Wednesday, October 10, 2007


..from Calcutta.


It's raining here in Assam. Leaving northeast after a long stint. With or without an assignment will be coming back. Next stop Calcutta. (in between there is Kaziranga for a day and North Bengal).


Khasi dance near the "sacred forests" in Meghalaya

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Manipur II

More Manipur in older posts


Coming back from a shoot.


Despite all advertisements on TV about sms-ing from the top of Everest, or from inside Amazon, cellphone network in Northeast sadly is the worst. Our reporting lifeline: Hutch, Aircel, Airtel, Reliance, Idea.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Baseball Dreams

It's a baseball run that's crossing continents like never before. Almost unknown to the rest of India, Imphal has been nurturing baseball dreams for its 20 clubs and planning to build India's first baseball park. At the forefront is First Pitch, the US Manipur Baseball project started in 2002. They are getting top American coaches and major league players to perfect the pitch and pass on the mania. Bhanu Devi ( in picture) is one of the coaches who is travelling to New York this year. Her dream: To have players from Manipur play in Major League. In a cricket crazy nation, Manipur surely has stolen this run from the rest of India

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Time for Tea

Photographs taken near the Karbi Anglong district. We were on our way back to Guwahati, when it suddenly struck that this was a great opportunity to take just tea garden photographs.

A Bicycle and a Film

Mukut and I, on a bicycle invented by A K Das of IIT, Guwahati. Supposed to be a cheap mode of transport for rural India, this bicycle has caught the fancy of Hindi filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. This cycle will be used in Munnabhai III. This is our exclusive ride.

With a World Champion

This is my moment of glory. I am with M C Mary Kom, Thrice World Champion, Women's Boxing, once runner up. A wonderful person and I had great fun doing the interview. The boxing pose, was her idea.

Corner of the Astro-Turf

Hockey shoot in Manipur.


This photograph does not need a rotation correction. It was just like this. A white banner and in one corner of which was written MNP +. The Manipur Network of Positive People has been fighting discrimination and marginalisation for over a decade. Manipur has the highest number of HIV affected people in India---27,000. Often the virus spreads through intravenous drug users. Manipur's proximity to the infamous Golden Triangle route often leads to this. There is also the reason of living in a state under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that has unnervingly quiet and dark evenings. This banner in a sense captures the battle that the MNP+ has been fighting for 10 years. It's a battle for space and a battle from one corner which rest of India unfortunately ignores.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Leaving Shillong

This is an image, I have seen across the Northeast, actually across India. Whenever we start our day for an early morning shoot, on the road there has to be a beautiful, priceless and unforgettable "going to school" moment.


The best view of the town from the Centre Point Hotel. This is the day after their hero has lost in the final of Indian Idol. The entire town is sad and everyone's forcing oneself to go about their daily routine.

The Beautiful Girls of Shillong

Amit Paul's best fans, at a rally in Shillong

The King

He was certainly the king, the week I was in Shillong


Mukut Medhi, without whom, we are dead.

Going Out Live

In a random order different pictures of Live Broadcast from Shillong

Shillong Madness


We travelled to Megahalaya to cover the madness of the reality TV show Indian Idol. The finalist was a 26 year old Bengali boy from Shillong, Amit Paul. His magical voice was breaking boundaries and uniting people from all communities. We had little idea about the crowds we were going to face in Shillong.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mother Market

Ima Market or "Mother Market" in Manipur, probably, the only marketplace in the world run entirely by women.

Manipur Mornings

Manipur, probably, is the only Indian state that has some sort of a sporting culture. Everyday at 6 am, the boys and the girls are there, dreaming their dreams of that walk to the podium. They brush aside the absence of modern equipment and carry on with determination. Sadly, in a country, that talks only cricket, these sportspersons are ignored.

Canvas Madness

It's a world within a world in Manipur. This is Moreh market. You get cheap canvas shoes, cool T-shirts and any gadget that's ruling the world. They come mostly from South Asia. In a sense it is from this part of Imphal, the youth of Manipur pick up stuff that helps them sustain their dreams, aspirations. It was my first visit to Moreh market. It reminded me of the "Hong Kong market" in North Bengal.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady of India, Irom Sharmila Chanu. On fast for the last 7 years. Protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Manipur.


One Sunday in Assam

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Some pictures still not uploaded. And a week back, missed out on an excellent opportunity to take photographs in Jaipur. My first trip to Jaipur. (courtesy jit and subhasish and gautam).
We head to Manipur tomorrow. In Manipur for a week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tea station

This is the world's oldest and largest tea research station. They are coming out with tea cola, tea tablets, tea biscuits and wine made from tea. Trust me, the wine is wonderful.

On way to Jorhat

Final shot:NH-37

National Highway 37 shoot

Final days shoot on the NH-37 that runs along the length of the park. It has at least 50 animals corridors.

Mr Saikia

Mr Gautam Saikia, stays in Kaziranga, all 365/366 days. Key point person for all foreign TV networks and so-called wildlife filmmakers. He is himself a wildlife photographer. Needless to say, he is a friend of my camerama, Mukut.

The Last Action Hero

In Kaziranga post-shoot. Waiting for the jeep to arrive. Our boat refuses to work.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Save the rhino

There have been 12 incidents of poaching this year at Kaziranga. Forest guards just have their 303 and 315s to protect the animals. There are officially 1,855 rhinos in Kaziranga.

Sunset at Kaziranga

Forest Ranger

Kaziranga's most famous forest ranger, Dhani Dhar Bodo. He is there for 20 years and has had over 100 encounters with poachers. There are 4 forest rangers and nearly 400 guards protecting almost 700 square kilometre area. Dhani Dhar Bodo is a rockstar.

The forest guards

The forest guards of Kaziranga, against all adversities try their best and protect the park. It's easy to criticise them. But once you go and stay with them, you will find how they manage with limited resources and how much risk they take to fight poachers.

Kaziranga National Park

The park during floods

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Going Inside Kaziranga

This is the non-tourist stretch and we have managed to get the only motor boat in the park. All of us are silent, as we proceed inside. Wildlife shoots are the most difficult. You cannot really have an appointment with an animal and go and ask her for a soundbite or cutaways. Right after this we managed to get a rhino killed by poachers. In my excitement and trying to talk on camera, I forgot to take photographs. An opportunity that I guess will never come again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Kaziranga Trail

Back from an extensive Kaziranga shoot. More pictures, later. This is Day one of shoot.

Kaziranga Trail, btw, is the name of an award winning Children's Book Trust book. It's a story about three little boys and how they save rhinos from poachers. (as far as I can remember).