All posts filed under: A Photo-Ethnographic Study

A Journal of Animal stories in the last ancient fair of Nepal

“There is no other no other culture on earth that worships a woman as a goddess. And has gone to lengths, to make her happy, satisfy her with whatever means a man could imagine. Honoring her, doing little things, like this fair to keep her happy, may be to create another excuse to celebrate, however irrational it may be. Because you see, someone told me on this journey, that if in a family, a woman is happy everything will be favourable. Our goddess needs to happy, at any cost possible” GADHIMAI FAIR : A Journey through the culture of Nepal A sparrow woke us up. After travelling for three days overland, from Delhi to Kathmandu; changing buses including sharing a seat for seven hours with a goat. Through the night, travelling in a time travel bus I was transported from a civil society to a town living thirty years back. A town darkened by the moonless night, wearing a layer of fog only dissected by the headlight of a second world war Mercedes truck. Few …

SINGSONG : Finding the Father with the golden voice of Cambodia – A Photographic Film

In December 2018, I rented a bicycle and started recording songs of the people I would meet in my travels around in Cambodia. Through the sound filled in my ears I slowly started seeing. But few days later I realised listening, sitting in a room that all the songs that people sang were of the same singer. Sinn Sisamouth, the father with the golden voice of Cambodia. I started researching on this singer and soon learnt that Sinn Sisamouth was the most revered singer of Cambodia and South-east Asia then. He had gone missing under mysterious circumstances and was most likely killed in 1976 by the Khmer Rouge regime. And his songs were banned for the next four years to come. Khmer rouge was in power from 1975-79. It is estimated that the brutal regime claimed the lives of more than 1.9 million people. That was around 28 percent of the total population of Cambodia, eliminated. The regime tried to control and take the country back to the Middle ages, forcing millions of people from …

Bateshwar Temples from the eyes of the legendary Archaeologist KK Muhammad: A Photo Essay and FILM

My earliest memory of meeting KK Muhammad was in his white room, filled with books to the brim, touching the tall old roof of the Red Fort Complex, his newly ancient home. Astounded, I asked him if he would ever finish reading all these books! Smiling, he said, “Narayan an age comes when you don’t keep books to read them, they read me daily instead. I only use them for references”. Somehow I carried this memory for long, and since then had no guilt for keeping as many books myself, thinking either way of someday reading or at least being read by them. I also remember him today as he came out to be one of the most important person who was behind the archaeological excavations at Ayodhya, that according to him clearly indicated the presence of a temple below the mosque. Father of one of my filmmaker friend, with whom i was fortunate to work together in the making of this film, that became a tribute, a testimony for his commendable and courageous work …

In loving memory of Dhapodi Ji

Dhapodi ji became a shepherd once she learnt that she would not be able to give Ambaram any children. I saw her whole life as she slowly walked away, Limping for her daily work. She looked after seventy goats and four cows. Takes them all together for grazing daily finding newer fields and trees to eat from. Meanwhile Ambaram married again, in search for a boy the new couple got five beautiful talkative girls before a quiet boy arrived from the younger wife. All children are going to school except the youngest girl. I remember Dhapodi jiji because we never spoke. Over all It must have been over eight days as she brought me tea each day and food in the night before leaving to her hut. Falling sick around her was like i became her new goat. She gave me home medicines like my mother is giving me now for cough. One night when the family had gone out, i found her working in the candle light in the kitchen. I asked her if …

Days at Mount Black

I went rather late. In midst of going or not going which has become a pattern. The sun became orange and soon hid behind city buildings. I was still in metro. I took two tuk tuks and still had to walk. The air changed to worst. The smell. Blood was seen spilled. The water filled pot holed roads. I bought four chocolates for the girl and one for the boy. I reached without straying anywhere else. I arrived at a time when she was looking at herself in the mirror when she saw me from the sides of her eye. And hid herself behind the door. She was humming a song. Combing her wet hair. Looking at herself. But as she hid herself from my gaze, she was smiling, she was shying as she always did. I asked about her health. If she is studying? of course not. I met her brother. I remembered him fondly. I had filmed them both a year ago for over a week. He was the most interactive little boy …