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They click Indian images into a mosaic

HIKERS AND overland travellers walking the streets of Indian cities are objects of curiosity to local populace. While they are fascinated by our customs and traditions, we are no less intrigued by their outfits, lifestyle and relationships, for often they move around in pairs.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 15:03 IST

HIKERS AND overland travellers walking the streets of Indian cities are objects of curiosity to local populace. While they are fascinated by our customs and traditions, we are no less intrigued by their outfits, lifestyle and relationships, for often they move around in pairs.

What brings them to India and how do they see it? Alliance Francaise d’ Indore opens a window, albeit no bigger than a sparrow-hole on one such couple.

Danielle and Olivier Follmi are photographers, who, besides being doctor and specialist in their other profession, love their craft since it allows them to communicate with others about how they feel about this land and its people.
About two dozen pictures that form the exhibition ‘Indian Wisdom’ are unusually large prints on cloth-like material and are expressive of what caught their fancy.

Predictably enough it is the ethnicity that is manifest in the colourful drapery and ornaments of Lombadi women, headgear of a Nepali lad, rural youth in a coloured turban, pensive hermit on a ghat, fakir walking into the sunset or a devout Muslim engrossed in prayer.

Danielle and Olivier met as youngsters when she had embarked on her medical studies and he was backpacking in India and Nepal.

Acquiring expertise in tropical medicine allowed her a chance to work in Asia and Latin America. Olivier pursued his interests elsewhere but they founded a family by adopting four Tibetan children Motup, Diskit, Pema and Vyan Tharpa.

Their claim that they put everything in taking a photograph to bring out the best in someone is evident in majestic Kathiawadi bullocks exuding strength or the agility of two martial art exponents. Birdseye view of an unknown Indian town or the darkness gathering over a settlement on sand dunes keeps the viewers lingering.

The exhibition is a bit unusual in the sense that the pictures are scattered all around the place and hang from the balconies of Rajwada. Despite a number of pictures on view they do not form any coherent theme.

The desire to know more about such Bohemians remains unfulfilled as the text in English is as undecipherable as French to the hoi polloi. The exhibition is on till May 14.