Memories...Me, Wildlife, Music, Sarees...

February 10, 2011

I think this was 1975.

pon pkr photo 1975

This photograph was taken by

Ahmed Ali </a>

a professional photographer who was

Nafisa Ali’s father )

….to be circulated, along with my horoscope, for “matrimonial purposes”.

I felt that it wasn’t ME at all…I’d never leave my hair loose like that, or use even that much of make-up. I was so innocent, that I never realized what a high-profile photographer had taken my portrait!

The following photographs were taken by Chanchal Sarkar who was a contractor to the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation. He was, I remember, always being called to various villages in the 24 Paraganas (West Bengal) to shoot man-eaters. He had two huge dogs, and was an excellent shot with both gun and camera. He organized a trip for us to Betla Tiger Sanctuary where I sighted my first tiger...a magnificient Royal Bengal male. The newspaper clipping in the link above is dated 2003....and I wonder if Mr Sarkar is still alive today! I remember him as being a staunch friend to my father through the extreme professional turmoil that he (my father) went through towards 1978. Well, enough are the photographs, taken at our home at 2, Bompas Road.... dm lkng lft 1973 dm 2 bmps rd 1975 dm smiing 1975

dm lkng rt 1973

Ah, the days when I was young….and by the way, that saree I’m wearing in the first photograph was one of two that were bought for me the previous year…this one fell apart, but I still have the other one…and I do remember that this one cost Rs.90 in Nalli’s of Mylapore!

I also remember, this was just after one of my first few music concerts, when I was professionally rated to have an excellent voice, and

Lalgudi Jayaraman

asked my parents if they would like to promote me in a musical career…they refused! Music, they felt, should be a hobby and not a profession. I wish I’d had the ability to insist…