Aadil Jamal uses the metaphor of monuments to inspire, stimulate and instil a sense of pride in his images. Clearly aware of the fact that the ruins have often caught the fancy of fellow photographers, Aadil consciously shows these in a different light

Monuments have always played a perfect muse for the lensmen. Aadil Jamal, who is starting his innings as a photographer too, has been struck by the symbols of heritage. Clearly aware of the fact that the ruins have often caught the fancy of fellow photographers, Aadil consciously shows these in a different light.

A ray of light

what you get are very few direct images of his subjects. So, Safdarjung’s tomb is captured as ray of light falling on the stone embedded floor, the spirit of justice and truth that India Gate has come to symbolise is presented just by its arch instead of the whole structure and Qutub Minar is reduced to the size of a palm in a reflection of the structure in a puddle.

Old Fort’s image is one of the few frontal shots that Aadil has taken. Mounted in the month of August, the show is aptly based on the theme of Independence and Aadil weaves the story of mutiny of 1857 or India’s first war of Independence. “It’s a rare known fact that after starting the revolt in Meerut, Mangal Pandey had come to Old Fort to meet Bahadur Shah Zafar whom he wanted to head the movement,” he says adding that Humayun’s tomb has made it to the show as it was here the Mutiny officially came to an end. “Immediately after the rain, I took this image of Old Fort. All the work is spontaneous and yet has a story around around it,” says an enthusiastic Aadil referring to how the golden sunlight helped him capture the moment without using any filter.

The pattern

Yet another frame marked by spontaneity is the one of ‘Isa Khan Ka Maqbara’ which he has titled ‘Leopard Lights’. The light falling through the grill on the pillar produces a dazzling leopard skin pattern. The 63rd Independence Day is an excuse for Aadil to draw the attention of youngsters to larger issues. “This is my reaction to the disturbances that keep shaking us, be it communal, social, financial etc. Why can’t we look at these monuments and learn something from our history. Also, the idea is to instil a sense of pride in our youth about their heritage. Half of these monuments are used as urinals, some for clandestine activities, some are defaced,” says Aadil who plans to take a larger body of works to colleges in the coming months and hold discussions with the student fraternity.

Heart of Heritage

* Aadil is working on a book tentatively titled “Ganga Ke Log” — which according to the author is a break-up of communal engineering in India.

* The book is deliberately being written in Hindi “to reach more and more youngsters.”

* He also plans to have an exhibition of images of monuments from pan India.