Dim lit chronicles of the lady and the lantern:
Look at how a single lantern can both defy and define the darkness of mundane life. Darkness is the tragic hero of the catastrophic phenomenon we call life. In general assumption we all hate or fear the sense of any dark matter but in actuality these time of gloominess are the signifier of the brighter side of affairs. And that tiny bit of light that guides us through the dull corridor of uncertainty is the leap of faith that reignites humanity inside us.
The curse of living in a third world country often knocks at our daily life in different forms. The unglamorous occurrences of load-shedding have certainly become a frequent visitor and have successfully designed a vast impact onto our lives. As much as we hate this state of affairs we cannot deny we all have some mesmerizing memories of power cuts.
I always try to derive stories from mundane as I believe that every great story is ordinary and it’s only the reliability of that commonness makes it extraordinary. This is surely not a planned project and it didn’t even once occur to me while I was taking these photos, these frames were the result of my mere playfulness in sheer boredom in a power-cut struck evening. I was simply trying to capture the daily activities of my mother as she lit up the kerosene lantern to minimize the lure of darkness. It was later that I have realized these frames tell the story of a very common struggle, struggle that millions of people around the world face every day.
Everything in this world is ordinary it’s just our perspective and vision that make them extraordinary. Be it be some bits of my not so happening monotonous surroundings, it is certainly a part of a greater chronicle which narrates my life.
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সব তীর্থ বার বার, গঙ্গাসাগর একবার
Gangasagar Mela 2017: Story of a long Painful Pilgrimage
Gangasagar Mela is one of the most famous fairs held in West Bengal (India). This year it was held on 14th and 15th January 2017. Like every year thousands of people attended this event.
Taking bath in the water at this place, during Gangasagar Mela, is considered to be extremely sacred. On the day of Makar Sankranti (January 14), when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius, it is said that the bath becomes a holy source of salvation. It is one of the largest annual gatherings of devotees in India. The mythological story behind this event: King Sagar’s 60,000 sons came to this place in search of their father’s Sacrificial Horse, which were stolen by Devraj Indra & hidden at under the earth beside Kapil Muni’s hermitage. King’s Sons were unknown to this fact and they started to blame Kapil Muni for stealing the horses and at this moment they interrupted in Muni’s meditations. Muni became angry & his anger came out of his eyes to burn king’s sons & consign their souls in to hell. Many years’ later king’s grandson king Bhagirath came to Kapil Muni to beg & to pray to Muni to release the souls from hell. Then according to Kapil Muni’s directions king Bhagirath brought Devi Ganga to this place & with the touch of this holy river’s water the souls got liberty. As per the myth, the souls were liberated on the day of “Makar Sankranti”. Every year people use to come here to get rid of their own pain, sin and to earn blessings and virtue.
I always believe that humanity is much bigger than any virtual power. Without human power any myth is just a story. God is created by us so I always love to capture every human emotion from my view finder. I decided to capture some the lives, their activities and their emotions. My lenses found those activities and emotions that made Gangasagar more realistic rather than a virtual myth. Hope you will like it.
In India movies not only represents a mere art form it constitutes a virtually alternative lifestyle. Film posters have always fascinated me with their surreal like imagery. In a third world country like India the presence of these illustrations in the streets certainly adds multiple dimensions to art form and also to the society. In a multilingual country the existence of different film industries only tribes those dimensions further.
With more than 2 million people of the country living in the streets makes me question my romantic aspirations. I was born and brought up in Kolkata and naturally fell in love with city. But that’s the thing with love you can’t undo your felling even when you despair some certain aspects of it. The people abiding most of their daily regime in the streets go on to make a special bond with film posters.
I started this project with a simple vision to capture the contrast between the film posters that dominate the streets with its all radiant glory and between those who live on the street. The disparity among that of motion picture romanticism and that of grinding truth inspired me to capture my idea of a “Filmy Reality”
Content: Saikat Chakraborty
Photos by: Subhajit Naskar
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