As a child, I always liked looking at pictures. My school projects often had picture cutouts from National Geographic and other magazines, and every time I went through my projects, the photographs would fascinate me. I wanted to be able to create such beautiful pictures but unfortunately I didn’t have a camera.
My father was based in London when I was in college. During my second year of Bachelors degree, my father returned to India. He brought with him a Nikon DSLR that he had been using since a few years. I was fascinated by this camera and always wanted to take photographs with it. My father let me take it one day and I was very excited. Not knowing anything about how to operate a camera apart from zooming in and out and pressing the shutter, I shot a lot of photographs of my family, friends, flowers, sunsets, etc.
As the academic year came closer to it’s end, I realized that photography was now my main interest and that I wanted to become a photographer. My interest in academics was being over shadowed by an interest in photography. I decided to drop out of college and educate myself in photography. I learned how to operate a camera and started practicing everyday. This everyday practice was not satisfying enough. I wanted to share my experiences with people and tell stories through pictures. So, I enrolled for a Photojournalism Diploma course. Here, I came to know about how broad a subject photography could really be. I looked at different kinds of works by different photographers and spoke to friends about photography. It was here that I got to know about Pathshala.
Ever since I completed the diploma, I have wanted to work on stories/projects, but I haven’t had anyone to guide me through it. At Pathshala, I feel I will get an opportunity to learn and work with some really good photographers of our time. I feel this residency programme will help me a lot in terms of building myself as a photographer and helping me decide what genre of photography I will be most comfortable with. The prospect of being a part of Chobi Mela is fascinating.
Pathshala is one of the leading photographing institutions in the world. The work being produced by the faculty and students of the institution is proof of that. I would like to be given an opportunity to be part of this prestigious institute and produce good works as well.
Being brought up in a city like Mumbai, not many people think I will be able to cope for the entire duration of the programme. But, the challenge of living in a city of another country is very appealing to me. I look forward to experiencing life there and telling stories of that place. I am excited about learning and interacting with other students and mentors such as Abir Abdullah, Munem Wasif, Tanzim Wahab and Sarker Protick. I am sure that with their guidance, I will be able to find my voice as a photographer.