Born in Delhi, India Vineet Vohra did a master’s in fine arts from the prestigious College of Arts. He is a self-taught photographer and street photography is a passion that he live like a discipline. Although he started shooting as a wild life photographer for two years, Vineet switched on to street in 2001 and instantly became his passion and first nature. In 2011, Vohra formed APF (artphotofeature.com) along with brother, Rohit Vohra, who is also a street photographer. “APF is born from an education imperative, it’s an evolving magazine where we recognise fresh talent.” The intent is to provide a platform for emerging photographers, artists and designers to showcase their works, works that are not necessarily commercial, to create opportunities and open new doors. Now, Vineet shares with us a deep inside look into two culturally rich experiences in India.
Kumbh Mela is a mass hindu pilgrimage where hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: , the Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain & Nashik. These four fairs are held periodically at different locations. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river Ganges at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) at Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati at Allahabad; the Godawari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all the sins.
I have been lucky to visit Nashik & Ujjain in the last four years but only for few hours each as one place had a bomb scare and the other had a severe cyclone which left 10 dead and several injured. But in that short span of time what I saw common in both the events was that it’s a festival for all age groups and people from all kind of backgrounds and they perform similar activities without realising that they are creating a symphony in that chaos, kids do what they are best at i.e. playing and not worrying about their sins at all.
For people who are managing the hygiene this is just another day, for bus drivers ferrying people from various different states have to overwork and barely getting time to even brush their teeth, for the cops it’s about managing the crowd, for the decorators it’s time to make their city look beautiful and most importantly the sadhus(saints) visit this place to wash away their sins and worship Lord shiva, with every Kumbh there are new alliances of Sadhus but even the Sadhus do similar activities and make this event a religious rendezvous.
I noticed that I was a part of this festival in no time but was fascinated that how each one of us echoes with the other living beings around us and make the universe around. That fraction of a second which brings us together and that fraction of a second which separates us from one another made me press the shutter.
With the nature playing havoc and everyone else running for cover, I simply trusted my prized possession Leica M (Typ 240) and got some shots which I’m sharing here.
To know more about Vineet’s work, please visit his official website.