Photo Feature

CHIRODEEP CHAUDHURI

In his 3-decade career Chirodeep Chaudhuri has worn many hats – starting out in advertising as a visualiser, then switching careers as a photojournalist and later an Editor of Photography.

He is the author of the critically feted book ‘A Village In Bengal: Photographs and an Essay’, a result of his 13-year long engagement with his ancestral village in West Bengal and his family’s nearly two century old tradition of the Durga Puja. He is also the co-author of the book ‘With Great Truth & Regards: The History of the Typewriter in India’. He was, till recently, heading the Design and Photography departments of the international arts and culture magazine Time Out’s three India editions and the Editor of Photography of National Geographic Traveler (India).

Chirodeep’s work documents the urban landscape and he has often been referred to as the “chronicler of Bombay”. During his career he has produced diverse documents of his home city in a range of projects like ‘Seeing Time: Public Clocks of Bombay’, ‘The One-Rupee Entrepreneur’, ‘The Commuters’ and ‘In the city, a library’ among others. His work has also been featured in important publications about his home city like ‘Bombay: The Cities Within’, ‘Fort Walks’, ‘Anchoring a City Line’, ‘Bombay Then: Mumbai Now’ and ‘Bombay, Meri Jaan’ to name a few.

As an artist, he is represented by the Mumbai based gallery, Project 88 and his work is part of the collection of the Museum of Photographic Arts (Houston, USA), the Peabody Essex Museum (Massachusetts; USA) and the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan) and private collections in India. Chirodeep lives in Bombay and divides his time between his various teaching assignments
and photographing subjects as diverse as café sitters, airport smoking rooms and abandoned
helmets.

One of those monsoon afternoons when the Arabian Sea is at it’s roughest and the winds are gusty and the skies are an ominous grey presented an opportunity for this young man to enthusiastically practice his dangerous stunt of leaping into the sea. Around the Gateway of India. Mumbai; Maharashtra. 1995.
One of those monsoon afternoons when the Arabian Sea is at it’s roughest and the winds are gusty and the skies are an ominous grey presented an opportunity for this young man to enthusiastically practice his dangerous stunt of leaping into the sea. Around the Gateway of India. Mumbai; Maharashtra. 1995.
The peachseller. Near Crawford Market; Mumbai. 1997
The peachseller. Near Crawford Market; Mumbai. 1997
The durbeenwallahs are a common sight around the Gateway of India, one of Mumbai’s most popular tourist sites. Tourists usually like to take in the views of the naval ships docked in the distance and the lighthouses. Around the Gateway of India. Mumbai; Maharashtra. 1991
The durbeenwallahs are a common sight around the Gateway of India, one of Mumbai’s most popular tourist sites. Tourists usually like to take in the views of the naval ships docked in the distance and the lighthouses. Around the Gateway of India. Mumbai; Maharashtra. 1991
Painted wall mural. Carnac Bundar; Mumbai. 2022
Painted wall mural. Carnac Bundar; Mumbai. 2022
A customer and her child waits inside one of the makeshift photo studios that come up at the time of the annual Mahim Fair. The studios are equipped with painted forest backdrops, cutouts of film stars and aeroplanes and motorbikes. Mumbai. 2005
A customer and her child waits inside one of the makeshift photo studios that come up at the time of the annual Mahim Fair. The studios are equipped with painted forest backdrops, cutouts of film stars and aeroplanes and motorbikes. Mumbai. 2005
The city skyline as seen from across the bay at Mahim during a monsoon shower. Bandra Reclamation; Mumbai. 2022
The city skyline as seen from across the bay at Mahim during a monsoon shower. Bandra Reclamation; Mumbai. 2022
Afternoon coffee at the Sea lounge in the Taj Mahal Hotel & Palace. Colaba; Mumbai. 2014
Afternoon coffee at the Sea lounge in the Taj Mahal Hotel & Palace. Colaba; Mumbai. 2014
The grand staircase of the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel & Palace often turns into a backdrop for wedding portraits. The staircase from which, in 1947, Mountbatten had made the announcement for India’s independence was a location for gun battles during the 26/11 terror attacks of 2008 and was vastly damaged. It was later rebuilt like most of the hotel’s interiors. Colaba; Mumbai. 2022.
The grand staircase of the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel & Palace often turns into a backdrop for wedding portraits. The staircase from which, in 1947, Mountbatten had made the announcement for India’s independence was a location for gun battles during the 26/11 terror attacks of 2008 and was vastly damaged. It was later rebuilt like most of the hotel’s interiors. Colaba; Mumbai. 2022.
For a city by the sea the salt pans are its buffer zone. The salt pans that stretch for many kilometers along the Eastern side also happen to be prime real-estate and are, these days, in the crosshairs of the land sharks. Wadala; Mumbai. 2022
For a city by the sea the salt pans are its buffer zone. The salt pans that stretch for many kilometers along the Eastern side also happen to be prime real-estate and are, these days, in the crosshairs of the land sharks. Wadala; Mumbai. 2022
Flooding and waterlogging, that annual feature of monsoons. People, in general, continue living their lives adapting to the hardships that accompany the rains. Parel; Mumbai. 2006
Flooding and waterlogging, that annual feature of monsoons. People, in general, continue living their lives adapting to the hardships that accompany the rains. Parel; Mumbai. 2006
Sunday morning shave. Barbers, here, have a busy day on Sundays when the markets are closed and porters and labourers can indulge themselves in some self-care. Around Jama Masjid; Mumbai. 2004.
Sunday morning shave. Barbers, here, have a busy day on Sundays when the markets are closed and porters and labourers can indulge themselves in some self-care. Around Jama Masjid; Mumbai. 2004.
Swimming in the Ganga. Varanasi; Uttar Pradesh. 2013
Swimming in the Ganga. Varanasi; Uttar Pradesh. 2013
Marine Drive; Mumbai. 1998
Marine Drive; Mumbai. 1998
Jockeys and their horses on a winter morning at the Royal Western India Turf Club at Mahalaxmi. There are no winters as such in Mumbai just the occasional fog in some places. At the race course, the dust from the hooves of the horses that were out for their exercises mixed that winter morning. Mahalaxmi; Mumbai. 1994
Jockeys and their horses on a winter morning at the Royal Western India Turf Club at Mahalaxmi. There are no winters as such in Mumbai just the occasional fog in some places. At the race course, the dust from the hooves of the horses that were out for their exercises mixed that winter morning. Mahalaxmi; Mumbai. 1994
Weaving a dhurrie at the City Palace; Jaipur; Rajasthan. 2005
Weaving a dhurrie at the City Palace; Jaipur; Rajasthan. 2005
It might look beautiful and painting-like but riding on the city’s potholed roads during the monsoon is an ordeal. Lives are being lost. Thane. 2021
It might look beautiful and painting-like but riding on the city’s potholed roads during the monsoon is an ordeal. Lives are being lost. Thane. 2021
Shops selling and manufacturing musical instruments like this hole-in-the wall shop mark the stretch near Lal Bazaar, the Police HQs in Kolkata. 2007
Shops selling and manufacturing musical instruments like this hole-in-the wall shop mark the stretch near Lal Bazaar, the Police HQs in Kolkata. 2007
Trams are disappearing from Kolkata. The tracks had survived for some years even after the trams stopped running on this route. The tracks and the cobblestones have now disappeared from this stretch of road. Strand Road; Kolkata. 1994
Trams are disappearing from Kolkata. The tracks had survived for some years even after the trams stopped running on this route. The tracks and the cobblestones have now disappeared from this stretch of road. Strand Road; Kolkata. 1994
A ritual known as the Kola Bou Chaan during the annual Bengali festival of Durga Puja. A first rituals marking festivities and has the priests worshiping a banana plant, considered to be the wife of Ganesha. Amadpur; West Bengal. 1994
A ritual known as the Kola Bou Chaan during the annual Bengali festival of Durga Puja. A first rituals marking festivities and has the priests worshiping a banana plant, considered to be the wife of Ganesha. Amadpur; West Bengal. 1994
In the near future, the hand-pilled rickshaws may be gone from Kolkata’s streets. Though, they may survive longer than the trams. And then, with it will be gone the gentle tinkling sound of the bell that the pullers carry. It’s a sound that is intrinsically linked to the city. Along the Hoogly; Kolkata. 2005
In the near future, the hand-pilled rickshaws may be gone from Kolkata’s streets. Though, they may survive longer than the trams. And then, with it will be gone the gentle tinkling sound of the bell that the pullers carry. It’s a sound that is intrinsically linked to the city. Along the Hoogly; Kolkata. 2005
A child, handed over by its parents, is blessed by a Theyyam dancer. Kannur district; Kerala. 2018
A child, handed over by its parents, is blessed by a Theyyam dancer. Kannur district; Kerala. 2018
Little Rann of Kutch; Gujarat. 1997
Little Rann of Kutch; Gujarat. 1997
Foreign tourists pose in front of the Taj Mahal, India’s most visited tourist site. Tourist photographers, these days, complain about the drop in business due to the invasion of mobile phone cameras. Agra. 1999
Foreign tourists pose in front of the Taj Mahal, India’s most visited tourist site. Tourist photographers, these days, complain about the drop in business due to the invasion of mobile phone cameras. Agra. 1999
A young priest, among a crowd of priests waits for devotees outside the Lingaraj Temple; Bhubaneshwar; Odisha. 2008
A young priest, among a crowd of priests waits for devotees outside the Lingaraj Temple; Bhubaneshwar; Odisha. 2008

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