Sahishnuta: An illuminated tale of a great love

Uttam Grandhi

Sahishnuta is an interactive book, a sculpture and a lamp that tells one of the important tales in Indian history. It illuminates as you unfold the story of Jodhaa and Akbar, who united two warring kingdoms, despite their different religious beliefs.


The sculpture has an octagonal symmetry in its ‘bloom’ state and is adorned with laser-cut walnut and brass. When each of the eight petals are opened, the 'blossom' state reveals the story through back-lit pop-up silhouettes and calligraphic transcripts. This form, unlike a traditional book, shows the entire story in one beautiful snapshot. The aesthetic choices which are inspired from Indo-Islamic architecture, Japanese traditions and Origami make the sculpture a graceful object for both homes and galleries. In a philosophical sense, the materials – light, paper, brass and wood communicate the spirit of love, tolerance, tradition and permanence; which I envision would give a reflective experience to its audience.