When I was visiting the Shiva Temple at Tadong in Sikkim, I made the horrible mistake of peeing with the camera strap round my neck. When I was done, my hand somehow hit the camera… More
A group of men sitting in their open air office just opposite the GPO could be a strange sight for somebody like me who is fairly new to the city. But on further research (by which I mean doing a simple google search) one becomes informed about the rich past they have lived as chroniclers of personal narratives of their clients.
What used to be a lucrative profession of writing letters for illiterate clients usually migrants has come down to becoming an odd job of packing parcels in muslin cloth among other tasks. The profession may have lost its glory, but these men are not complaining. They have accepted that there are better ways to communicate in the present times.
But the sheer fascination about the history of the city and the love for nostalgia brings people from around the world to this very spot where the Letter Writers sit with pride. A pride that is the outcome of having seen the city transform.
I was trying to stay away from posting any images on the page for sometime, but I liked how this picture that I posted on Instagram brought in some LIKES from some of the ex-students of this school. I accidentally also posted the picture on my twitter. So, well here is the picture in a better resolution.
This image was made when I visited the school on an event with Avantika’s NGO; St. Ages Convent School is truly a piece of history. But what interests me most other than the little cute faces of the little girls and boys is of course the vintage- colonial feeling the architecture of the school still retains. Here, is an image of little girls looking outside through the window. Clearly, I have disrupted their attention towards the ongoing lessons but luckily the teacher didn’t dash out of the class to whip me with her cane.
I think we have found a new hobby. Arjun and I have been curating songs from various regions of India for a Community Radio Course at TISS, Mumbai. We really enjoyed recording these songs and playing them for everyone at Rolling Radio every Monday. Now, you can keep listening to the songs whenever you want. We are making it available for all of you.
Here’s my piece about foreigners and their sturggles finding and keeping home in Mumbai city. I wrote this for Footnotes 2015. Have a look.
The ‘Incredible India’ tourism campaign stresses on our guests being equivalent to God. But is that really how we treat foreigners who make Mumbai their home? Here, a Chinese visitor talks of humiliation, an American woman reports molestation and a Nigerian man speaks of repeated experiences of being thrown out of a house.
Text and photos by Vishal Langthasa
Cheng Wei has lived in Mumbai for more than two years. Enough time to give him a perspective on real estate brokers and landlords in the city. “I have now drawn the conclusion that to most Indian people, ‘foreigner’ equals ‘millionaire’,” says the 31-year-old single man from Beijing who works as a media correspondent in Mumbai.
Wei recently moved into a 2BHK rental apartment at Mahalakshmi. It wasn’t difficult for him to strike a deal for the South Mumbai apartment as he commanded a good budget. But the problem was in…
View original post 1,181 more words
I still remember going to this trip with one of my wedding photography clients who was friends with an Army officer. He took both of us on a trolley car ride around Haflong town on the hundred years old Meter gauge railway.
Even though the pace of the trolley car and the beauty of the place made me feel elated, I still remember how the presence of the guards reminded me that there could be danger.
This Hundred years old Railway system that used to run between Lumding and Karimganj had been the lifeline for so many natives of the hilly area. Despite its rich past, the railway line has not been given the status of a heritage by authorities instead the tracks are being removed gradually.
I had the most lovely experience shooting for this series. Cannot thank ROOHI aka Avantika enough for letting me shoot this series for her. It all started when I saw her page on Facebook around April this year and the fact that it was a social enterprise really intrigued me. I texted Paromita (my metaphorical step mother) and asked her if she knew this lady. She did. She introduced me to Avantika in May, before I traveled to Haflong and wallah . . . we had a few meetings, plannings and recces and we shot the whole series in June in Haflong. The Haflong rain constantly played hide and seek with us, but at the end of the day the weather was not all that bad to us. The result is in front of you. Thank you to Petrina for managing the whole series for me. She was the real driving energy of the whole project. Thank you to all the models who featured in it – Radhika, Nisha, Venissa. Also thank you to Fiona and Sania for doing the make up. Thanks to the people of Boldhura, Lodi and Digrik for letting us shoot in their localities. Special Thank you to Archana Langthasa for letting us shoot Petrina’s images at her home. And thank you all so much for the response. The response has been phenomenal. Believe me while uploading these pictures sitting in my room at Mumbai, I can feel the smell of Haflong’s fresh air, moist soil and its beauty with all its imperfections.
Avantika posed for me wearing her traditional Dimasa wedding attire at Digrik, Haflong. The most interesting fact about her wedding costume was that, the colors are so unique and never seen before on a Dimasa Bride’s clothes that it invited a lot of questioning and almost disapproving comments from some guests at her traditional wedding. This, I suppose is an example of how even the bride’s wish to wear a certain color on her own wedding maybe hijacked by norms of the society without any validation. This is my ultimate favorite not just because I think she looks gorgeous in the most unconventional fashion, but also because it questions the norms of the society. How can an attribute such as the color of wedding outfits become such an inevitable requisite of an institution such as marriage where actually understanding is the biggest necessity rather than the budget of the wedding or even the colors the bride and groom are to be wearing. I hope you like it too.