CURSE OF THE MODERN TECHNOLOGY

Posted in India, Photography on April 1st, 2013 by apratimsaha

Once upon a time families created the finest sharies on their handloom that time has gone, modern factories took over this precious work and left only the weaving of towels to insure their income at 10 RPS a piece…

The saying ‘curse of the modern technology’ is so true for the whole villagers of Rajgram in Bankura district of West Bengal. Rajgram is a small village of nearly forty families of weavers. Few years ago I had to go to Bankura for one day for my work. Next day I spend sometimes in the village while waiting for my train. I was aware about the present situation of Rajgram and unable to resist myself to go there.

There was a time when these people were happily living with their weaving profession. Earlier they used to weave Sharis and towels. Now they are only preparing towels. Even they cannot purchase the thread for themselves also. They have to take the thread form the creditor. For a pair of a towel they earn only twenty rupees. Normally it takes a whole day to finish a pair of a towels ! Really they are facing the survival problem. Now a day’s the females and the old men in the family are only sewing and the younger men are trying to get involved in other profession like rickshaw pulling.

Discovering life in the village of Rajgram….

Whose there…?

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Power Cut

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Another big problem for the people of Rajgram is power cut.

Spinning

Spinning

An old woman spinning.

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A house wife spinning her handloom in front of her small room.

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Shunil was one of the man who has changed his profession from weaving to rickshaw pulling. He was my rickshaw puller at Rajgram.

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He was one of the best weavers from that village. Now he can barely hear and see anything and due to some unknown reason government has stopped his pension also. Not sure that he is still there or not.

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Shaving

Shaving

Life goes on

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VARANASI

Posted in India, Photography on December 23rd, 2012 by apratimsaha

Mark Twain truly said that “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.

Varanasi is also commonly known as Benares or Benaras  and Kashi, a city on the banks of the River Ganges in Uttar Pradesh.  According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, several thousand years ago which makes it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India.

Enjoy the spirit of Varanasi here….

Probhat Aroti

Om !

Morning puja on Ganges.

 In memory of the forefathers

In memory of the forefathers

He came all the way from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Varasnasi to bring homage to his deceased ancestors, like so many Hindu from all over India, believing that after death, the soul given to the Goddess Ganga, remains in the river of life and death.

Sun Rise

Sun Rise

Sun rise on Ganges.

Body Building

Early morning body building at Varanasi.

Puja

Puja before Body Building .

Body Building 

Early morning body building at Varanasi.

Body Building 

Early morning body building on the Ganges.

Pranayam

Early morning pranayam on the Ganges.

Yoga

Sit – Up

Early morning body building on the Ganges.

Priest

Priest 

A priest at Varanasi.

Sadhu

A Sadhu at Varanasi.

Handful of blessing

Handful of blessing

Pradeep Kumar Dwivedi, the priest of the Shitala Mandir at Dasaswamedh Ghat, Varanasi is one of the  few survivors of a tragic bus accident on 3rd June 1996 morning where more than fifty people were killed. Four people are still in coma. In that accident he lost one of his hands. As the time passes by he realized that he was being neglected by his family as he became physically challenged due to that tragic occurrence. One day he told his father that he’ll earn himself and he came to Varanasi. When he came to Varanasi he fell in love with the ancient city.

Mentor

Ganga Darshan

Boating on the Ganges.

Ganga Darshan

Ghats

Ghats of Varanasi.

Fortune Teller

A fortune teller on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sadhu

A priest from Varanasi.

Waiting

An old woman at Varanasi.

Puja

Puja on the Shitala Mandir.

Puja

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Puja on the bank of Ganges.

Burning Ghat

Burning Ghat on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Burning Memories

Burning Memories

Few days ago early in the morning one mobile call from Varanasi really shocked me for some time. Only four words “Sir Kiran mama chale gaye” (Kiran uncle is no more). Though I was getting ready for my office but couldn’t control myself and sat on the couch for an hour. He was only 65 ! Kiran Chowdhury, the famous Doma (A Hindu caste whose duty is to burn the dead and look after the crematorium) of Varanasi is no more ! Though he’ll not burn bodies anymore but there’ll be burning all the time. From now bodies will be burnt without his touch as he burnt to ashes. During my last visit to Varanasi we had a long discussion regarding Hinduism and Karma. That day once again I realised that wisdom doesn’t come from the books always.

Burning Ghat

Burning Ghat

Burning Ghat on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Navaratri

A family celebrating Sharada Navaratri at Varanasi, India.

A family celebrating Sharada Navaratri at Varanasi.

Evening Puja

Sondha Aroti

Evening Puja on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Durga Bisarjan

Durga Bisorjon on the Ganges

DURGA BISARJAN on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Puja

Evening Puja on Doshomi at Varanasi

Evening Puja on Doshomi at Varanasi.

Dura Bisarjan

Durga Bisorjon on the Ganges

DURGA BISARJAN on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sondha Aroti

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) II

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sondha Aroti

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) III

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) on the Ganges at Varanasi.

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A panoramic view of the Varanasi ghats.

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Making of a Devi

Posted in India, Photography on April 28th, 2011 by apratimsaha

Making of a Devi is the story of the potters who have been devoted their life by making the Hindu goddess.

MAKING OF A DEVI

Radhe Das is a sixty five years man has started making goddess at the age of seven. He has learned the art from his uncle. Radhe is the only earning member of his family. He is so poor that he cannot hire an extra person to help him. So he works alone in his workshop at Kumartuli.

LIVING STATUE OF A SCULPTOR

CHOKH DAN

Creating the eye of a Devi is the most critical and challenging thing. In Hindu mythology it has a name called “Chokh Dan” (Eye Creation).  Normally in the night of Mahalaya, before seven days of Puja all potters used to complete this “Chokh Dan” procedure.

ETERNAL TOUCH

Narayan Pal is one of the potters at Kumartuli, Siliguri, West Bengal.

DEVI CREATING DEVI

Anima Roy got inspiration from his husband seven years ago when her husband took her to Kumartuli. She is the only woman potter in this community. Now she and her husband works together to support their growing family.

PAINTING THE FACE

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Cultural Diversity

Posted in India, Photography on August 17th, 2010 by apratimsaha

India is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of most of its people.

PUJA – I 

Some ritual culture at Gangasagar Mela.

PROVAT AROTI (Morning Puja)

Early morning puja at Varanasi on the Ganges.

PUJA -II

DIWALI

Diwali or Deepaawali is one of the most glamorous and important festivals celebrated in India.

IN MEMORY OF FOREFATHERS

He came all the way from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Varasnasi to bring homage to his deceiced ancesters, like so many Hindu from all over India, believing that after death, the soul given to the Goddes Ganga, remains in the river of life and death.

PUJA III

Ahuti is an oblation or offering. It can also refer to a sacrifice. However, when conducting with a Yagnya it is customary to have a havan or fire sacrifice. The fire is ceremoniously lit, symbolic of inviting Agni the fire God and the mantras are chanted an offering of ghee or havan samagri (a mixture of herbs, flower and ghee) is offered to the fire at the end of the mantra.

I saw this woman giving YAGNYAHUTI in Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Dwip, West Bengal. Instead of havan samagri she was throwing those cotton balls with ghee from that container.

SONDHA AROTI ( Evening Puja)

Evening Puja at Varanasi on the Ganges.

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PORTRAIT

Posted in India, Photography on July 30th, 2010 by apratimsaha

YOUNG SADHU

Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

OLD WOMAN

In a local market at Darjeeling District, West Bengal.

TANTRIK

Charak festival at Siliguri, West Bengal.

MOTHER

Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

A TALK FROM HEART TO HEART

We had a warmhearted talk for one hour and then he blessed me …
A monk in Rumtek Monastery.

PANDIT

A Pandit (Priest) from Maharashtra to Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

I’m not your mother !

A old woman in Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

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About Me

Posted in India, Photography on July 30th, 2010 by apratimsaha

 

I’ve started photography at age of twelve from inspired by my father. Traveling the world as a photographer for National Geographic Magazine was the dream from my childhood. I feel capturing images that people enjoy to look at and are impressed with has not only inspired me to take up photography seriously but to give people a reason to care was the main intension for me.

Recently I became a member of National Geographic Stock Photography and Getty Images.eing a senior executive of a pharmaceutical company in Kolkata, I find very little time to enjoy my childhood dream of photojournalism which is now enriched with more than 20 years of experience in this field of art. This has however not stopped my works from being published in many magazines, newspapers and websites including online publications of various humanitarian, educational religious organizations.

 

 

Anyone who wants to publish or use the images for any purposes please mail me at info@apratimsaha.com or call +91 8900702900,                 +91 8509333385, +91 9434249048

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