For photographer and poet, Suhit Kelkar, the camera is a medium that allows him to capture the strangeness of mundane lives, the peculiarities of every day chores or the unwavering aesthetic of routine. Through Mumbai Monochrome, a collection of photographs that capture the cityscape in all its moods, he places dead centre the people who have made this much talked about city an energetic, complex and multicultural metropolis simply by way of their quotidian lives and occupations. Dissent, liberty and love are abundant not only in his photos but also in the haiku he puts down alongside each image which describes his perspective in measured, carefully chosen verses, sometimes recontexualising, at others removing the context altogether. Clicked in monochrome, the photos cast every familiar ritual in an unfamiliar light and observing them all with the haiku becomes an act of slowly consuming the same but delectable homecooked meal. In the excerpted haikus and extracted images that follow, Kelkar turns his gaze towards bloodlines, dogs' leashes and India.



children’s sandals
headed nowhere
my bloodline


the dog’s leash
in its own mouth
I recall my obsessions


after wedding season
cool water douses
the horse’s memories


peeling but legible
outlasts the monsoon


disembodied hands
those branches
that I pruned


all the Tindering
that I have skipped
weighing scale


three blind men
and no elephant


flour mill
my yearning for snow


waiting monk
his quietness
speaks with the books


stag party
only cola and rum
date each other


All photos: Suhit Kelkar