Frontlist | Review: Flower Shower by Alka Pande
Aesthetically designed and with an engaging narrative, each chapter of the book begins with a carefully chosen quote and every page is steeped in fascinating information. The rose, the lotus, the champa and the marigold are only some of the flowers that feature in this beautiful volume
I was carried away by the elegance of this book. Each page was like unfurling the petals of a flower and indulging in its beauty. Art critic Alka Pande’s well-researched Flower Shower is a treasure for any nature lover.
India is a land blessed with an abundance of nature. It is home to more than 18,000 flower species. This is also a culture where flowers play a significant role in every field and dimension: auspicious and inauspicious, sacred and profane, life and death. Pande elucidates these in her book, where she weaves a fragrant string of chapters on how flowers are an integral part of our lives.
Three of the book’s 13 chapters are dedicated to specific flowers: the rose, the lotus, the marigold and the champa. In the chapter on the rose, she traces its passage from fossil records nearly 35 million years ago. The rose finds a mention in medieval prose and poetry and has etched a place for itself as a symbol of undying love in every culture. The pride of a gardener it is also prized by perfumers. In the chapter on the lotus, Pande shows how the lotus is a symbol of divinity in most faiths and how it is an oft-used theme in architecture to signify peace. While this chapter includes many paintings from different periods, it is the illustration of Krishna and Radha clad in lotus flowers from circa 1730 that steals the reader’s heart.