Vohrawad, The Adventures of Amateur Photographer

On my way to airport a few months ago I picked up a copy of a Photography magazine. It gave tips to aspiring photographers [like me]! One of the tips was ‘Carry your camera wherever you go, you do not know what photo opportunity will present itself.”

I usually do, but there are days when I have not followed this simple suggestion. And sometimes spent hours repenting.

Such was my state of mind after visiting Vohrawad near Kapadwanj. It was a chance visit – I was taken there without being advised of significance of the place.

I was stunned by the beauty of the house as Raghav, my young friend who drove the car entered Vohrawad. I asked him to stop the car, and regretted deeply for not having carried my camera. This was as if you discovered that your girl was alone, you are all set to take the first step and you suddenly hear her father sitting in a corner coughs up to remind you of his presence! The reality struck, I was not carrying my camera!!

In life, you have to make some compromises, you have to settle for the second best, and then tell yourself that such are the ways of an optimist. I decided to use my mobile camera.

I had stopped where the road got bifurcated. A building stood there like an old and graceful model inviting to be photographed. I obliged.

I do not know many Bohra Muslims. Two or may be three. But I did not know them well, they were just acquaintances. So never visited their homes, never had any opportunity to see the way they live. And here I was in their mohalla, Vohrawad is a small town of Bohra Muslim community. It is there for ages. But now populated largely by old men and women. And old houses. I saw old ladies in Burkhas, not black but colourful burkhas, with some embroidery, sitting on the steps of old houses. Beautiful and ornamental and worn out like their burkhas.

We entered the arch and I saw an old house there, perhaps abandoned. The local advertisement for Soda painted on its wall.

A few steps ahead we entered this lane. Beautiful houses, narrow lanes to escape heat and harsh winter. Stunning wood work. The mobile came handy, I too some snaps.

And then I came across this house which was pulled down. A pigeon sitting there. Those who have memories of their houses in villages will readily understand that they were themselves like homing pigeon. Lost in the memories of a house which was witness to their growing up. A photograph and nostalgia is a terrific combination, it is like a shot of Tequila. Irresistible. Whips up emotions. I decided to title it ‘The homing pigeon.’