And Quiet Flows The Narmada
Rama Shanker Singh
TEERE-TEERE NARMADA by Amritlal Vegad Medha Publishing House, 2018, 379 pp., 650
October 2019, volume 43, No 10

In recent times, a compelling discourse has been generated at the global level over the increasing scarcity of water and its socio-cultural implications. Water bodies and repositories such as ponds, rivers, seas and icecaps are now frequently and deservedly discussed in academic and popular arenas. The socio-cultural history of rivers, their flow, health and ecosystem, has lately found due attention among researchers resulting in numerous studies with water as their main focus. Here, water is a ‘space’ where the ‘cultural’ takes form, and creates history as ‘the life of a community’ develops around it.

So, now we have a book. Let me correct myself. No, this is a river turned into a book. A reader finds Amritlal Vegad’s Teere Teere Narmada (Along with Narmada) is a river travelogue where the author and his wife travel along the mighty and revered river Narmada.

The book opens in three dimensions. First it talks about the river Narmada, and then the communities living along the river, and then the book opens up in the cultural settings of the land crossed by it.

Amritlal Vegad, a painter and writer and winner of many awards, has made the River Narmada a life-long passion and has traversed the entire length of the river as it flows from its origins into the sea. He has written three books on the Narmada in Hindi and in English including the one under review, bringing alive to the reader its unimaginable beauty as well as providing intimate glimpses of the people who live their lives along its winding trajectory.

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