When I was 10, I wanted to become a cricketer, I didn’t. When I was 15, I wanted to play hockey for my country, but my skill or lack of it made me decide otherwise. When I was in college, I wanted to become a nuclear scientist, but I figured that was going to be a lot of work. So I put my big nose to good use, befriended a newswallah and became a photojournalist. From my salad days at the Indian Express to the Hindustan Times to The OPEN Magazine and now as a freelance photographer, my work has allowed me to probe, report and travel to some of the most extraordinary places in our country and beyond.
The Red Cat and Other Stories
The Red Cat and Other Stories, marks my debut as a photo book author. A book that documents the Bombay of today and examines our connection with nature and the built structures around us, our towers, our roads, and our inter dependent relationships with the residents of this metropolis.
A fast paced narrative that emulates the rhythm of city life and is interspersed with interviews/profiles of characters who are, as they say, hidden in plain sight. Born out of 4 years of documenting known and unknown corners of the island city, the story is woven together with a metaphorical fable that was passed on by my mother to me.
The opening spread sets the tone of the journey ahead. A macro look at a mega city focusing on the little things, blink and miss sights and stories of people you may know. A narrative that builds a bridge between a folk story from Sindh, my parents’ former home and my relationship with my present home, the city by the bay.
Shunning conventional representations of the island as a mere cluster of colonial architecture, my images document the everydayness of life across the ever expanding city and are supported by minimal, clean design letting the photograph be the star of every spread.
Almost all our memories, our precious moments, are represented by images. The day you were born, your first day at school, your first picnic, your graduation day, your first victories your mother’s hands, your father’s lap, vacations with your siblings and so on.
As my mother often said, every story is best narrated in person and in the same way, a photograph too is best experienced in its physical form. Only then, do the characters in the image come alive and urge you to listen to them and only when you hear and see their stories, you realize how similar our lives really are.
Stories make the mind travel to places unknown and beautiful. They take us into the lives of others and evoke empathy for our fellow beings. Part journalism, part travellogue and partly a personal memoir, I would like you to become a co-traveller on this journey through my city, my home.