Raghu Rai- (The one and only well known Indian Photographer) will be in mumbai.
sudharak told me on phone. and we are going to be there.
and we went.
it is not the first time- that I would be meeting him.
I know him since ages- when I was learning photography and my photography sir at Benaras Hindu University, mentioned and introduced his few works.
that was not the time of the net- when one can go to google and get more than one can chew. Today type Raghu Rai on google and one can see 13,000 image link to his name.
I have been following his work in 'India Today', where he was working as picture editor.
I was facinated by his work.
He was my personal Amitabh Bachchan.
when we had our all India photography context organized by Camera art society, Varanasi- back in 80's- my friend G K Santosh a noted photo-journalist from Varanasi, travelled to New Delhi to ask for his pictures to be exhibited in the show. And he gave.
I did not miss the cover story of 'The Illustrated weekly of India' which carried the cover story on him with an interview by Pritish Nandy.
That was the first time I came to know his process of picture taking. He said - it is a kind of photo-meditation for him.
I first met him in 90's during the 'India 24hours' show at NCPA mumbai.
I recall him carrying his camera entering in the exhibition hall.
I was watching him the way one looks at the film stars.
Later that evening, in the party at the Oberoi Hotel, I introduced my self.
He gave me his delhi Phone number, and asked me show my work.
He said to me in that very first meeting- do not waste time being any ones fan- just do your work.
and I did not obey him.
In the year 2005, while making a short film On noted artist Himmat Shah , I came to know - Himmat is the friend of Raghu Rai. I met Raghu Rai with Himmat sir at his office in delhi.
and since then he became Raghu sir to me.
Raghu sir spoke to me on camera about his close friend Himmat Shah and it became an important part of my film.
Here I am sitting at the third floor of sylvania hotel worlie, Mumbai.
We are little late - and Raghu sir was already on microphone in dark confrance room telling his story.
I am sitting mesmerized with my friend Sudharak Olwe listening and recording what he was saying. I want to become a silent microphone for the evening.
"Don’t take all those good pictures that you have seen before. We are human machines which get programmed each day. When we are young, our parents are doing it to us; in school, our teachers do it; our neighbours do it. You need to de-programme your mind, your thinking, your attitude, your mindset. Youngsters should look for their own kind of voice."
That evening, after the meeting I joined Raghu sir for a walk in worlie koliwada with sudharak olwe and Shantanu Das.
it is a day before Ganapati.
clouded worlie skyline.
it might rain any moment.
and enjoyed watching him practicing what he was telling to the audience- it was a sheer awareness of peace, sillence and spontanity. as if nature is creating images for the the generations to come.
The nature is saving some moments through the man Raghu Rai, who gets disslove in location as if he does not exist.