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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Musings of a Meandering Mind

A common perception about industrial photography is that it tends to get boring. I do not “beg” to differ because I just differ. Agreed that it is devoid of the glamour associated with the other forms of photography viz. fashion, nature, food, babies, sports, etc. What attracts me to this genre of photography are the journeys to remote locations where the factory/unit is located, highway drives, stopovers at inns and dhabas, new, but downright deglamourised faces, machines and workers. Sitting in my study, poring over the images and editing them with my favorite software program, presents a contradictory picture. It’s the anti-thesis of life surrounding a factory in a village only reachable after two train switches, one bumpy bus ride and one rickety rickshaw ride. Experiencing the extremes of the comfort spectrum is what keeps me grounded.

On the ‘Travel & Living’ channel: ‘the world is like a book and those who do not travel read just one page!’ On my recent assignment, I traveled by road to the north of Bombay. And I was astounded by the beauty of the landscape just 20 kilometers from where I live. Undulating hill ranges, wide creeks with glistening ripples of sea-water, thick foliage of mangroves, jet black tarmac roads with white strips in the middle, the strong smell of salt-water and soft lilting music from the car stereo. So I sit back and let the air rush in through the open window.

More often than not, a guide is assigned by the client who opens doors to areas where cameras are generally not allowed! As usual, the guide turns out to be one of those chirpy type who regales you with the stories and anecdotes related to the surroundings. So this time, I had my fair share of stories of floods caused by monsoons, death of a truck cleaner caused by another truck backing into him, train derailments and injuries of passengers hanging out of over-loaded trains.

I feel blessed when such people, places and experiences touch my life. That’s when I look forward to my next assignment. That’s when I am reminded of the Travel & Living one-liner that tells me that I am reading a book called “The World”.