THROUGH A LENS, BY A MIRROR THE PARSIS 1977 – 2013

In tandem with the exhibition of black and white images of the African descendants living in India, known as Sidi, Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art has a second photographic exhibition, also of a minority community, but the gulf between the poor, rural Sidis of Ms Sheth’s exhibition and the westernised, philanthropic, city based Parsis couldn’t be greater.

It is this contrast that makes these 2 collections doubly fascinating.

Sooni Taraporevala’s early photos of family and friends gradually morphed over the years into a detailed and loving chronicling of this educated, outward looking but sadly in decline community.

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Many of the photographs were shot in Bombay, which is home to a large percentage of the Parsi community.  Having lived in that wonderful city about 20 years ago, there was a delightful nostalgia about some of the images. Ah, those wonderful double-decker buses…those flared trousers…those cool tiled corridors in the turn of the century buildings…

 

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This is a collection of images that, like the Sidi exhibition, has been photographed with love and affection and ne’er a moment of voyeurism.

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There is a gentleness and almost retro feel to many of the portraits, as Ms Taraporevala captures both a community and the city that is so much part of the Parsi social fabric.

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A lovely exhibition, which made me want to head straight back to Bombay, so nostalgic did it make me feel.

 

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This last image (above) is sublime.  Almost like a painting.  Absolutely love it.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Gallery Timings:
Opens daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed on Mondays and National Holidays.

Entry Charges:
Indian: Rs: 10/-
Foreign National: Rs: 150/-
Student / Child: Rs: 1/-

(Comments re the Rs 150 vs  Rs 10 rupee price differential in ticket price holds.)

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