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Gussadi

I love telling stories, be it by Photography or Filmmaking. With a sense of adventure, and a craving to explore remote tribal places in Telangana, In 2014 I first visited erstwhile Adilabad, to make a Documentary on one of Asia’s most ancient tribes, the “Raj Gonds”. Me and my small team trekked to some of the most isolated places there to document the tribal cultures, ancient traditions and artistic heritage of these tribes. Their way of living has not changed a lot for many hundred years, although the world around them has changed. And one day I remember Diwali was around the corner, that's when I stumbled upon this spectacular, centuries-old custom “Gussadi” it completely fascinated me by its enchantment, mythic history and biting satire. For the very first time I saw the Gussards performing the dance of the Gods. The rhythmic and robust movements with the accompaniment of the tribal music, was mesmerising, not just made it an exquisite sight to watch but moved me from with in. That’s when I decided that I must tell these stories, my journey started then and I had been blessed with amazing like minded people joining me, in making this dream come true. It’s such a privilege to photograph and record them, I resonated a phenomenal connection with these tribes , their ceremonies, the traditions, the culture and everything around the nature they live in. I knew where we were heading and here we are today with this wonderful culmination of an exhaustive 6-years of research and hard work in the form of this book - Gussadi - Celebration of being God! because in these years I could clearly understand that it's not just a tribal dance its a custom, a tradition which they follow sacredly.

When I finished my Documentary, that’s when the ideas of a Coffee Table book dawned to me, a book that will speak for itself, “an aesthetic photographic document”. As a book, it would be like a window into their mystic world, the outside world could see what I was seeing, and through this body of work I want to ensure that the legacy of Gussadi and its ancient traditions is preserved in these photographs and stories for future generations, because in these 6 years I witnessed urbanisation in their cultural lifestyles and geography, if they are not documented and preserved, then there is a huge loss of traditional insights. So I am really grateful and glad that we made this book! its first of its kind on Gussadi.

These photographs are for the people in these photographs. I want them to see it and feel proud of who they are and what their true identity is, so that the future generations of this tribe and students across the world can access and learn from the wonders of these tribes and their traditions.

I have received so much love and respect from these tribes that inreturn I wanted to give this book to them, "it's dedicated to them" the funds which come in from the book sale will directly go to these tribes, a separate account has been opened at ITDA for that, so that it will help these tribes to pursue their arts and crafts.

View Documentary Trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkKXK6h6hBU

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