The three artistic windows looked attractive but I was waiting for some action to happen. And just then this monkey came and this man’s expression changed. Each photographer’s work is distinctly different from others’ work.
Ever since he began to understand the language of images, Ashok Paul harboured a desire to meet his idol and favourite photographer Raghu Rai. As a budding photographer pursuing a PG Diploma in creative photography from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC), he got several chances to meet Rai. After all, his son Nitin Rai is the head of department there. And one day, Ashok’s work managed to extract a laughter out of the ace lensman. The photo — an adolescent boy sporting Ray Ban aviator sunglasses looking sideways up with a calf standing next to him, looking straight into the camera — was one of the 32 images showcased in the second annual exhibition organised by SACAC at Galerie Romain Rolland recently.
“Raghu Sir has curated the show. He looked at the picture, laughed and said, this picture will be taken in the show for sure and has to be taken big.’ The picture was then taken at the back side of the catalogue too. Through the course, he and Nitin Sir stressed on the need to be different. The viewer should say ‘wow’ when he/she looks at the picture, he would tell us. To get a reaction like that from him was a great feeling,” recalled Ashok. For Ashok and his two other classmates Ridhima Sikka and Sanjay Kumar of Salaam Balak Trust (SBT) — who displayed 32 images in the show — the platform was a significant one. Through the ghats of Varanasi enveloped in the haze of the morning aarti, beach at Pondicherry, the craze of bodybuilding, the devout trekking to Gomukh, street imagery — the trio presented different facets of life.
Twenty-three year old Ridhima, who is keen to work in the field of wildlife photography, explains the process behind her picture of three yellow windows and a man looking out of one of those bewildered at the monkey rushing by. “The image was clicked near a temple in Varanasi. The three artistic windows looked attractive but I was waiting for some action to happen. And just then this monkey came and this man’s expression changed. Each photographer’s work is distinctly different from others’ work. Sanjay shows the life inside SBT through myriad moods and actions of its inhabitants, Ashok has done fashion, advertisement, human interest and street pictures. We are happy that we could convey our point of view to the viewers.”
The exhibition will travel to Auroville in Pondicherry and Kolkata later this year.