MG Radhakrishnan, about Gireesh GV’s Online show Unleashing Panoramas

“For many decades, it hewed close to that often elusive balance between the news of the week and timeless photography..” wrote Elena Martinique, a contemporary art critic about the iconic Life magazine. This observation is equally suitable for India Today magazine which can certainly be credited to have defined India’s contemporary world of photo-journalism. Like the immortal photographers of Life like Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt or Andreas Feininger, an array of brilliant lens persons from India Today, like Raghu Rai opened to the country the stunning world of photojournalism. A common sulk we reporters and writers at India Today had was that if there wasn’t a striking picture to go with it, even the story of a Prime Minister getting shot will not see the light in the magazine. Never before had the image dominated the word in Indian journalism.

To such a great league of lens masters belonged Gireesh GV when I first met him at India Today. Like all camera artists, Gireesh’s niche has always been the twilight zone where photography and art met each other. Being a trained artist himself, Gireesh’s work more often than not assumed the composition of an artwork despite news photography’s inherent compulsion to race against time or even deeper concentration. But then, as every work of art, a news image too is a priceless moment etched in time and history for ever. I can’t forget our gruelling yet exciting journey through Nagapattinam and Cuddalore in 2005 to revisit the lands and faces ravaged by the previous year’s tsunami. It was an expedition to discover the faces and identities of the anonymous who were pilloried by the disaster. Gireesh’s each picture in this exhibition deliberately looks everyday to the uninitiated. Yet the conossieur cannot miss the extraordinary perspective, the brilliant composition, the wonderful ballet of light and shade. As for the journalists who have traveled with him, they open windows to go back in time to history and memory.

While traveling with M G Radhakrishnan in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu in 2005. this I shot from inside our taxi while he stepped out to pickup his cigarettes. Interestingly What attracted me is that the graffiti of a television on the wall.

While traveling with M G Radhakrishnan in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu in 2005. This I shot from inside our taxi while he stepped out to pickup his cigarettes. Interestingly What attracted me is that the graffiti of a television on the wall.


M.G. Radhakrishnan serves as the Editor at Asianet News, a popular Malayalam news channel. Radhakrishnan started his career in Mumbai as a sub-editor with Minerals and Metals Review. He was the Associate Editor of India Today magazine for two decades. M.G. Radhakrishan holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Kerala. He also has three books to his credit. His major areas of interest are politics, culture, economics and sports.


the show “Unleashing Panoramas” is still on, www.gireeshgv.in/online-show/


Adoor Gopalakrishnan


.Adoor Gopalakrishnan, is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. Adoor Gopalakrishnan had a major role in revolutionizing Malayalam cinema and is regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of India. Adoor’s first film Swayamvaram (1972) pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala. (text: Wikipedia.)

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, in New Delhi 2001/02 Outlook Magazine. © Gireesh GV/ Outlook

It was On a summer noon at India International Center guest house. He was there in Delhi for some meetings, I got his appointment through Namrata Joshi (my colleague, Outlook correspondent), she was doing a story about his new movie for the latest issue. Her story has to go into pages on the same day. So I rushed to IIC guest house.
I was trilled to meet him for two reasons. I always love his movies, getting to meet him its self is a golden opportunity. Then to photograph him is also a bonus.

I reached there at 12′ clock. That was the only free time he had, Just before his lunch. I know it wont be a good idea to photograph him at that harsh sun light, neither I was not keen to photograph him inside room. On my way, i planned to request him for an another time only for photo-shoot. But he couldn’t reschedule for another time.
Unfortunately he is going back to Trivandrum on the same day, so my plans … !!!

We were also on a tight deadline. I felt sorry for myself, not to getting enough time to plan. But the chance to photograph another celebrity.
But…. How can I do like that…. just do the job and leave. I decided to look for a better location than his room. I knew I can’t take him any where else, because of the heat and lack of time. And the allotted time for the shoot was just 30 mins… So…. many challenges.

I found a light falling through the glass door towards end of the corridor, on the same first floor where his room is located. It’s reminded me about Mankada Ravivarma’s lighting. So I decided to take him there, shoot with that cut lighting. By including more shadows and black area…. a nice portrait of him. I thought of monochrome, though we were shooting in transparency film.
The moment I reached the spot, I had noticed the bumpy silver painted rooftop of the walkway of IIC.
I opened the door into the roof area. He followed me. I still having that harsh sunlight for my shoot, I don’t know what was doing there… But somewhere in my mind I decided that I will be using the silver paint as a backdrop. I requested him to sit on the roof, it’s a burning heat, Delhi summer time……, nearly 40-45°c but he was so cool and just obeyed my directions. Difficult to shoot him without any shadows on his face at this lighting… the only option I found is that I requested him to look up straight to the sun…. he did, and I shot. just happened

Unleashing Panoramas

My upcoming online solo show of photo montages.

View this post on Instagram

After a prolonged slumber, i have been working feverishly for the last three months to put my work in public domain. The task involved sifting through thousands of photographs, paintings and recollecting and burnishing the memories around them– i think i have achieved my target. i have been working continuously for the last 24 years in photography. There have been difficult, and very difficult, times. Only passion drove me to continue in photography. i have been a staff photographer for national news and features magazines and contributed quite often for foreign news agencies but had to face many challenges and moral ambiguities at workplaces. The Covid-19 lockdown has been a blessing in disguise. It finally let me dig into my archives and showcase the best and the most cherished of my works. Riffling through nearly 1.5 lakh digital images—arresting, astonishing, chilling, captivating and life-affirming—pushed me almost to the edge of madness. There have been different projects— i continued to work on them intermittently, in spite of the burden of bread and butter assignments. As a photographer i have always preferred to take the long view. i understand that whatever i have shot during all these years are incomplete, unless i do not show them. That’s what led me to go through my archives and hold these images—the salt and pepper of my life—before you. There will be more online shows like this, for i have more to share with you—to make it a monthly online show. i invite you and your friends, family members and their friends to visit my web pages which have categorized my photography projects into four 'e' s. They are expressions, emotions, experiences and exclusions. And the archives, paintings, drawings, videos and many more…. Today, i invite all of you to visit my Solo Online Photography show from 20-07-2020 at my page, (https://gireeshgv.in/online-show/ ) And don't forget to scroll down the page to see more @galleryartpositive @galeriemirchandanisteinruecke @gallery_g_arts @gallerysumukha @paletteart_gallery @vadehraartgallery @gallery_art_1821 @vadehraartgallery @aicongallery @galleryespace @tandspace @sai_gallery27 @art.monica #photoMontagesGireesh

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Cops are busy, no time for…

It’s an accident, not murder, not a hit and run case,  truck driver and victim are labors/ workers.

The issue is different here.

The truck with a trailer belongs to a bore well company  (Ultratech with registration # RJ 09 GA 4306) while passing through Safdarjung Enclave around 6:20pm today. It is moving at a 8-10km speed because of heavy load and peak traffic hours. They knock down this boy and run over by its rear wheel.

Public manage to overtake the truck to catch the driver.

Nearly 30 minutes he was lying in the pool of blood. If taken the victim to hospital without waiting to cops, his life could have been saved.

By the time driver disappeared –not run away.

The traffic police or PCR not reached or responded to many desperate calls made by the onlookers.

Now look at what our traffic Cops are up to… One traffic police officer (see the image) is busy setting up their shop standing few meters away from the accident spot, as if nothing happened.  And rest of his colleagues are inside the taxi stand and chatting.  They don’t care about the traffic jams or accidents. They are preparing to catch traffic offenders as routine. They much worried about chalaans and their incentives.

Ramzan

© Gireesh GV
© Gireesh GV

“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”
― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters to a Young Poet ( quote courtesy: Goodreads)

DSC00005
© GIREESH GV

My Camera still works !!

How my camera taught DMRC staff virtue of caring for the disabled?

differently-abled sandesh
IS DMRC a unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes
Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station, Sandesh a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He neither got any help from the guard on duty. When I saw him struggling to draw a token from the machine, I offered a help.

I love my camera. Not only it helps me capture moments, on ample occasions, I found that it helps those making the moments too. Today, it did its job expeditiously. But, it left me with a question – Why was there a need for a camera to tell Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff that they need to be sensitive towards the differently-abled?

Well it is not my story.. or that of my camera. This is about Sandesh, a daily-waged worker – a differently-abled person, who finds it hard every day to commute in DMRC trains – having little use of his lower limbs.

Today was no ‘different’ for Sandesh.

I saw him at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station ‘standing’ in queue at the card recharging machine.

People in the queue stole glances at Sandesh; so did a security guard posted to keep the queue in single file. As he approached the window, he fell short of reaching the slots. Ironically, onlookers looked on.

I can’t say that I was the only one with intentions to help him. But, I was the first. I offered to get him the token.

Sandesh had another issue. He wanted to recharge his card. Since tomorrow was a working day and rush hours would this make towering task for him. The recharging machine accepted only large currency notes and he had small denominations.

DMRC staff on dutyat the counter, had no solutions. “What can we do if he is disabled,” was a reply thrown by one of them.

This is where my camera came to the rescue. As I lifted it out of the case, the staff members’ demeanor drastically changed. Out came a Rs 100 currency note in exchange of two 50 ruppees notes for Sandesh . Along it were please directed towards me: “I am a daily-waged worker.., they will take my job it this goes out,” said the staffer. The guard came with an excuse that he was rushing out for dinner.

IS DMRC a unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station,  Sandesh  a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He neither got any help from guard on duty. When I saw him struggling to draw a token from the machine, I offered a help.
at Rajiv Chowk metro station, Sandesh a daily wage labor struggling to get a token and recharge his metro card

I left it at that. But during my entire journey in the metro train, I could not stop thinking. DMRC had been making tall claims of making arrangements for the differently–abled describing what it operates as – ‘India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons’.

It claims to provide extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc.

The 7 minute episode that my camera helped end, proves beyond doubt that DMRC’s tall claims about training staff to deal with differently-abled were as ‘flat’ as the excuses given by its staff member and the security guard.

{ From DMRC’s guide book,Facilities for the differently-abled:  Delhi Metro is perhaps India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons. These include extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc. In addition, station staff constantly monitors passenger movement and provides personal help to any differently-abled person who needs assistance.”}

Dust Storm

 © GIREESH GVFine dust rising from the banks of Yamuna due to a truck carrying construction materials, Uttar Pradesh, India

Empowered

Begaluru Photo © GIREESH GV
Sculpture for a religious procession, Majestic, Bengaluru © GIREESH GV

movie poster © GIREESH GV
Kannada movie poster in Majastic, Bengaluru © GIREESH GV

Sex worker © GIREESH GV
Sex worker in Majastic, Bengaluru © GIREESH GV