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HINDI…EFFORTLESsLY is not just any book. It is an invitation to a journey through Hindi, which is more than just a language. Hindi is a multi-faceted realm. Behind every word hides a reality, often inextricably linked with multiple images, perfectly illustrating various meanings.
Ajay Shanker's photographs are a series of playful messages or glimpses, a kaleidoscope of faces, actions and places that, although in black and white, form the most colourful and captivating'varnmala' (garland of alphabets) that you will see!
Browsing through this book will inspire you to learn even more about Hindi.
New Delhi, 2019
ABOUT THE BOOK
The idea of the book came from my wife Dorota who is from Poland. I saw her struggle with learning Hindi. She would often say that if there were photographs describing the word, learning could be so much easier and fun. It struck me how our Hindi cinema was extremely popular worldwide. That's because pictures are always more relatable than words. As it goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. Many years down the line, Dorota can now fool you with a straight face, should you slip into Hindi unconsciously, so beware!
Images speak a silent but universal language. Look at the photo, learn the word and then build a story around it. For example the word Gussa (anger). Turn to page 60 and decide for yourself. Your outlook, your story. A new story each time with the same picture.
This book is for all ages. Images in this book are from my travels across India for work. Today they seek to teach you a language that you maybe intimidated by. Before I end, I urge you to print your photographs, print your memories. In our robotic lives, we are building virtual libraries of our photographs on our hard drives. Images are what document history. So print the photos that your future generations can browse through and learn of the times which existed before them. Print them so you can sit around with your family and friends, re-living the memories and laughter of years gone by.
To make Hindi fun was the sole purpose of this book. If these pages can make you smile in today's tough world then I would have achieved what I set out for.
New Delhi, 2019