I started out as a biochemist at a time in India when boys did science, girls did arts and Gujartis did commerce, these were watertight compartments. I bought a second hand camera with my life savings of Rs 1800/- it was a second hand Minolta SRT101. I had no idea at the time that the camera would have an ambition for me. I was merely a hapless follower of its dictates. It led me to countries all over the world and even earned me a living.
Since I like grand titles I call myself India’s only anti-fashion, fashion photographer, a bit of a Dadaist. Truth is that I had no access to fashion models or fashion for that matter, but loved the world of beautiful women and fashion, so decided that I should explore alternative routes, regular women who’d volunteer would become my muses, their trust and ability to not have preconceived ideas would lead to collaborations that eventually like coffee grounds began to reveal patterns and self form into narratives that collected themselves into books.
Photobooks have obsessed me for ages, every spare rupee would be spent towards buying monographs. Now I have a few monographs myself. Nothing is more satisfying and existential justification than to see a shelf full of ones own work alongside those whose work I have admired.
All the projects I work on these days are for my own delectation, and decided pretty much by accident rather than by premeditation. Though there are some big projects in the pipe line that need careful research, and schedule.
The Indian aesthetic, does it exist? Is it myth and midrash? After years of understanding rubric and practise i’ve come to believe that there is a distinctive aesthetic connected with the indian subcontinent, its mythology is associated. Indians see colour very differently but are unaware that their gaze is conditioned differently from any other, because its taken for granted and drunk in with our mother’s milk. Just like Indian food is pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salt all the same time and would be so hard for westerners to comprehend, Indian colour is its analogue. My theory is that the direction of the sun and geographical latitude makes colours appear differently than say the artic or the equator. The monsoon too governs the way Indians relate to their environment of colour and culture, music, dance and ritual.
With that as background these are my visual offerings of what I consider beautiful.