British Asia News Network
London: The Indian turban pagri, was celebrated at an exceptional book launch of ‘Turbans and Tales’ by new authors, but veteran directors and photographers for fifteen years, Amit and Naroop at the grand National Army Museum in Chelsea.
Supported by the National Army Museum, the event was spearheaded by Jasdeep Singh, Indian military expert and Curator at the museum.
The 24 January event was a complete package with meeting-the-authors, networking and interacting with British Asian celebrities and features from the book while munching on to popular Indian snacks samosas and pakoras; Bhangra, rap, dhol and much more.
“Turbans and Tales is a celebration of identity. It embraces the beauty of diversity and champions the brave,” said co-author Naroop.
“People who are unfamiliar with the Sikh identity can learn about it, whilst the stories of each subject serve as inspiration that no matter what you like, nothing should hold you back from your dreams and aspirations,” he said.
During the evening, the duo shared their four-year journey into the making of the book “Turbans and Tales”. Showcasing 72 powerful photographic images that they took of Sikh individuals in Turbans from the UK to the USA, aiming to break the barrier of identity and perception alongside sharing diverse stories chronicling the history of the turban.
Speaking to a packed house of 250 guests at the event - including influential personalities such as British Actor Jassa Ahluwalia, Magician Magic Singh, Fashion Designer Mani Kohli, Award Winning Business Mentor Sukhi Wahiwala to World Pool Master Raj Hundal - Jasdeep said:
"‘Turbans And Tales' looks at the contemporary turban in today's society. The National Army Museum’s rich collection allows us to track back to its origins worn by maharajas, soldiers, even British royalty. It has always been a fabric of Indian cultural heritage. We are excited to have the book launch here at the National Army Museum."
The opening chapter of ‘Turban and Tales’ utilises Jasdeep’s knowledge on the subject and the NAM’s collection to explore the history of the turban over two centuries.
The eventful evening saw individuals featured in the book partake on stage with rap performance "Turbans And Tales" from Jaskeerth Singh (JGSK) to panel discussions with Magic Singh, Chaz Fly and Madhu Singh, known best for his performance on the TV show, Britain's Got Talent. Also joining the stage was René Carayol MBE, the world’s specialist advisor on leadership and business transformation and culture to world leaders & FTSE 100 CEO’s who also acts as Amit And Naroop’s mentor.
The evening was completed by a colourful surprise performance for the assembled guests by Bhangra Dance London, the UK's premier Bhangra folk dance academy. Alongside, Amit and Naroop signed books for their guests at the venue, expressing their gratitude to the audience and to the National Army Museum for their support.
The authors are ecstatic with the outcome. “The launch was a sold-out event. The response was fantastic with subjects from the book mingling with admirers and fans of the project. The energy was electric,” said co-author Amit.
What next for the duo? A sequel, perhaps? “There are no plans for a sequel, however we are planning more events to help spread the word of the book, especially in America where it is much needed,” he said.
‘Turbans and Tales’ provokes positive conversations about identity and hopes to reframe the way minorities are seen. The portraits have been exhibited in London and across America before, through “The Singh Project”, which saw over 7,000 plus visitors within 8 days in New York alone, and have been internationally recognised and acclaimed.