Prominently known for its golden sands and colorful landscapes, Rajasthan has a simplicity about it which is lost to many parts of India. It shines the brightest in its regal beauty of havelis, forts, and mahals. However, overshadowed by these royal structures are Rajasthan’s alleys. Sinewy and lonely, they often echo the lives of people who fill them during the day. A quiet Chachaji sits in his sari shop which roughly spans a king-size bed. A mother sells anklets on the streets for half the price they could fetch in a shop the size of Chachaji’s. A jovial man coils Jalebis in sizzling hot oil at the break of dawn. Yes, the streets come alive with the sounds of everyday chores very early on. The splash of fresh batter in oil, the sloshing of pots filled with water, the ruffling of an old man’s newspaper all fill the streets way before the sunlight does. When on a travel photography expedition in the rustic cities of Rajasthan, Arjun captured the many lives he came across on these very streets.
This is the land of pashmina, shikaras, and snow. A land of unbridled beauty ingrained in each part of its scenery. This is a misfortunate heaven on earth. This is the valley of silence and war, of innocence and subjection, of glory and remorse. This is Kashmir. In one of his most moving travel photography documentation, Arjun encapsulates the bucolic lives of Kashmiri people. For its splendour is constantly accompanied by a longing, a sigh, it is no disclosure that life in Kashmir is different from everywhere else. Thriving in the heart of the mountains, lakes, and unparalleled divinity, it’s as if the people here have stored their pains and joys in their eyes. As if their whole world reflects in those eyes, with its innocence and endurance.
We’ve all loved Goa for its beaches, shacks, nightlife, and water sports. It is a place synonymous with adventure and relaxation. The most coveted getaway; a home to the luckiest, that’s how we know it. But is this all there is to the place? Like any other big or small town, Goa sways joyfully in its own eccentricities. To document the town in his travel photography expedition, Kamath takes to the streets and markets of Goa, where life moves at its own pace. Local men and women sell everything from fish to cashews and garlands to fruits here in the labyrinthine markets. A narrow street makes way for the other, carrying a post office, an ice-cream shop, a bunch of women selling ear-rings; and other odd combinations of street-happenings you can come up with. Kamath captures the lives of the Goan people as they go about their day, gracefully threading delicate flowers into garlands or selling a daily catch of fresh fish to make a living.
If a city could talk, Kolkata would have the most interesting story to tell. From being Calcutta, India’s capital during the British Raj to now becoming Kolkata, a metropolitan, the city has sure seen a lot. It has embraced modernization without letting go of its indigenous ways. It has prospered vastly without belittling the age-old traditions. And till date, the city’s identity lies in the imposing colonial architecture it has adorned since ages. In this travel photo-album, Kamath captures the ebullience of the city as he encounters some of the most amusing things happening on the streets.
Arjun imprints the country’s culture and its people in his travel portraits from Russia. The gallery has an exotic touch to it and merrily speaks of a land very different from the one we live in. Among the wide region that Russia spans, two of its cities stand out. Not only do they stand out, but they do so in a poetically contradicting and an almost farcical manner. St. Petersburg, the cultural center of Russia, exists in an uninterrupted rawness faithful to its kind. It is the city of summer pastel buildings and royal cathedrals, of painstakingly beautiful churches with overwhelming names. It is the city of white nights, of idyllic settings, and of perennial art. Which is to say that here, art is not limited just to the gigantic and world-famous museums it shelters. For the city houses art on the streets, in its buildings, its bridges, and in everything else you rest your eyes upon.
The city of Los Angeles is a kaleidoscope of history, art, culture, races, and experiences. Visiting it is like moving through a grand exhibit of eclectic artifacts. The said city of angels celebrates marvelous music festivals, has a unique art scene, and homes some of the best beaches and food places you can find in the United States. Home to drama, music, ballet, films, television, and all other kinds of art, it is never in dearth of artists. It delights in the fact that life is grand here, no matter its flaws. Structurally sprawled over a vast area, the place is rather an integration of many cities into one. I’ll put it this way: due to L.A.’s prevalent ethnic amalgamation, the easiest way to tell a tourist from a local is by asking them where one city ends and the other begins. And while the cities may differ individually, in the bigger picture, they all make L.A. what it is. And let me tell you something, just like any cosmopolitan, it is equal parts crazy, crowded, grand, and entertaining.