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The Book Corner

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My love for books began from the time I learnt how to read. I have been told that as a child I would be the one reading the bedtime stories to my parents, instead of vice versa. This love for reading was encouraged by my parents who did not hesitate to buy me books.

When I first moved to Mumbai, I was so excited to know that books were available on the street for a throwaway price. And believe me, I bought quite a few.

Eventually I realised that when I buy books from the street, although I may enjoy reading the books, I am not helping the authors get what is due to them.

I am a person who still loves the feel of a book and who cannot stand reading an e – book (which has a similar issue altogether); therefore now I have consciously decided to buy books from book stores even if it means buying fewer books than I used to.

P.S: However, there are times when these vendors on the street are able to procure some old books which you might otherwise have difficulty in finding.

The Photograph was taken in Connaught Place, New Delhi and represents my thoughts on the subject.

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The (Balloon) Vendor

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This Picture was taken during Ganesh Chaturthi, 2014 at Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai. This woman, who knew that a significant number of people would turn up, hoped to make some sales and earn a livelihood.

For anyone who knows the significance of being there at that place during Ganesh Chaturthi, would know what I mean when I say that the moment I stepped out of the station to go to the beach, I wanted to turn back. But curiosity led me there; I wanted to experience it for myself. Being an amateur photographer, I thought this would be a perfect time for some candid photography. The timing was, both, wrong and right; wrong because it was overwhelmingly crowded and after a certain point all I wanted to do was go home and right because I managed to get this shot.

It was a onetime thing. I don’t think I will do this again!

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The Cobbler’s Wife: Means of Livelihood

The Cobbler's Wife: Means of Livelihood

This Photograph was meant to be a simple representation of what I saw on the street and wished to document. I now look at the picture and recollect some tiny details that made me realise that this elderly woman not just earns her livelihood in that small spot but she may probably even live there. And that is one thing you will notice a lot in Mumbai; people tend to live where they work and sometimes don’t even have a decent place to call home.

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The Letter!

The Letter!

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t re – read a phone call.

~ Liz Carpenter

It was just a different time, when I was young and my parents would receive letters. I used to dream of the day when I would be all grown up and receive mail of my own. Times have changed. But I haven’t. I still love writing letters to convey thoughts and feelings. And I have made a few others fall in love with the idea of letters.

Usually, I hand deliver my letters. However, this one letter was different; it was the first one by post. I experienced so many emotions during the process of sending this letter; the apprehension that it won’t reach in time or that it would get lost in transit, the unexplainable joy when you know that it has been received and then the feeling that you could have done a better job with its contents.

But then I couldn’t think of any other way to make a Birthday special, especially without being there. Therefore, the Letter!

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Series: Children of Ladakh #5

This young fellow was the only one of the children, at one village, who could communicate in Hindi to a certain extent. He was my translator.

 

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Series: Children of Ladakh

“The soul is healed by being with children”

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Having to do an internship with a non – governmental organisation after completing my studies in social work, I got an opportunity to work with the Snow Leopard Conservation India Trust (SLC- IT). SLC – IT is an organisation working primarily for the conservation of snow leopards in Ladakh. The organisation also conducts educational programmes for children in various villages of Ladakh to make them more aware about their wildlife and biodiversity.

During one of these educational programmes I got to participate in, I met the most kind, generous and hospitable people. But what captured my attention the most were the children, they were the sweetest hosts to me. Though we didn’t speak the same language, it was never a barrier. I could see them laughing, their laughter made me smile . . . for all you know they must have been laughing at me.

In this series I photographed mostly the children I met during the educational programme, and others that I couldn’t ignore whilst walking down the streets of Ladakh. For me children seem to be one of the most interesting subjects to photograph.

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