In Hindi 'pukka' means genuine, authentic, complete. Design in India is not only determined by the aesthetic appeal of the object, but also by the significance of the object in the everyday life of its users. In some instances, the age-old practices established by ancient Indian wisdom determine the design of an object, such as the datun (neem tree twig) recommended for oral care or agarbatti (incense) used to heal and protect. On the other hand, the lota (a kind of metal pot) has been a part of everyday Indian life for centuries and its design remains unchanged even today.
Pukka Indian, or Purely Indian, brings together 100 objects that are the most coveted symbols representing Indian culture and design. This illustrated book celebrates the diversity, versatility, vibrancy, and colours of design icons - ranging from kulhad to the kolhapuri chappal, Nano to the Nehru jacket, and auto rickshaw meter to the Ambassador - that set them apart in a country as multifarious as India. Each of these 100 profiles reveals the intrinsic Indian nature of every object, and how each has influenced design, culture and, in turn, every Indian.
Born in Lucknow, Jahnvi Lakhota Nandan has a doctorate in architectural design from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. She is also an expert on fragrances, and lives and works in Paris. Shivani Gupta is a professional photographer and Indian Classical Mohiniattam dancer. She currently works from her studio in Goa.