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In this issue

There do exist, commonly accepted ‘icons’ — both universal and those that are unique to their parts of the world. India’s could range from say, the enigmatic Rekha to the vast ruins of Hampi, with numerous other people, places and works of art that have gone down in the annals of our cultural history. For this issue, we take a slightly different route in our search for these representative figures. We pivot the spotlight onto those that we feel are as influential, but exist in the shadows of their larger-than-life contemporaries or predecessors, or are simply awaiting the passage of time to acquire the patina of age and experience that is generally required to achieve iconic status. We also attempt to pay closer attention to the things that might be colloquially referred to as iconic due to their ubiquity, but remain unexamined below the surface — like the omnipresent bindi or souvenir photographers at the Gateway of India. Also featuring Jacques Cousteau’s adventurous granddaughter Celine Cousteau, a death metal band from Shillong Plague Throat, new-age mehndi designs, India’s first birth photographer Urshita Saini, an ex-Noma chef and more...

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