In his text in the beginning of the book,writer Sankarlal Bhattacharjee says of Aloke Mitras effort,Down the years as I returned to his harvest of those exciting times,I,however strongly sensed retrieval; a retrieval of some great moments from the life of one of the most photographed persons on earth. Mitras photography-based coffee-table book,Ravi: The Colours of the Sun (Alchemy publishers,Rs 1,895),represents various moments of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankars life since 1962,making it one more among many efforts chronicling the maestros life.
Kolkata-based photo-journalist Mitra shows readers images of the musician during time spent in Varanasi,London and Kolkata. Through various sections in the book titled The Homecoming,Candid Ravi and Film and Music,among others. In Varanasi,for instance,hes seen outdoors praying on some occasions and buying paan on others and within the confines of his house,playing his sitar before his prayer table or playing cards with his long-time companion,Kamala. In other sections,he is seen on stage,collaborating with fellow Indian classical musicians or,in more intimate settings,with his disciples,such as George Harrison of The Beatles,or his guru,Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Unlike many other efforts at documenting his life,Mitras book,by self-admission,does not aim to be a biography. It merely represents the various facets of Ravi Shankars life,from him on stage,to the far more intimate,quiet meals at home. Yet,while the book does begin with some rather interesting,uncommon images,it gradually progresses into photographs from the public aspects of his life,such as felicitations,that are likely to have been seen before.