Seeing the images of a leaping lion painted at the rear of trucks and tempos whizzing past our car at regular intervals on the highways of Punjab, somehow, all I can think of are the Sher-e-Punjab restaurants across Bombay. But, I gather, it is more likely a visual representation, in all kitschy glory, of the brave and lion-hearted Sikhs. PS: Individual portions of the painting is done on 5 wooden planks of similar width, placed one on top of the other to complete the image. Note the alpha-numeric clues across the edges of the drawn boards to ensure that the anatomy of this big cat doesn't get rearranged. #punjab #sikh #truckart #religion #india #indianhighways #tiger #sherepunjab #theindianmale #brave #macho #painting #aamartistgallery
We have been calling them the 'sari border houses'. These are mud huts, homes of the adivasis, we came across while driving around Ajodhya Hills in Purulia district. The simplicity and minimalist designs are what caught our eye at first - a single line of deep blue or red, sometimes green, running across the brown mud surface. The top 1/4th of the walls were usually white and the bottom three quarters was brown. Then we started spotting variations like a band of yellow encased by two thick blue lines. As we got off our car to have a closer look, we saw another house with more decorative detailing - thick yellow and pink borders embellished with blue and white triangles. I asked Dilip, our driver, as we returned to the car, whether there is any significance to these designs and motifs. None, he said, but just a simple desire to decorate one’s own homes. "No one calls a painter home here...everybody paints depending on what each one can do,” he tells me trying to make a joke. Over the next few hours we came across houses with hints of flamboyance some of which you will find in this set of photographs. These were quite rare, though. But what intrigued me the most was the plinths which many of these homes had, created perhaps, we debated, to sit out. But, then, they varied in height and depth. These were, if they were painted, almost always slate grey in colour. Bright colours are what one associates with rural India and not something like this grey. Grey, in my head, is a more city colour. I asked Dilip again if it was a different type of mud that was used to get that colour. He offered a rather implausible explanation by saying that they used the residues from burnt car tyres. Later, a teacher in a nearby school in Jadugora village threw light on the matter - not burnt tyres but ash from burnt dried grass mixed with water. #Purulia #WestBengal #homes #architecture #tribalhomes #PaintedHomesOfPurulia #design #graphic #decoration #patterns
The Life And Death of Ordinary Objects: Disfunctional and discarded weighing machines lined up on a corner of platform 1 at Thane Stn. As children no train journey was ever complete without getting onself weighed on these machines and pocketing those card tickets which emerged from its slot - on one side our weight in smudged purple ink and on the reverse a portrait of some Bollywood star printed in a screen so coarse that sometimes it was difficult to, say, figure if it was Amitabh Bachchan or Rishi Kapoor. Beside the machines is a push cart which I have once seen deployed to carry a greviously injured man who was hit by a train as he jumped across the tracks to go to the adjoining platform. On it wait three passengers for the next Thane Local. #TheLifeAndDeathOfOrdinaryObjects #thane #IndianRailways #RailwayPlatform #WeighingMachines #handcart #TheCommuters #mobilephone #streetphotography
I'm not in the town of Payyanur to photograph its famed Theyyam dancers. I'm here to photograph a story on the lesser known bell metal craftsmen. The craftsmen who migrated here from Karnataka some 8 centuries back started out by making utilitarian objects to be used in the temples - objects like bells, lamps and utensils of great variety. But in this northern part of Kerala it's hard to keep Theyyam out of the narrative. Soon the craftsmen's skills of making fine brass objects using the lost wax process was in demand to craft ornamentation that could embellish the armours of the dancers' elaborate costumes. And also the weapons that completed the assemblage. One such object is the delicate Poyikkannu seen here modelled by M. P. Gopinath, a Theyyam dancer, in the village of Vengara. #Kerala #payyanur #Malabar #Theyyam #folkdance #costumes #BellMetal #eyes #god #Hindu #India #tradition
As a child at Kolkata's Alipore Zoo, visiting with an uncle and my cousins, I remember seeing animals with strange names like Tigon and Litygon. It was some sort of an experiment, perhaps, of cross-breeding different species of the big cats. I don't know if the experiments continue or if those are still alive. Since none of my cousins remember our visit to the zoo or these animals I sometimes wonder if these creatures were conjured up in my imagination. But I clearly remember the strong foul smell that those cages gave off. Maybe it's not my imagination at all. This Royal Bengal Dog, though, isn't the outcome of any genetic experiment but a case of some misguided games of boys with a can of paint and a brush in the town of Kalna; West Bengal. #WestBengal #Kalna #StrayDogs #Dogs #animalcruelty #tiger
An iconic newspaper, The Free Press Journal, established in 1928, today much forgotten, losing readers, losing (if not already lost) favour with media planners but still around thanks to, perhaps, those for whom it is still a habit. It's rare to spot someone reading the FPJ these days...I found this one left behind on an afternoon train in to town. #Mumbai #India #journalism #newspaper #thefreepressjournal
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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2018 21:46:57 IST