different, poetic way. I then came back home, researched a lot about various things and poetry, and hence got the idea to write such a book.”
- Do you find the world lost in their materialistic pleasure and is missing out on the small nuances of life?
“I don’t think everyone is. People try to find themselves through various things. When one sees the book, they’ll be awestruck by the fact that the picture is incomplete, and is completed by the adjoining poetry. Every person would relate to atleast 15-20 of the various pictures and poetry in the book, because all of us grow up through those various phases.”
- Why a book? Why not a photo blog that is the modern trend nowadays?
“A book is something which is very different. It gives a very different experience from that of a photo blog or other online works. I always prefer to read something that I can touch as hardbound, and I think that is why I always wanted to write a book. A hardbound is much more appealing than a photo blog.”
- About the response specifically, how did you get Shubhash Chandra to write the foreword of your book?
“When I saw Shubhash Chandra on television, I felt he motivated young people to do a lot of stuff. So I went to his website, sent in a lot of emails. After 3 months, I took out his personal assistant’s number and finally got to talk to Shubhash Chandra. He asked me why he should write my foreword. I told him about the book being one of its kind and the first in India and various other aspects of the book. Though he had just agreed to have a 5 minute conversation, we continued to talk for 45 minutes, after which he agreed.”
- Lastly, why do you think the book is one of a kind?
“ I personally read a lot, my favourite author being Khaled Hosseini. I have seen various books, especially photography books. None of them have been written in this fashion along with poetry. Hence it is one of a kind.”
The book recently became Number 1 on Amazon’s section of Best Seller Photography Book. Here is the link-
We commend Abhishek on the amazing work and effort he has put into the book. It does seems to be very promising, and brings us a very different combination of pictures and poetry in the form of a book. We wish him all the best with the book!