Indian Cult of Beauty: A Saga of Adornment
The book deals with the beauty practices which were prevalent right from the initial days of civilization. Importance has been accorded to body beautification universally and goes back to time immemorial. The book also as a passing reference, mentions about beauty practices of different countries of the world. Beauty probably is inspirational. Women through their beauty, it is believed wield power and men foster it for reasons other than social and economic value of beauty. In the present times, beauty business has blown up to a mighty $532 billion industry. What started as an innocent expression of an inner calling has blown up to become serious business. Considered from the Indian perspective,one finds that beauty practices still are dictated by shastricinjunctions with a good measure of religiosity thrown in. For women in India traditional modes of body beautificationare parts ofher beauty regimen. The book beautifully presents to the reader the clearly drawn out methods of beautification from head to toe which is referred to as’shringaar’. The author with adequate finesse shows how the concept of beauty in India particularly, is not just about the physicality of beautybut it’s also about the philosophy ofbeautymeaning how literature opines about beauty and how lived traditions and religious practices regarding beauty are followed closely. The word cult is deeply evocative and poetic. The book opens up vistas of wisdom concerning beauty practices and makes for a highly interesting reading. It gives a paradigm shift to the commonly accepted superficial knowledge on beauty.