October 08, 2017

Navami wasn't so auspicious for a lot!

TOI, 30th of September 2017
Navami, the ninth day of the auspicious nine days proved to be not at all auspicious. Atleast for some 30 of the not so privileged class of our country, the cattle class, as a few like to address them as, it brought tears. Today’s newspaper is filled with sympathies and statements by the custodians, as to why someone else needs to be blamed for this catastrophic disaster. I get appalled at the insensitivity of such citizens of this land. Are they, in true sense, the true citizens of our country?

But, I have another thought. Aren't we all to be blamed for all of such happenings, almost every now and then? Are we not the ones who bring these so-called custodians to power, who are supposed to protect us rather than protecting only themselves and their next seven generations? No wonder we rank 79th on the corruption index out of the total of around 200 countries! A lot of us go gaga over the Bullets and the mad rush to create the largest of Shiva and Shivaji, or any such event or a boastful sensational news. I am sure, the great Shivaji and the mighty Shiviji would be happier seeing hospitals and schools being built rather than thousands of crores being spent on statues and the showcase of the Japanese speed!

HT, 30th of September 2017

It saddens me to see kids dying in bulk and we do not have decent hospitals, passengers die in their sleep travelling on the tracks, dreaming about their loved ones who would be waiting to receive them in a few hours, it saddens me to see young of this country getting crushed with their bikes because there are roads, but with potholes.

Oh please, you Netas and also the cash rich Godmen in India, the need of the hour is to get the infrastructure overhauled, to create what is not available for the middle of India, and by the way this middle is far away and below the middle class of our country. We need to create for the mass, not only for the class.

I feel disheartened at the fact that all those who tweet big sympathies, who issue statements on the national television and the media are the ones who never go to setups meant for the largest of Indian population, the deprived Indians. Top of the pyramid of our country’s population and the custodians of the nation live in and around or utilise setups run by the miniscule of India. This miniscule are the ones who get massive loans from our banks. They are the near and dear ones of the political bigwigs. Most of the times they also get entitled for loan waivers without penalties. At the same time, the bottom of the pyramid, who are behind running the most critical part of our economy, agriculture, are pushed to take the path of suicides. Oh, I forgot, they sometimes do get waivers in single digits and sometimes just a few paise. What a mockery!

I am disappointed and feel pity for a lot of my acquaintances who blindly follow the flow of the political colours or self-proclaimed Messengers of the God.

Oh, you people, the netas and the influential page three, the ones who make noise or post sympathies or show blind support to the so-called colours of the politics, get rationale on your thoughts. Be a simple human being, show humanity and start living for it. Stop being a hypocrite!

August 07, 2011

Disco Papita

To me this photograph is full of emotions and expressions and depicts the true Indian way of buying fruits and vegetables. The vendor here is trying to do whatever he can to tell the features and benefits of the Papayas he is selling. The variety of these Papayas as told me by this guy was ‘Disco Papita’. God knows from where this name ‘Disco’ came!

The Sardarji gentleman has already done his bit of having his daily quota of fruits at the mandi.... nah, on the serious side after tasting and being sure of the quality perhaps he will buy some for his folks at home after twisting the vendor’s arm to his full on the rates. Two ladies at the right are not so sure of what he is mentioning to bhai saab in front ...“Are bauji isse meetha Papita na milehga kahin”... and there are some at the back who are still in a state of dilemma whether to even go close to the cart or not....and I on the other side did my own bit of making a good picture!

August 06, 2011

Divine Faith...Unlimited!

Now this is something interesting that I noticed around 5 years back when I was travelling to Nawanshehar, a small town in Indian Punjab with my wife, Ritu. As usual, she was holding the camera and I was on the driver seat. Ritu always has been a fantastic assistant to me while I am in a mood to shoot. The story is very different at home and the assistant cap shifts on to me...infact the cap takes on the profile of a bandhua majdoor...and obviously then I have no other option left but to enjoy with that too!

Anyways, with music on and the car zooming at a high speed...I suddenly stopped with a screech... "what happened, why did u stop the car?" said she. "Give me the camera fast, ek badhiya photo ban rahi hai", I shouted back and got off the car with the camera. What I had noticed was a rickshaw puller with a rickshaw converted for promoting movies was going around the street.

It is not uncommon to still see this kind of publicity and promotion happening in smaller towns in India. A cycle rickshaw is converted with three sides used to display the movie posters. A reflex type horn speaker as used during election campaigning is put on the top which can wake one up even from the deepest of sleep. Most of the time the music that is played (normally some real spicy kind of) is not even from the movie being publicised.

Anyways, what caught my attention was not the rickshaw but the name (Hawas Ka Shikari) of this local kind of a porn movie and even more catchy was the divine faith placed strategically on top of the entire setup.

No wonder, I thought, whatever we Indians do or start with, it has to be with the name of the goddess....Jai Mata Di!

August 04, 2011

Memories from the City Beautiful!

As I came back from work, I was told to pick up Jholas and get in the car again to go to the weekly Sabji Mandi. How could I have said no to high command, I had to obey the orders. Anyways we reached the mandi and managed to somehow get some parking space. Chandigarh is a place where each area holds a weekly bazaar and farmers from neighbouring villages come and sell absolute fresh vegetables. But, if one misses out on the day, one will have to go a little far off on some other day to get vegetables to fill up the refrigerator for a week's requirement. So you can imagine what rush and huge hustle bustle one has to face to get one's weekly quota of veggies.

Anyways, I was in no mood of buying vegetables and the moment we got out of car my mind started working on another opportunity which obviously my wife Ritu could have never imagined...."Ritu, can you see that three storey house there?" "Yes, so what?", she replied..."If I could get on top of that house, imagine what a great capture can I make of this mandi" and she was like has he gone crazy? "How will you do that and why would the owner allow you to get into his house?" I was lucky that atleast she had shown some positive response to my idea. We came back immediately without the veggies...what we had for dinner that night is a different story altogether.

With my entire gamut of photography equipment I pressed the door bell and out came an elderly gentleman..."Sir", very hesitantly and with a little embarrassment I told him about my intentions...."haan haan beta kyon nahin aa jao", and he accompanied me till the roof and even gave me a ladder to go further up....

Now that's what Chandigarh still is and that's how Chandigarh is still different from the rest of the world....people still trust strangers and still respect others' thoughts!

Anyways, I do not want to linger on with the story, but here I am putting in the picture that I made that night which surely remains my favourite till date and has earned me a lot of recognition....Hope you all will like it too!

July 31, 2011


This June, on my way to Patna from Biharsharif, I noticed this physically challenged person taking rest on the roadside. He does not have any other place to rest and calls this as his home. When I clicked this pic it must have been almost 44-45 degrees.

Why do we keep cribbing about our own lives and living conditions, sitting in our Innova, holding a bottle of chilled mineral water, with AC on full blast, on my way back, I kept thinking !

April 01, 2009


This laborer working in the fields near Amritsar could not control his happiness and excitement when I clicked his picture on his request. I am glad that I could deliver him a blow up of his picture.

March 22, 2009

Brainless Baba....

As usual, I was on a photo mission on a chilly winter morning on the ghats of Varanasi when this Baba came to me, patted my back and said “Hey are you a News photographer" I looked around with a little confusion for that was a British accent. I replied back, "Baba hum to aapas me hindi bol sakte hain, angrezi firango ke liye chod do", I said. “I am from Bengaluru and feel comfortable in English”, said he. Anyways, we got into a chat and upon persuasion he introduced himself. He says "I had everything in life some 25 years ago - cars, bungalow and all other luxuries of life. I have traveled to 25 countries and have a PhD degree, but left everything. People took this act of mine as absolutely brainless, so I said, OK; from now onward let people know me as 'Brainless Baba'. A chain smoker, Baba spends most of his time on the ghats of Varanasi.