‘Malnad Times’

‘Malnad Times’

“Television is bound to come to every house in the course of time," reflects Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy in the foreword of Malnad Times, a coffee-table book that is a compilation of black and white images by Arjun Swaminathan.

The collection of images across 150 pages captures Karnataka’s Malnad region which, Swaminathan notes, “seems like it is in a time warp". But one on the verge of change.

In short notes interspersed with the photographs, Ananthamurthy, who grew up in the region’s Thirthahalli district, talks about the history and culture of the village he grew up in. “When I grew up in Malnad as a child in a house surrounded by jungles, I used to hear many stories of tigers from all the visitors at our home," he writes, referring to the thick forest cover in the area.

People in the area travel often, says Swaminathan, but they prefer to return to farming and their contented lives here. They live “simple lives, it doesn’t mean they are not aware of the progress of the world," adds the photographer, who has tried to document the slow, but inevitable, change as towns such as Thirthahalli become increasingly commercial. The book of images consists of a few captions that are listed at the very end.

Malnad Times is available at the Bangalore corporate office of Café Coffee Day.

pavitra.j@livemint.com

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