Picturesque and articulate photos that capture the spirit of Thiruvananthapuram

Lensman Mahesh Harilal’s collection of photographs is an ode to Kerala’s capital

Published - August 11, 2020 12:44 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Mahesh Harilal can’t stop gushing about Thiruvananthapuram — its geographical features, architecture, flora, festivals, cultural gatherings and more. As a photographer, he had often wondered why there wasn’t a coffee-table book on the capital city and its unique mix of the old and the new.

Napier Museum grounds in Thiruvananthapuram

Napier Museum grounds in Thiruvananthapuram

“It is so compact and convenient. Unlike many cities in Kerala and other States, which are bursting at the seams and losing its identity, Thiruvananthapuram has retained its innate charm. Although people from different places in India have settled here for years, they have become part of the city and its culture and not microcosms that exist in isolation,” says Mahesh.

Around June-July last year, Mahesh decided to focus on the city and begin a collection of snaps that would try to capture the unique features of the city that many residents take for granted.

Instead of point-and-click photos, Mahesh wanted to spend time over each snap that he included in the collection that he calls ‘Trippy Thiruvananthapuram’.

The collection of 100-plus photos are a wonderful never-before-seen glimpses of the city. While some snaps highlight the stunning landscapes of the district, some give a new or quaint perspective of a place that is right there. “For instance, I never fail to be enchanted by the Napier museum and its environs. Any photographer can’t help but be charmed by the buildings, gardens and the people who frequent them,” says Mahesh. So there are some unusual photos of lamps, buildings and vistas inside the Museum grounds.

There are some breathtaking photos of beaches in the district. Instead of the usual sea, sun and sand combinations, he has played with light and shade and one such stunning beachscape is of Poovar. Another is of Vizhinjam.

Pangode market, Chala, LMS Junction, Muttada… an object or an everyday scene brings alive these places in the city. Even the mundane and the monotonous get an aesthetic touch when viewed through his camera.

Eventually, he wants to hold an exhibition of his photographs and also turn it into a book. But not before he feels he has done justice to the place.

Instead of training his lens on negativity, Mahesh wants his photos to reflect the positive aspects of life and nature. “For me, photography is all about capturing the beauty of life around us,” he says.

A former mediaperson, Mahesh is now specialising in portraiture and also conducts workshop and training for budding lensmen.

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