I am typically skeptical of sequels, especially with summer blockbusters looming ahead. But there is one sequel that I feel truly hits the mark and that's Mahesh Bhat's book, Unsung – Extraordinary Lives. Learn more about Unsung here.
The first book chronicled the lives of nine unsung heroes from all over India. It sold 6500 books and it raised $150,000 towards the various projects these heroes were spearheading.
Mahesh has given a 100 presentations about the original Unsung project. It wasn't until he was approached by Dinesh Khanna, a photographer based in Delhi (and Dinesh was interviewed on Tiffinbox too), about doing a second book that Mahesh started to seriously consider it. But of course, a project like Unsung isn't inexpensive to do. An admirer of the Unsung book stepped up and provided Mahesh with two checks to fund the day-to-day production of the book. This included paying photographers a living wage and travel expenses that simply covered their costs.
Mahesh and I spoke about this book sequel and why it is important for him to produce it. Listen to our conversation and look at some of the photographs the photographers have submitted towards this fascinating book about ordinary Indians doing extraordinary lives.
Out of the eight heroes featured in the book, Mahesh and I talk about Niketu Iralu, a peacemaker from Nagaland, India and Narayana Reddy, an organic farmer in Bangalore who is making a tremendous impact on the food production in his community. To look at these gentlemen, you are likely to mistake them for regular old joe's (or the Indian equivalent of it). But through photographs and text we come to understand how their passion to make the lives of their fellow human beings drives them into making their ideas happen.