In the hustle, bustle, heat and dust of the city are hidden moments that fill one with a sense of wonder. This sense of wonder was dazzlingly captured by the photographs displayed at the grand finale of “Frames of My City” at the Alliance Francaise.
One would hardly think to gaze at that patch of sunlight over a classroom desk where a little boy sits alone, looking up, presumably at the board or find joy at the sight of children converting a derelict taxi cab into a playground. The former image by Divya Ostwal, was one of the runner-ups in the competition. The other runner-up was Amit Anshu. He had taken his roving eye to the riverside — where a Brahmin washes clothes and a cow eats from discarded plates of prasad in a normal temple river ghat scenario.
Children occupy a fair bit of the spotlight in the show— a boy is laughing up at the sky as rain drops adorn his face, children play cricket in the street with a plane flying low above them, throw buckets of coloured water on each other during Holi, or splash around in flood water.
Cities are places for hope and opportunity, even in a flood, as the man in Arpan Mukherjee's photograph goes to show as he smiles, mid-dive into coursing flood waters. A silent peace makes itself felt in Kailash Mittal's wide shot of a lady in the doorway of a house, with a man holding his daughter and sitting outside in the evening light as a boy rolls a tyre along the street.
People come to the city looking for work, as the uber realistic picture of a person washing a hoarding of a Land Cruiser reveals. They also many a time become migrant construction labourers working in a bleak background, with no choice but to face rain or sun, as Selvaprakash captures. His photograph received a special mention award.
Cities do not offer much for old women, as they sit at their doorstep watching the street, as little boys play. There is such a gap between the rich and poor. Sometimes old, broken mannequins are all that is left of the urban lifestyle for them as Gautam Basu observes through his black and white frame.
Yet Indian tradition still survives, in pockets, as Anand K.V. looks down from a roof, onto a the finish of a kolam competition.
The riverside is a great place for artistic silhouette photography, as Sreesailam Pasupula demonstrates, with his silhouettes of a bridge on which a horse cart trundles along and of a man striking a dance pose at sunset.
There was art in the intensity in the man's eyes as his face reflected in a glass window. On the other side of the window is a typical urban landscape, put together beautifully by Amogh Pant. The expression in the boy's face sitting against a wall below the line of dangling boy-legs, toying with something in his hands, was unfathomable. The photograph, by Jayanta Roy, won the grand prize.
Over fifty pieces of poetry of all kinds were captured in the grand finale of “Frames of My City”. Arghya Mitra's photograph of a rooster fight, Ashwin Deshpande's photograph of an acolyte playing with a baby, NIlanjan Ray's shot of a woman praying in a dirty river Yamuna against the backdrop of an ethereal Taj Mahal, are some more photographs to look out for.
Keywords: photography exhibition