The blessed minar – Jama Masjid

jama masjid, delhi, islam, mosque, mughal architecture, anirban saha, anirban saha photography
Shot by Sony DSC H10
Aperture: 6
F number: f/8
Exposure time: 1/2000
ISO : 100

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I had no plans that day. My entire Delhi trip was hapazard, unplanned. It served the purpose though. That day, I went to Jama Masjid. I wanted to feel it.. wanted to stay there for few moments, experiencing what it feels like to be inside the mughal magnificent architecture, that has endured centuries of sword slashing.

It was hot yet so peaceful. People, strolled the area, the guides helping the foreign tourists knowing the place. I made it a point to stay there till my heart wished. Was at the sanctum, sitting quietly noticing people. Loved it… few kids assumed me to be an “Angrez” 😛 But never the less, I had to dissapoint them. The place where the pigeons are fed is superb serene. The place for the ladies to pray, infront of the memorial of the fakir that conceptualised the Jama Masjid is peaceful, overlooking the busy street downways.

After few minutes of total calmness, I started taking photographs, once trying to overhear a guide only to discover that he spoke in Italian. The Italian guy was very friendly, didnot know much of English. The french girl who studies her masters in IIT Delhi and her entire family was very generous and friendly 😉 Met and interacted with few other tourists.

If you like the photographs then please like “Anirban Saha Photography” >

The note worthy meeting shall be that with the fakir and 2 young kids. Photography wasnt allowed inside Jama Masjid, one has to buy a ticket of Rs 200 for allowance. I was unaware of it. I was caught and a bit harassed. A Fair came in, took me out, saw my photographs… the above being one of them, and instructed them not to take any fine from me 😉 He was very good and a curious person. I told him about Bengal and Bengalis, about poverty, about muslims here and how they live together. He told me how the Jama Masjid was made, the child who drew it, the fakir who conceptualised it, and Shah Jahan who approved it after having seen it in his dreams. The later part of the story said that the fakir, donated his life to fix Jama Masjid’s allignment which initially was not exactly as was planned. He is said to have pushed it by his feet and made it straight. This part of the story was something hard to believe.

Met two incredible broad hearted kids- Salman and Asif. Asif wants to be an IITian while Salman is working hard to be an IAS officer. It was great interacting with them, and being with them pulling other localites legs! 😛 We lunched at the Karim’s. With time , the two kids faded away, only to stay in my memory… along with the incredible peaceful Jama Masjid.

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Some street shots!

Three night shots that were taken very recently in the last few days!

night photography, traffic, light painting This photograph was shot by Pratik Shivagunde, a close friend of mine.. using Sony DSC H10. Place : National Highway, Solapur (near Mumbai). I love this shot, and Pratik is good as a person also, which adds more value to the photograph.
night photography, traffic, light painting This shot was taken by me, on the busy streets of Esplanade, Kolkata. In the photograph is the Metro Cinema Hall – near Heritage now 😉 Esplanade is a place, I have known, loved in the last 4 years. Always busy as it may seem, one needs to feel the undercurrent of the place.
night photography, traffic, light painting This shot was taken by Arko Sen dada, on the busy Park Street, Kolkata. Park street – a nerve point of the city, hang out…a place frequented by the entire cross section of the society and ever busy and under protection.

Do leave your views. :)

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Light painting: just an attempt.

copyright anirban saha . com, light painting
While explaining few stuff to Pratik Shivagunde, we decided upon trying something out: Light painting.

The concept was relatively easy. All that were required were, a camera with a manual mode where ISO was set at the minimum value, the “f” (1/f is the aperture , correct me if I am wrong) value was put to the maximum. A dark room and lots of patience were required. Now the only other thing that were left was  : Shutter speed. Slow shutter means, the camera will be exposed to the outside light for long. Fast shutter means, the shutter opens and closes very fast, freezing the moment, while slow shutter speed meant, it will go on accepting light.  Now when its a dark room, and theres no other light than the light source, it tracks the source of light. Which ever way you move the light, the path of the light gets traced resulting in patterns created by the source of light. This was the concept, and it was way after midnight.
I tried out hearts, stars with candles. The shutter speed I used ranged from 3 seconds to 30 seconds (thats the max permissible in my camera) You can view them at the facebook album : here.

Then I bought a torch to try out neater sketches. I tried out making the Trinamool congress logo 😛 for I believed it to be tougher than the rest.
trinamool, trinamul, congress, west bengal, politics

Well then struck the idea to make something really tough. This is what I have come up with :
rabindranath tagore, rabindranath tagore line sketch, rabindranath tagore light painting, rabindranath tagore books, rabindranath tagore painting, rabindranath tagore love, shantiniketan, bengal, india, tagore, thakur, nobel prize literature
It took me around 2 hours and numberless attempts to make this, and people appreciated my efforts :) I am trying newer things. Well to check more light paintings you might like to visit or check the light painting page at the Facebook 😉  Give me more ideas friends, ideas of what can be sketched in the dark with a white light.. and leave your views also.

If you like my attempts, then do “like” this>

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Basanta Utsav at Shantiniketan.

It has been long, since it happened. Sorry friends, couldnt really manage time to write a blogpost for it, due to weak health, college and my madness 😀

After my Bishnupur trip, I was looking forward to spending some more time outdoors… experiencing life, and clicking photographs. It is when Aninya and Tanushree suggested me to go to Shantiniketan during the festival of Holi. Holi, or Basanta Utsav as it is known to Shantiniketan, is the celebration of the festival of colours, in the Tagore style. Shantiniketan (meaning – abode of peace) has been the seat of international studies for over decades, it is also the seat of studies of Bengali and Tagore’s work.

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india, colours, festival of colours

I put up at Koustavs’ place. Monami asked me to be at the place as early as possible… but we really couldnt make it that early. Soumik sir was very helpful, suggesting me places to visit there at shantiniketan and about the basanta ustav.
With Koustav and me, we had Koustavs’ friends from Sainthia. After reaching Shantiniketan, I was so happily lost 😛
The procession had already started by then and was mid way to its completion.

“ওরে গৃহবাসী , খোল দ্বার খোল , লাগলো যে দোল … জলে স্থলে বন তলে লাগলো যে দোল.. দ্বার খোল … দ্বার খোল ”


basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, india

The field was extreme crowded, so were the streets. I had to literally push through people, climb tree, walls to get a glimpse.. and yes photographs. The cultural programme continued with all the rabindrasangeets of the season of Spring being performed and danced to in the purist forms. I was fortunate enough to make my way across extremes.. from the extreme end to the front row. Thanks to the old man, the aunty, the two incredible kids, 2 students of viswa bharati, and the accounts manager of the viswa bharati university, not to forget the professional photographer.. who gave me tips of shooting while the colours are in the air!

The old man whom I mentioned earlier was an extremely kind person. He assumed me to be a student of Viswa Bharati university (I was wearing a white kurta, pajama – traditional set) and enquired of my identity. I didnt lie, told him that I am from Kolkata and that I went to Shantiniketan for the first time during Basanta Utsav and I wished to be up there in front of the stage, experiencing it. He asked me whether it was the craze of colours or my love for Tagore that had brought me to the place. I was blatant (stupid but true) enough to answer him, that i loved tagore’s song, I read about Tagore in my history books and that I felt I can learn much about the Tagore culture and can take good photographs, that had taken me there. He smiled, put his hand on my head… I didnot know how to react, I felt the safest would be to touch his feet, which I did  (and I think that did the trick). He took me from the extreme end and brought me to the middle of the field (amidst students) and put me there and left for some work back stage. I stood there astounded, thanking my luck 😀 but knew that the road to the front row was tougher than that… so tried concentrating on that 😀 The students there, few kids helped me a lot 😀

Taking photographs there, saving my camera and its lens was a bit strangely difficult. Strangely difficult because, I didnot know how to react when the colours were falling from no where, and difficult, because I wanted to capture every moment any how, and I didnt really stop… caring less for my camera.. It was weirdly beautiful feeling, playing colours there.

NB: This is the only 2nd time in my life, I played holi. The first time being in the hostel the last year 😀

Well, the crowd erupted to joy, throwing colours into the air above… when the song ” Rangiye diye jaao” (lets colour them) was being performed…. within moments, the entire air was filled with colours, all happy people around, came and coloured me, while I excused myself for a while and photographed them.. 😀 It was an incredible and extreme experience of joy and happiness, when the entire place, was playing holi with dry colours, treating each others like brothers and sisters… like they have been living together for years till then !

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, holi, bengal, India

Having being lost, I met numerous other people and I loved interacting with them. Made a new friend – Nilabha, who is another fantastic person to meet and to work with. In shantiniketan, I met with many of my college folks, including Ritabrata, samik, souvick, antarip, anindya, sreyasi and many other friends from college.

The entire atmosphere went electric after that, people formed groups, playing musical instruments, dancing to it.. all free of the worldly tension. It was a moment of fun! Few groups performed rabindrasangeet while at some place, people were performing Rupam Islam numbers… and all were so readily acceptable there, all absorbed in the atmosphere… all so colourful.

Shall end this post with two photographs, I love the most from the days’ work. If you like my clicked photographs, show your support:

basanta utsav, shantiniketan, kolkata, india, holi, bengal, tagorebasanta utsav, shantiniketan, kolkata, india, holi, bengal, tagore

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Blessed bliss

Innocent playfulness. The smile means the world for me and I can risk my life for one glimpse of it. A life for the sudden pull, the cuddle, the gentle rubbing of noses… warm air swirling around us, the smile fading to the sudden rush of breath.
Us together, the world aside, the deadlines pushed to the dark while the wind blew. Holding ourselves to completeness, promising a life to the death, a fill to the void, together searching for a meaning in our hollow emptiness of being. All sealed with the kiss.
A believe locked in that while, a promise made, the search ended. Submitting ourselves, merging into the one…loosing senses to the superfluous passion of being.

The love has woken us up to the open doors of the white, flooding the room with the dazzle..the white of the moment, the whitest white of the blessed bliss.

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Lifes’ cricket…

Camera Brand: SONY
Camera Model: DSC-H10
Exposure Time: 1/100 sec.
ISO Speed Rating: 100
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal Length: 22.2 mm
Aperture: f/4
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
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This photograph was taken in a lane at North Kolkata. Like perhaps the rest of India, cricket is the religion here also, uniting homes.. ..and the World Cup fever is on…!

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Memories in March : Movie Review


Out of the melodrama, this is a practical film of two desolate people, coming close…bonding.

This is a film, scripted by Rituparno Ghosh. And as is obvious, its open ended, slow moving and touching narrative, where you can feel the film, even with your eyes closed, by just listening to it. Siddharth works in an Advertising agency, hard working..  6 awards winner in just 6 months of work, a gem of a person. He parties late night, drives, meets with an accident, dies. His close friends: Sahana and Ornob. His mother, informed, rushes from Delhi to Kolkata to collect her sons ashes, but goes back with things more than just ashes and belongings. She does back with the relationships that Sid has made over the time, with Ornob, and how it evolved to be gayish in nature. This film is of relationships, about a mother, about a son, about a lover… and about the loved one.

Whats fascinating in this film, is nothing new. It is the script, the magic of Rituparno Ghosh. Discreet, implicit, developing with careful words and meanings. It talks of relationships, but goes not deep into it, revealing not much, and not cliche. The entire film’s portrayal has been of a gay relationship, but the under current of it was that of a mothers love, her nature as a person, her struggle as a person, her confession, and yes, a lovers companionship. Although the striking note of the film was the discovery of Sid’s homosexual preference, the script doesnot go skeptic, neither does it go preachy.

Would like to site “Abohomaan” and “Sob charitra Kalponik”. The reason being, both the films start with the death and goes back to the revelations of the story. In Abohomaan, it was the directors extramarital affair that was hinted upon (Nothing concrete was being told of it), and in the latter film, the wife discovers her husband, only after his death. By the scripts’ permission, in Abohomaan – the under current was of the first wife.. while, the constant hint was the “noti binodini” and “sikha”. In Sob charitra Kalponik, the plot and script was simpler. It was a direct revelation of the poet husband.. his inspiration, work and achievement. Curse this script, or the plot.. this film is of more dimensions, than the earlier two. This film deals less with the one who is dead, but more with the emotions of the mother, and the dead mans’ gay lover. The girl – Sahana was an constant support all through out. The son – Sid is absent all through the film, but the presence, despite his physical absence, is very powerful.

The mother, acted by Deepti Naval, has been a struggler. Divorced her husband 10 years back and her only support was her son. She was a student at Shantiniketan, always smiling, always positive. By profession, she was an art curator..and very dynamic by nature. She confesses, that when she had the divorce, she felt that was the worst day… and that she had lost emotions after hearing about her son. She ‘s an working professional, and from the start of the film there were many “may-be”s, all being cleared by the end of the film… and as is the life –  a fast closure helped by the Kolkata corporation. She is a strong lady, who doesnt want anyones favour.. slowly realising that she was taking back more than she thought of. Her feelings of being a mother, discovering her son not to be heterosexual, after his death was an anguished shock, followed by sharp exchange of words with Ornob. But quick to understand and accept all, only to act calm, savour the situation, maintain composure. She went on to express, as a mother she cannot accept her sons’ death…and even if she wishes to and tries to, she cannot feel or understand her son to be gay. She expresses grave concern, for she didnt spare her child time, or that she might have consulted some psychiatrist after her divorce..only to be chided by Ornob on screen. This film is not nagging about the death.. it revolves around death weaving a story of its own. Here the mother is strong, doesnot break down to melodrama, there is no rona-dhona.. only to maintain composure.

This film deals with gay relationship, very thinly.. yet meaningfully. It adds value to all the country wide discussion. It is not preachy, doesnot discuss homosexual relationships at all. And why I suggest that it is not necessarily a gay film as many of the reviews suggest, is that – it is about relationship.. a mother-son, friendly relationships.. more importantly the relationship that binds Aarti and Ornob together, thats the relation of humanity, of companionship. Later in the scene in the car, Aarti expresses that when life heaps “itnaa  sa” misery, one cannot stick to the lost or dead love, he/she requires a companion, a companion to hear you, to make you speak, to make you smile.. to care for you. It is this bonding that the film is perhaps about. It is also about the bond that Sahana (played by Raima Sen) and Aarti makes, that of a motherly figure.. Aarti (the mother) goes on to discover more of herself scattered in Sid’s (the son) work place than she expected. Sahana on her part loved Sid, only to discover that he is gay on which was presumably her date with him at the Hyatt.. nevertheless she had been a close companion to him all throughout… designing his home… till his last breath in the hospital. She couldnt really accept his absence, and changes her job.

The wider audience got a small dose of Rabindrasangeet. The background score was of “Eki labonye purno prano… prane sohe” (one of my favourites), and was the nerve of the film. There were two more tracks… I wish my knowledge of Tagore was more than it is right now… I suspect the second track to be a rabindrasangeet from Bhanusingher podaboli, I cannot confirm it though… and the first track was divided to 3 parts… it was about the strange invitation to the house (when the mother was in the sons’ home after his death) and that it was an improper time… to how a stranger guest has become a friend at last (towards the end of the film).

Rituparno Ghosh explained, “In the midst of life, we are in death.. .. Memories in March deals with death once again and goes much beyond it”. This film has already won acclaims, screened at “Pusan International Film Festival” in the “new current section”. It has also been chosen, scrutinised and awarded at the MIAAC New York IFF, Mumbai IFF, Kerala IFF, Chennai IFF, Pune IFF..


I am not eligible to comment on the technicalities… but yes, if I had to make this film… I cannot think of a better way… yes, I would give the film, some more light.. slowly I am becoming a devotee of Rituparno ghosh’s film making and writings.. 😀 Trust me, I wanted to keep it short, but there are some things… which require more space… Go and watch the film.

“The story remains a beautiful tale of complex revelations and even more complex relationships…Watch it only for the beautiful story, narrated in three languages (English, Bengali and Hindi) with a real human touch.” ..DNA India


Cast: Deepti Naval (Arti), Rituparno Ghosh (Ornob), Raima Sen (Sahana)
Direction: Sanjoy Nag ; Script and Screenplay: Rituparno Ghosh.


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Friends. Siblings. Attachment.

Few relations doesn’t necessarily need a blood connect. It is complete trust, believe, love without a doubt, acceptance and companionship without a complaint.. Those few relations, understand who you are, from being friends… they become siblings and live with you the entire life, loving you the way they can do best and being by you, even when God’s against.
You shall love life, even in time depressing, once you start looking at yourself through their eyes of love.

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