December 08, 2017

Transition: Moments in Crossing, An Exhibition Of My Street Photographs

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My street photography exhibition – Transitions: Moments in Crossing – opens at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, next week from Dec 13 to Dec 19 (all days), 11 am – 7 pm.

The 50+ photographs going on display were made over the years of commuting to work and travelling around the city on weekends, and on travels beyond the city, each instance providing a window seat into teeming masses immersed in the everyday of being.

I sought. maybe I didn’t really seek, moments that place the everyday in historical, cultural, traditional and geographical contexts. And where they don’t, I sought moments devoid of drama or in the very moment of promising one.

They are about people, their immediate and far contexts, and their lives on the street. Moments caught in transit. Moments that came to stay with me. Moments that cemented my impression of the place and its people.

I’ve attempted to turn the fleeting into a temporary permanence, seeking their meaning as much in what the framed moments seek to reveal as in their act of concealment for, meanings live in dualities, and die in convergence.

Among the places I'll be featuring are Jaipur, Delhi, Bundi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Nashik, Kolkata, Goa, Murshidabad, Bijapur, Benares, Afzalpur, Baroda, Pushkar, and Mumbai among others.


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Why Transitions?

In the street I seek to make memories of my time on it, seeking moments that bring alive its character in frames frozen street side, anchoring the memories to unfolding dramas, often unscripted, mostly ordinary, sometimes unusual, occasionally unexpected.

Each picture seeks to sit at the convergence of anticipation and surprise to remind me of the delight, however temporary, at seeing this materialise first hand, transforming the street forever, its character now tied inextricably to that one moment as it transitioned from the banal to delightful.

For, on the street the degree of separation between the innocuous and the piquant, the ordinary and the novel, the dreary and the absorbing is often so narrow as to be invisible unless in a tiny sliver of an opening when life reveals its magic in a fractured moment while transitioning from the banal to the prosaic, the shutter comes down at the very moment of transition, freezing life in all its quirks, conflicts, endearments, forebodings, intrigues, and contradictions.

It’s these transitions I sought on my meanderings, seeking meaning and the meaningful, where a seemingly plain moment crosses over into the unexpected at the moment its form and function align together to delight the eye and invigorate the senses.


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Do come over and see the exhibition, and if family and friends are not averse to seeing yet another India-centric exhibition of photographs, bring them along too, and help put the word out. Thanks in advance.

Venue: Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Duration: 13 Dec – 19 Dec, 2017 (open on all days).

Timings: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.



2017 – Group /  Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, UAE.
2017 – Group /  Darkroom Gallery, Vermont, USA
2017 – Group /  PH21 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
2017 – Group /  South x Southeast Gallery, Georgia, USA.
2017 – Group /  Slifka Center, Yale University, Connecticut, USA.
2014 – Solo    /  Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India.
2012 – Solo    /  Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India.

Awards & Other

2017 – Finalist, Daily Life category, 10th Pollux Awards.

April 09, 2017

Of Nameplates and Neighbourhoods

Name Plate

Dr. M. A. Misquita’s Family’

The nameplate bearing the name of the doctor is set in the wall, held firm by four iron clamps that betray their age, that of the nameplate, and of the house.

The neighbourhood is even older, among the oldest in the city.

The use of ‘family’ leaves no doubt that Dr. Misquita intended for succeeding generations to share the same roof, through thick and thin, in turn contributing to the neighbourhood retaining its cultural identity.  

Two more nameplates hang from the wall.

Dr. Apolinario Fernandes

Dr. Lawrence Fernandes

They’re both new relative to the one bearing Dr. Misquita’s name and hang from nails and can be easily lifted off the wall unlike the older nameplate that’s held fast by metal clamps.

While all three are doctors, the latter two include their professional qualifications (M.B.B.S) while the former doesn’t, likely indicating a medical degree of an earlier provenance, maybe from before independence.

Since medical profession seems to run in the family, I wonder if succeeding generations from the Misquita family will in turn affix newer nameplates, designed after practices of their time, each occupying a pride of place amidst those from before.

The difference in the design of the name plates, their wall fixings, the noting (and the lack) of medical qualifications attest to changes in practices over the years just as the renovations to old houses in old neighbourhoods sit uncomfortably with the older layers and constructs.

Like layers of earth exposed during archaeological digs, each succeeding layer revealing an earlier era, so do neighbourhoods in transition, where continuous habitation of homes by succeeding generations ensures that time trails off slowly, the passing of each moment frozen in elements surviving from an earlier time, of an earlier people, of an earlier way of life.

When Bombay loses its old neighbourhoods as it certainly will, replaced by high rises with entrances turned away from the street, walking through neighbourhoods will be no different from walking among nameless, indistinguishable boxes with little of no indication of the lives within, for, in the tell tale signs visible from the street, neighbourhoods talk to passers-by, welcoming them with signs of habitation that attest to identities by way of nameplates among others.

Without nameplates and doors facing streets, neighbourhoods are poorer on their identity.