by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli
For millennia, our cities have prospered and grown in the cradles of civilization-fertile lands blessed with rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. From the origins of life on earth, right down to its downfall, biblical or otherwise, water has been integral to the human story.
In this passionate and extensively researched tribute to the elixir that sustains us all, authors Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli take us on a panoramic view of the water bodies of India and the urgent need to address their emergent ecological threats. From the Yamuna in Delhi to the Cauvery in Karnataka and the Pichola Lake in Udaipur to the Brahmaputra in Assam, this book is epic in its sweep and yet deeply moving in its intimate concerns.
Interspersed with anthropological, legal and scientific vignettes of the water are fascinating anecdotes, ditties, myths and monsters blue and green. This book also brings into dialogue a vast range of colourful characters-from medieval poets to colonial masters and modern scientists-to paint for us a tapestry of connected histories and ring a timely knell for saving the very ecological systems that have sustained us for ages.
Praise for Shades of Blue:
“The authors manage the tricky balancing act of keeping the reader engaged while focusing on the urgent need to save the various waterscapes across the country by combining anecdotes, folk tales, mythological stories with sociological and scientific data.”
—The Times of India
“Lucid and deeply insightful at the same time… a must-read for anyone concerned about our future in India, Asia or anywhere on the planet.”
“The authors’ writing style is breezy, yet the book is packed with information.”
“Simply narrated yet evocative, this is a worthy compendium on India’s urban waterscapes and those vital blue drops that link all lives.”