Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fwd: New Essay: Cancer Ward: Open to the Skies, by Chirodeep Chaudhuri

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Galli Magazine

The 26th of November | Ritesh Uttamchandani

The 26th of November | Ritesh Uttamchandani

On a mildly nippy night in November 2008, during a meeting with photographer Dhaval Dhairyawan's sister Vrushali I received a text message informing me of a gang-war that has broken out in Colaba. We were seated at a Barista in Bandra and I requested the manager to switch to a news channel. Much to everyone's discomfort, I caught a glimpse of my guru Srinivas walking around taking pictures of people helping a blood soaked man outside Leopold. I called Raju Shinde of Mumbai Mirror and he said, "Sab chod, VT aaja!" ("Leave everything, come down to Victoria Terminus.")

I zipped through the streets on my bike; took the longer yet faster route via JJ flyover that would drop me right outside VT. I was blocked by a posse of cops, so I took the route behind Xavier's College, past the backside of Esplanade court, between JJ School of Arts and Times of India, into a lane that leads to a bridge that drops you into VT station. I met KK Choudhary, once a portrait photographer at Gateway, the ten rupees-a-print kind, whose fortunes turned when he survived the horrific gateway blasts in 2003. He made some horrific images of the blasts which were bought by newspapers and agencies and circulated worldwide. KK was absorbed by Afternoon Despatch and Courier and he later joined TOI and has been there since close to a decade now.

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