Tanjore tripping with Krithika Subrahmanian 

The dancer and architect will debut her first book, Treasures, at the Pondy Lit Fest on Sunday  

Sonali Shenoy Published :  17th August 2018 05:20 PM   |   Published :   |  17th August 2018 05:20 PM

Krithika Subrahmanian

Krithika Subrahmanian wants to give Gen Y a history lesson. But she promises this one will one will keep you wide awake.

In her first book, Treasures, based on Thanjavur — expect to find an amalgam of dance, art, literature and of course, architecture. For those who don’t know her, Transform, her firm which launched in 1996, has worked on several high-value homes around Chennai. As for why the dancer chose Thanjavur to start with (in what she says will be the first of many volumes) it is possibly because of her strong association with the town that dates as far back as the age of seven. This is when she first began learning the Thanjavur Bani of bharathanatyam. Thirty-five years later, she would go on to start her boutique hotel Svatma there as well.  

Set to make her debut as author at the Pondy Lit Fest 2018 this Sunday, Subrahmanian tells us, “The idea was to write about the ‘must see’ destinations of historic relevance in ways that will engage the next generation.” That means vibrant photography woven through its pages, as well as compact but quirky add-ons like a deck of recipe cards and a set of old-fashioned voyagers maps. To add a sensory touch, we hear there’s even a specially composed meditation soundtrack, complete with organic incense!

The format, a mashup of travelogue and coffee table book, was crafted over a period of two years with the aid of a research assistant.  “Riding on the universal tendency to browse rather than read voluminous rhetoric, the book is designed to be that connect for youngsters with all the visual and performing arts, architecture, literature and provide insightful nuances to engage the mind,” says the 44-year-old. In addition, she elaborates, “There is a lot of fact and detail and a timeline for history buffs, transliteration of verse as well as outstanding photographs by local talent.”

Now hoping to write and release a book every other year, whilst also juggling hats as architect, dancer, hotelier and mother we feel obliged to ask Subrahmanian for her Wonder Woman secret. “I enjoy everything I do, wholeheartedly, and that has increased my awareness of how to pack in more activities,” she says, lending us some perspective. To keep the momentum going, she says, “I started giving importance to each task, rather than getting obsessed with one. So I chant, pray, breathe, exercise, stretch, read, write, dance, and work in equal measure. I don’t over analyse or over engineer. I just dream and work.”

Treasures releases on August 19. Price Rs 1,800 and Rs 6,500 inclusive of add-ons like recipe cards.

sonali@newindianexpress.com | @brightasunshine