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Glimpses in Black & White

Randeep Kaur, Mar 14, 2012 : 19:33 IST

Still Life

If you want revisit Mumbai’s world of the 70s and 80s, here is your golden chance.

capturing me : A watchmaker at work.One of the most distinguished names in Indian and international photography today Pablo Bartholomew’s latest exhibition “Chronicles of a Past Life: ‘70s& ‘80s - Bombay,” is being showcased at Photoink Gallery, Faiz Road, Jhandewalan till 25th March.

Taken by Pablo during his teenage years, these pictures evoke nostalgia for a much loved city which now stands completely transformed. An incredible collection of 102 black and white images captured by a young Pablo, this exhibition tells the story of experiencing Bombay.

The exhibition comprising scenes from street life, opium dens, Bollywood sets and cityscapes were captured by Pablo in his initial days of photography. But there are in no way less compelling than his award-winning pictures of later years. Each picture tells you something about the place, its people and through them the man, Pablo Bartholomew.

‘Dabbawallahs at Sachivala’ gives you a glimpse into the world of an age old service provided by this community and which today stands chronicled in managements schools worldwide.

A man running to shield himself from rain reminds one of Bombay’s fiery monsoon which so disrupts life but is a much loved and awaited season of the year, nonetheless. The Olympia Cafe and beer bar pictures remind you of the joy of hanging out with friends.

Pablo’s USP lies in the simplicity of his images. Every city is known by the people or communities who inhabit it. Mumbai is no different. His pictures of Bollywood and its ability to lure and draw countless aspirants - looking for a means to survive or simply to live a beautiful dream, are stunning.

“Intrinsic to my growing up, Bombay offered me - and thousands of others like me who had arrived earlier and those who followed as ‘economic refugees’ - the opportunity to be cradled and mentored professionally. It gave me friendship, food and shelter and a chance to be discovered, the chance to become someone,” he says.

“The works in this exhibition is my way of paying dues to this city and its people. I’d often wander aimlessly through the streets hoping to discover its many parts, bit by bit, day by day, month by month, always amazed by the infinite visual joy in each discovery of this place that came to be called home,” adds the photographer. An exhibition not to be missed.

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