Thursday, January 7, 2010

Delhi Internship experience - Day 1

As a part of our curriculum, we are supposed to do a one month internship. It can be either under an established photographer, a photography gallery, magazine or under a photojournalist. I chose to do my internship under a Contemporary Photographer who has been working on migration, sexuality, health/illness and architecture, both monumental and quotidian.

Just a day before the journey, I met with an accident and got injured on hands and right leg... had a tough time carrying the luggage to the it was winters and Delhi winters are chilling so had to carry extra baggages for bedding and warm clothes. Train journeys are always exciting for me... i love watching the passing scenes, the sellers, the platform hustle-bustle, the fights for sitting, the introduction talks with the people sitting around, the eatables, the constant sound of the wheels of the train...everything fascinates me.

As soon as I came out of the railway station, and I realised that I had entered Delhi, a place where you need to be careful if no body cheats on you, or no body makes a cheap comment on you, or some one just doesnt cut your pocket or some one just doesnt push you... I opted to take the pre-paid auto, but to my surprise, the autos that were standing in queue on the station, were not the pre-paid ones...infact I had to stand on the road with the traffic police waiting for an auto to come...there was a huge rush and i had to wait for my turn to get my auto....somehow just managed to put up all my luggage up.

On the way I could see almost all modes of transport possible on the road - horse cart, bull-cart, human-cart, cycle rickshaw, BRTS bus, private buses, and the other usual vehicles. When I reached the East of Kailash, then it was a tough time finding my PG house. All the time the auto wala kept cribbing that he was spending extra miles in searching for the place (even though the amount that he had charged was almost double for what he had covered).
Finally i found the PG house, I was given a room with four beds and four almirahs. However, there were two other girls staying there and i was alloted one cupboard to put up my stuff. When I started opening my luggage, I realised I had too bad skills to arrange all of it into one almirah. So I put up all the stuff in two cupboards without any permission of the landlady. Ofcourse a cupboard doesnt increase the electricity bill that she should have a problem with that... I just took my bath and rushed for my internship at Sunil Gupta's place at G.K-1, N-block which was just 3 km away from my PG.

Sunil and his boyfriend were waiting for me for lunch. Oh yes, Sunil is a gay. My first interaction with a gay, though had many during my stay in Delhi then. His house was beautiful, very well lighted up. A well maintained library with books ranging from paintings, to photography books to philosophical books to books written by Sunil himself. One discussion which came up during every lunch was about Asha, the home-maid cum cook of Sunil. Asha was an old lady from Nepal in her 40s...she had been promoted by Sunil from a house maid to a cook, however it seemed both were having a tough time adjusting to each other...but it was very cute of how Sunil found ways to keep her happy and pepped up for her work.

After lunch Sunil took me into his office room, again it was nicely lit-up with one huge halogen lamp giving bounce light from the ceiling. And wow!!! he uses two mac screens...with 4 external hard disks...each one named after his ex-boyfriends. He showed me the system that he followed and i tried to grasp it like an obedient student. I asked for some work then and then started working on his database.

A few t.v. reporters called up Sunil to take his appointment. PM Chidambaran had made a statement supporting gay rights and so they wanted his comment on the same. I felt that I was working under a celebrity.

In the evening we went to the IHC where Suruchi was awarded the scholarship for her documentation on the old studios. Mridul and Siddharth were also there. The function started with a boring piano session by a student. Audience were silently listening and I was wondering if they are enjoying it or did they fall asleep like me...anyways, Alka Pandey appeared with her jazzy coat and spoke a few flattery words for the panel of judges sitting there. The best three works from the competition was displayed with an explaination why that work had been chosen as one of the best. Suruchi's name was announced and she went on the stage to receive it. I tried to get a good picture of her...but the other photographer kept coming in front. Anyways, here is what I could get finally. Doordarshan also took her interview later.

After the function, there was a drink party. This was my first hi-fi party at Delhi. The delicious aloo starters with yummy cheesy dippings to be accompanied with whine. Though I didnt have it. I dont know why I refused it. It was chilling cold so I had a good reason to have it. I squeezed myself to a heater nearby and tried to warm up. After a few minutes of formality and showing up our faces to all present there, we (me, suruchi, siddharth, Sunil and Chapal) ventured for a dinner at Swagat, GK M-block market. The picture is of Chapal and Sunil Gupta.

And then when Sunil came to drop me back home, I lost my way. We went around for almost half an hour searching for my PG. I finally entered the PG at 11.30. I had broken the rule on the first day itself. :) So here was my first day at Delhi.