Bombay Is A Crowd?

‘Bombay is a crowd’, it’s one of the sentence from the book India: A Million Mutinies now by V. S. Naipaul. For any tourist or a photographer, The definition of the Mumbai might be a crowd, That’s how one recognize this city. or It’s like a wall that keeps closing on you from all the four sides. It was for me too. 

But this month of August has been full of realizations and dilemmas for me. When i started photography, I always wanted visit the places which are famous and festivals that defines Mumbai for what it is. But this city is so huge that one lifetime is not enough. This city has much more to offer than these touristic places. It’s an island city which consisted of seven islands which were filled up to become Mumbai during British colonization. Fisher people are the original inhabitant of this city. 

I have been documenting this city from last six years. But over the period of time i felt too congested by it. It’s obvious since i was born and raised here. No Mumbaikar forgets the daily travel of local trains. But i asked myself, Mumbai is a crowd?, The answer i got was no, It’s much more than just crowd full of people. There are places which can take your heart into calmness, Places where time can stand still. That’s how ‘Bombay Nights’ project came to me. It was an escape from crowd. I really wanted to feel the quieter side of this city.

A person just can’t document the city same way for ever. I would love to read & see, Every Book and Film that has been made about this city. I am just a simple person and a photographer. Life is a learning process. & In that learning cycle you have many ups and downs. And you introspect your practice when it’s time.

I asked myself, “What is photography to me? Where it’s leading me?

We have to understand, In earlier times, let’s say 60’s, The only way you could get a look at fellow photographer’s work was through Galleries, Photo Books or Exhibitions. Nowday’s It’s too easy to share your work through Online portal. It’s a good thing that we are able to share our work out there. But what happens, Sometimes we expose our work too much. I am not saying by exposing too much photograph loses it’s value. It’s totally subjective and individual thing. But there’s obviously a decay in the process of archival and Marination. 

The thing is i want to share the work when i feel like sharing or when i have a narrative. Otherwise I’ll keep it to myself. Online Platforms are fantastic for sharing your business and connect with other fellow humans. That’s what i like about it most.

There are many online platform such as Instagram, Facebook… But Photography doesn’t start at social media & It doesn’t end at social media. A photographer’s job is not just to make photographs. Nowday’s i take photographs very regularly. But the way i approach has changed. I am working on many things apart from photography. A person just can’t express itself through photographs. There are other mediums such as Films, Poetry, Writing. 

I am exploring many other things while doing my photography at the same time. 

A short film which was in the pages of my books might be ready to work on in coming months. And i am excited to see where this journey takes me. 

This month was a bit different for me photography wise. For festivals i decided to explore less crowded places, I took three Night walks from sunset to sunrise. And on these walks I tried to find answer to my dilemmas and realizations. These small set of photos are from the amount of work i have made in august. Most of the work of August, I’ll marinate.

One of the dilemma was the use of flash, To what extent i should use it. I still haven’t been able to come to any conclusions. I decided to make photos with as much as less flash i can in month of august. 

Another dilemmas was to how i showcase my work and to what extent i show my work. Currently, I have not decided to not publish any work on social media. I would be showcasing few of my work here on my website time to time. This process really made me feel liberated. That way i was to be concentrate on other things. 

I feel this city offers both crowd and emptiness. It’s subject to how one connects with this city. 

Thank you for reading this. Hope to publish another blogpost soon.