“You see the picture behind me? That is Mother Teresa in her blue bordered saree, blissful and graceful as ever. That picture is one of my best works along with those of the Holy Trinity Church, Bolarum, when Queen Elizabeth II had visited the monumental beauty. But, I think the one that takes the cake is the panoramic view of the Jama Masjid and the Charminar. Two monuments situated far apart, brought together in one picture.
History does repeat itself in our family. Photography has been running in my family for 170 years now. In 1960, when I was 12 years old, my father’s assistant was supposed to cover an event and he looked at me and said, ‘Baba, Why don’t you take the camera and click a few pictures?” I didn’t know how to handle the camera but the excited kid in me went for it. Oh what a disaster that was! The pictures were all out of focus and my father’s assistant took the blame on himself. I felt terrible.
I refused to hold a camera till a long time after that. I was taught all about the dark room where the negatives were processed. While doing so, I observed all that I could and eventually figured out how to use the camera. So, when my friend who was getting married asked me if I would be the wedding photographer, I agreed to do it in secrecy. I shot a roll of 12 and my friend got it to my father for processing the day after the wedding. Till today they don’t know that I was the one who shot those pictures.
In today’s world, photographers have lost their honour and respect. Earlier days, there was no space to err. If we had images on a reel, all 12 needed to be perfect. The best part 120 of my images were included in a prize-winning brochure for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in 1987-88. I also won an ADEX (Excellence in Advertising) Award in 1993 for the HAL brochure, another ADEX award in 1999 for a brochure for Asian Engineering, in 2001 for Monroy Advertising, and in 2004 for Image Ads.
It’s been more than two centuries since the negatives were first invented and we are currently working towards bringing back the glory of monochrome days and we’ll make it happen!”
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