There is something about India, a magical place soaked in color and history and religion and a people that respect peace and harmony. A culture unique among cultures, it is unmistakably and remarkable its own. And it is a destination for many, the one place they wish to see before their years on earth are up.
Now, much of that imagery can be seen between the pages of Assouline’s latest publication, “To India With Love: From New York to Mumbai”. The book is a collection of love letters to the country of India, a scrapbook-as the publishing house is calling it-of personal photos, stories, and memories from those who love India, in support for all who were affected by the November 2008 tragedy in Mumbai. One year ago the nation’s financial capital was rocked by four days of highly planned and coordinated bombings and shootings that left 173 people dead and just over 300 wounded.
Among the many who penned their personal adorations are Adrien Brody, Francesco Clemente, Kenneth Cole, Silvia Fendi, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elizabeth Hurley, Padma Lakshmi, Evelyn Lauder, Natalie Portman, Cynthia Rowley Rachel Roy, Jean Touitou Owen Wilson, and Matthew Williamson. The 160 page book—with 110 illustrations—will donate all profits and contributions raised from events related to the book directly to Taj Public Service Welfare Trust in conjunction with Mumbai: We Got Your Back! (WGYB!), an organization founded by the three editors- Waris Ahluwalia, Tina Bhojwani and Mortimer Singer-to raise spirits, awareness and funds by leveraging the creative arts to draw attention to the people and culture of India.
A celebrity-filled party was thrown in celebration of and to launch the book (out this month) at the Pierre Hotel in New York on November 4. The room-packed to the gills with publishing cognoscenti as well as the international community-saw Deepak Chopra and Natalie Portman in attendance as well as Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri who spoke on the importance of the book and its meaning to the country, Raymond Bickson of Taj Hotels, and Prosper and Martine Assouline.