“Every old person has a world of their own not understood by the present generation,” says Abhijit Chakraborty, a photographer based in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in the eastern state of West Bengal in India. “These people reside in our societies with us, but very few of us try to understand their world. Many of them turn introspective and begin to explore their memories of youth, love and happiness when they led meaningful lives…in distant times and lands etched on their mind spaces…unharmed and untouched by present realities.”
In his project “Time: Love, Passion and Relationship”, Abhijit gives us a glimpse into the everyday realities of an old Calcutta resident Mr. Sushil Kumar Chattopadhyay (endearingly called Noku Babu), who has been collecting objects discarded by their owners for years. His treasures range from coins and stones to clocks and cameras to framed images and statuettes of deities and famous figures. The black and white photographs depicting his home certainly show his loneliness and his withdrawal from the current society. But the fact that he always keeps himself busy and his concrete sense of purpose make Mr. Chattopadhyay’s life a particularly inspiring one.
Mr. Chattopadhyay has established a special relationship with his objects. His love for them transcends the barriers of time. He cares, curates, converses and takes care of them the way they have been taken care of since the first day of their possession and display.
“Time as a unit of measurement means different things to different people,” continues Abhijit. “To an economist it’s a currency of opportunity; to a ‘market’ participant it’s all about ‘money’. Time as a currency of ‘love’ and ‘relationship’ is too rare an instance to become news. Time generally is coefficient. It is a ‘static’ unit in the context of ‘change’. Here it is depicted as the currency of unique sensibilities coming out of a sense of responsibility to protect, curate and nurture glory, past and pride!”
A graduate of Calcutta University, Abhijit is a self-taught photographer. He has worked as a commercial creative artist in the corporate world for a decade. In his works, he aims for empathy together with an unpretentious and uncluttered style. He was chosen as the best candidate in the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week photo competition called “Swedish Innovations – Indian Interpretations” by the Embassy of Sweden in 2012. The State Lalit Kala Akademi, Uttar Pradesh (north Indian state) awarded him in 2011 for his photo series “Respirando”. He also bagged the First Prize in the photo contest “A Day in the Life of India” organised by the Times of India Group in 2011.
Abhijit completed “Time: Love, Passion and Relationship” with the help of his friend Apratim Mukhopadhyay – a singer, songwriter, occasional poet and digital media entrepreneur, who has an impressive academic and professional background spanning several industries in various cities of India.
Links: Websites (abhijitchakraborty.wixsite.com/photography, lyricsbylens.wixsite.com/weetoo) | LinkedIn profiles (in.linkedin.com/in/abhijitchakraborty23, in.linkedin.com/in/apratimmukhopadhyay) | Facebook (www.facebook.com/abhijitchakraborty.23, www.facebook.com/apratim.in)
Images used with permission.