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Friday, April 20, 2007


Pictures by Fawzan Husain

I say this not because Fawzan Husain is a dear friend, not because he has gifted me signed copies of these photographs (among others), not because each time people see these photographs on the walls of my orange study they swoon, I say this because Fawzan is more than another photographer.

We first met in 1993, when both he and I moved to India Today. He was based in Bombay, I, in Ahmedabad. Each time anything big happened in Gujarat (which it invariably did) Fawzan would be despatched, his camera gear in tow. He was there to cover natural disasters, riots, women on the move, vintage cars turned into taxis. For that photo feature we took a trip down to Junagadh, squeezed ourselves into the cars that at any given time would take 30 people packed tighter than sardines. It wasn't that we couldn't afford a roomier mode of transportation, but if we didn't pack ourselves like the rest, how could he give a sense of the picture. So we went on the long road trip - he for the pictures, I for the words. Which is why this picture of actor Shiney Ahuja and Director Tanuja Chandra tucked away near Shiney's legs has Fawzan written all over it:

Only he would put himself through the rigour of capturing what the eye can't see. Over they years, he's done everything to get his pictures do the talking. From Bollywood, to news stories, to pictures with sting, he's taken us through several unforgettable journeys. That's partly why this piece on Fawzan and his work comes as no surprise.

For those of you who have been avid India Today readers, you'll remember his work speaking to you through the numerous stories he photographed in India and beyond. He was there from 1993-2006.

Even during that time, he managed to spare some time to put together some exhibitions. Now, that aspect of his work is rapidly growing. Apart from being widely exhibited, his work has been added to permanent collections at The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. And this, I can say for sure, is only the beginning.

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