n India, to understand objects in terms of design one has to re-imagine design itself. Design in India is not entirely determined by the aesthetic appeal of the object, but by the significance of the object in everyday life and is often influenced by its users. In some instances, the age-old practices established by ancient Indian wisdom determine the design of an object, such as the datun (neem tree twig) recommended for oral care or agarbatti (incense) used to heal and protect. On the other hand, the lota (a kind of metal pot) has been a part of everyday Indian life for centuries and its design remains unchanged even today.
Pukka Indian or Purely Indian brings together hundred objects that are the most coveted symbols representing Indian culture and design. This illustrated book celebrates the diversity, versatility, vibrancy and colours of design icons – ranging from kulhad to the kolhapuri chappal, Nano to the Nehru jacket and auto rickshaw meter to the Ambassador – that set them apart in a country as multifarious as India. Each of these hundred profiles compliments the intrinsically Indian nature of every object and how they have impacted design, culture and, in turn, every Indian.