Of Delhi's hidden treasures

Monochrome frames

A beautiful abandoned Ganesha idol stands erect on a marsh land surrounded by dense bushes on the Yamuna riverbed.

Titled ‘A Mystical Discovery’, the image catches the eye at the ongoing solo show by Pranav Budhiraja, through which he has tried to portray some often unseen or neglected aspects pertaining to Delhi.

Comprising 12 black and white images, ‘Obscure Clarity - A Journey In Monochrome’, highlights different shades of the capital city — from the hustle bustle of Old Delhi to the 22 kilometre stretch of the Yamuna.

Sharing the idea behind the title of his show, 20-year-old Budhiraja, an engineering student says, “Obscure has a dual meaning. It means undiscovered, and at the same time also means something that is not clearly understood. Through my photos, I have tried to capture instances that at the initial glance might convey a certain meaning, but on further scrutiny, reveal a completely separate story.”

Most of the images have been clicked during the last two to three years across the city including areas like Old Delhi, Majnu ka Tilla, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, Chawri Bazar and various locations along the stretch of Yamuna.

He further says that he has extensively travelled the whole stretch of the Yamuna river and while at this, has managed to discover “marvellous sights” like the abandoned idol in a marsh.

“While exploring a stretch of the Yamuna close to the Bengali Colony, I happened to wander off to an isolated clearing which was enclosed on all sided by dense bushes. Curiosity gripped me, I peeked inside and found a marshy area on which this idol was present, fully erect and majestic. It was an amazing sight to behold and was simply magical to see how certain things can be found in the most unlikely of places!” he exclaims.

Ask him the reason behind keeping his images in monochrome and he says, “Personally, I feel that for the theme that I have shot in, making the images black and white prevents the viewers’ gaze from wandering off to areas in the image that are redundant”.

Summing up, he quotes Canadian photojournalist Ted Grant and says, “When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”

The show is on at the Delhi ’o’ Delhi Foyer at India Habitat Centre, until January 31.

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