Thursday, September 21, 2006


This picture was shot around the early afternoon on a typical busy day in Calcutta, back in 2001.

Read a travel book, and they will mention the traffic is frenetic, and that there is 30 plus traffic fatalities a day-which is clearly horrible. But, travel one day in the city, and you will think,"...only 30 a day? that is incredible!"

One day, I just stood on the edge of the market and shot a photo each minute, barely changing angle, just refocusing, framing and shooting. What came out of this roll of film is 36 utterly distinct images ( you could even say worlds) even though the area shot is very small. In one image, a Sadhu or holy man grimaces while walking across the street, another a boy selling bright clothes pins jumps in front of the camera and in this image, many different things are happening.

In the centre, a man walks with an entire booth on his back: stand, pepsi advert, poori puff balls and a variety of sauces. To the left, a rickshaw wallah walks the streets.

At the time of this shot, I did not notice the man and child which are the defacto centre of attention. The man is in his salwar kamiz and the boy has this semi-western outfit on, complete with tie. At first glance, they seem to be sharing a tense moment which, upon inspection, more akin to a tenderness of father and child.