For a visitor from abroad, the Indian subcontinent often defies explanation; those who attempt one often seek a cross-section or a sampling to capture the complex reality they encounter.

It is this spirit that stands out in ‘Crossing Paths', a collection of images by Australian photojournalists - Daniel Berehulak, Graham Crouch and Adam Ferguson presently working in India.

Fleeting moments

The exhibition organised by the Australian Consulate General at the Asian College of Journalism, Taramani, captures fleeting moments of stories, some rare, and some told everyday, from the streets, terrains and war fields of South Asia.

Jubilant children on roadside swings, god-men, laughing mothers and street vendors – all in a montage of images bring alive the constant visual chatter of the Indian streetscape.

From an iconic image of Benazir Bhutto adjusting her head scarf to images of soldiers, and those of people in camps, the exhibition renders a visceral experience of grim situations with a unique sense of timing, telling stories of grief and anxiety with utmost clarity and minute detailing.

Visual calm

While the visual calm in certain images including the one of an internally displaced little Afghani boy feeding his sister calls for further inspection and observation, the images of brooding hand-pulled rickshaw drivers in Kolkata bring in a unique sense of poignancy.

Lodhi gardens seen though a mist filled lens, soldiers in a dust storm, men sipping tea in war-torn Kabul, co-existence of men and animals, make shift tents and bird markets - all present a simple yet evocative amalgamation of a traveller's tale.

Most conspicuous of all are the heart rending expressions of grief-stricken relatives captured at a funeral in Kashmir, and an intriguing shot of guards peeping out of dilapidated buildings of Kolkata. A breathtaking top angle picture of thousands of Buddhist monks armed with flags on a pilgrimage to Leh reflects moods that defy description.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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