Almost 12 years ago, city-based photographer Chirodeep Chaudhuri decided to travel to his ancestral village, Amadpur, in West Bengal, during Durga Puja. Little did he know that the experience would not only bring his family closer, but also give him an idea for his new book.
“It didn’t strike me until a few years ago that I could compile these pictures into a book. The concept of photo books was niche in India, at least then,” says Chaudhuri, whose book A Village In Bengal was published in November 2012. This week, his works from the book will be featured at an exhibition at Project 88, Colaba.
Ask Chaudhuri how the village changed over the 12 years, and he says, “I realised that rural Bengal doesn’t change at the pace at which, say, Mumbai or Kolkata does. The physical changes weren’t as palpable as the changes in the people around me. I could see my nephews growing up, and my simple relatives
suddenly brandishing cell phones and other gizmos.” The artiste goes on to clarify that his pictures are less of a commentary on the passage of time and more of a tribute to his family. “I take pictures every time I go back. It’s not an exotic holiday, but time well spent among people I hold deep regard for,” he says.