All posts filed under: A Photo-Ethnographic Study

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 …

RIVER OF HEADS

“There is no other no other culture that worships a woman as a goddess. And this is just her power that we honor and do little things, like this fair to keep her happy. Because you see if in a family, a woman is happy everything will be favourable. Our goddess needs to happy.” A sparrow woke us up. After travelling for three days overland, changing buses including seven hours with a goat. In a matter of those hours travelling at night 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 8-seater carriers waiting for the people. In that cold morning the only noise that travelled was their engines running. No body talked. It was freezing, also people were half asleep under their blankets. Few looking straight into nothingness, like tamed intoxicated spirits. My journey to Kalliya had started. I will …