All posts filed under: Cambodia

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 …

Shoes and the Sage

After forty four days, I arrived home. Home is wherever mother lives. When I was leaving, the only thing i desired on the 43rd day, was to buy good walking shoes. I had even spent a good second half of that evening trying to find anything likeable. The ones i was wearing now, a pair of black trekking shoes; i had bought them four months ago in early August. Even though there is nothing as such like over-walking in the mountains, but by the time I finished my journey in the Himalayas, they seemed done. Any ways I could not find new shoes and at last left India with the same black ones. I traveled around Thailand and more so for a month long work-fellowship in Cambodia. From there I flew back to Kolkata and while spending my ninth evening in Kashi on Assi Ghat I met an old man whom I felt kept looking at my black shoes. As I followed his gaze and later his worn out feet. I walked up to him …

I will let the story find me

Left my red bed today. Made coffee for the other two. For myself I had cashews, raisins, walnuts four each, early in the morning. I first thought to go cycling but today it seemed well to sit and better prepare for the upcoming challenge. I washed myself fast and shaved in harmony. I was ready in time. I cut all the fruits and ate. Got to the new hotel where the workshop-residency will be taking place. I got the first room by the pool. Didn’t want to stay that much upfront but it saved so much time that i can only feel blessed. I was saved from so much small and big talk, distractions that might have triggered further distractions. But all in all It was a privilege to come this far, meeting people who have been working in their preferred sense, in person sharing and making a world feel one and together again. It is rare for artists to come together and see each others work and ethics. And more so when, here in …

Love is everywhere

Cambodia has started to settle inside. It is hot. But Its winters here. Its Busy and Open. Moving slowly. Women from various countries as diverse as nature is are seen Smiling, enjoying. Much like Indian, Cambodians have a strong family sense. Rafa, was the first person i met on this fellowship. He was also the first person to arrive in Cambodia. Second became I. He is a good man. As we sat talking with each other the first day after meeting he opened up like he cannot hide. Tears coming down from eyes. He told me he is divorced. And is a father of a young girl, Maya. We bonded most beautifully and talked about photography and the history of Angkor workshops and things to be seen around about in Cambodia. I met a woman cycling, and found each other cycling to the river together. She is going through her divorce too. After documenting all day i got to a bar where i found a ping pong table. Ben with whom I played yesterday sat …

The Red Cambodian Bed

  I had been walking for last two days. But did not really reach anywhere. At the same time It took two days to understand two parallel road that looked similar and after reaching a circle went different ways. It took me time to understand two important Khmer words like Susrai/hello and okun/thank you. I finally decided to rent a cycle with city tyres. I think I have spent all day today roaming around the outskirts of Siem Reap and then sometimes away towards the urbanised rural area, and sometimes cycling far away along the river to Tonle sap and towards the country side. There are still days when i will be meeting my mentor for the workshop, but all this roaming is only to embrace as much information and varied subjects so as to present to the teachers what we will be working on as a project in Cambodia dedicated to Cambodian people, at least that is how i thought i would like to work. I am feeling so happy and so free in …