Photo exhibition reveals cop's softer side

Somesh Goyal wields a gun and a camera with equal ease and says his police training has helped him capture on film some of the rare images currently on display at the Jehangir Art Gallery.

"As a policeman, you are taught to be observant and vigilant," says a smiling Goyal, 50, Himachal Pradesh additional director general of police. "I have combined those skills with my passion for photography to capture beautiful images as they unfold."

An amateur photographer since childhood, Goyal has previously had solo exhibitions in Delhi, Kolkata and Shimla. This, his first Mumbai exhibition, showcases 40 photographs taken in the Western Himalayas, some dating back to 1984.

Among the rarer images on display is one of people struggling across a fragile rope bridge spanning a deep valley in Spiti, shot in 1986. The rope bridge has since been replaced by a concrete one. Another rare image is the photograph of a Buzhen or wandering lama of Ladakh, carrying a traditional sword and whirling as he moves, to ward off evil. "It is rare to spot these lamas. It was difficult for me to capture his features clearly a he was whirling at a great speed."


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