HomeArts/BooksLensman Rajesh Satankar Rates Kumbh Mela As ‘Logistical Marvel’

Lensman Rajesh Satankar Rates Kumbh Mela As ‘Logistical Marvel’

Lensman Rajesh Satankar Rates Kumbh Mela As 'Logistical Marvel'

Lensman Rajesh Satankar Rates Kumbh Mela As ‘Logistical Marvel’

MUMBAI, (IANS) – Photographer Rajesh Satankar, who is gearing up for his photobook exhibition of ‘Celebration of Heritage’ has captured the essence of the Kumbh Mela through his lens.

He feels that the extravaganza makes for a textbook in logistics management given the sheer number of people attending the mela.

Talking about the themes that intrigue him as a photographer, he said, “People, in all their fascinating complexities, are what truly intrigues me as a photographer. Perhaps it stems from my background in anthropology, but I find myself drawn to capturing the stories etched on people’s faces, the way they interact, and the unspoken narratives of their everyday lives. There’s magic in connecting with someone, hearing their stories, and then translating that essence into a single image. My passion for people photography manifests in a variety of ways.”

He said that the grandiosity of weddings, the meticulous artistry of fashion shots, and quiet moments of spirituality at the Kumbh Mela all hold a certain allure. Even the bustling energy of street life, with its random encounters and fleeting moments, sparks my creative fire.

He said that the idea for the book sprouted from two things that weighed heavily on his mind. Firstly, the Kumbh Mela effortlessly manages millions of people every single day.

“It’s a logistical marvel, and I felt this incredible story wasn’t being shared widely enough. The second reason stemmed from a concern about the younger generation’s awareness of the Kumbh Mela. It’s a global phenomenon, yet there seems to be a gap in understanding, particularly among youth. The media often focuses heavily on the religious aspects, which are undeniably important, but there’s so much more to the experience.”

He said that he wanted to create a book that went beyond just rituals and customs.

“I envisioned capturing the vibrant spirit of the Kumbh Mela – the coming together of diverse cultures, the temporary city that springs up to accommodate millions, the joyous festivities, and most importantly, the human connections that form there. This wasn’t just about showcasing the spiritual significance of the Mela, though that’s a powerful aspect too.”

He said that it was about portraying the Kumbh Mela as a place where people from all walks of life, with different beliefs and backgrounds, come together in a spirit of unity and shared experience.

“That, to me, was the heart of the story waiting to be told,” he said.

He added, “As an anthropologist, I’m fascinated by globalization’s impact on cultural exchange. Historically, migration has shaped civilizations and the Kumbh Mela embodies this beautifully. Imagine someone of a different faith attending the Kumbh Mela, discovering new perspectives, or even a path to enlightenment through witnessing the pilgrims’ devotion. The Mela becomes a platform for global faith exploration, not conversion,” he said.

He said that the Kumbh Mela offers hope as millions come together united by a purpose yet celebrating their unique traditions.

“This is a microcosm of the future I see – a world where globalization fosters cultural exchange and understanding, while still allowing local traditions to thrive,” he added.

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