Whether it is a chiaroscuro of light and shade, or stark images that describe its diversity, the country never disappoints photographers waiting for that magical India moment. That is what inspires seasoned photographer Nitin Rai, too.
Rai, best remembered for his picture of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, is working on a book on India that is likely to be published later this year. “My attempt is to capture extraordinary moments in time. And India provides these every day,” he says.
The picture of goatherds in Madhya Pradesh’s Chambal region is one such moment. On assignment for Sunday magazine in 1993, Rai realised that the ravines once infested by dacoits still had gun-totting men sporting handlebar moustaches. Only they carried out such mundane tasks as herding goats.
Last year, when he shot Phoolon Ki Holi in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, Rai captured the exact moment when Lord Krishna emerged out of a shower of marigold petals. Similarly, during a fashion shoot, an aeroplane entered his viewfinder just when the wind blew into the model’s saree.