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  Age on Sunday   05 Mar 2017  View from my window seat

View from my window seat

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHAVANA AKELLA
Published : Mar 5, 2017, 6:09 am IST
Updated : Mar 5, 2017, 6:38 am IST

Over the bridges, into the woods, and overlooked urban spaces, Pune-based lensman, Shanu Babar offers a unique perspective of India.

Window to the world
 Window to the world

Take the door to explore.Take the door to explore.

Don’t we all reminisce the time when we as kids used to be all excited about train journeys, or the fight over who got the window seat? The lush green fields and quaint little villages passing by, long stretches of deep woods, the imagination and train of thoughts taking us away into distant lands that we briefly glimpsed through these windows...

Shantaram and I with chai and sunsetShantaram and I with chai and sunset.

Pune-based filmmaker and photographer Shanu Babar’s love for these magical windows has been taking him across the length and breadth of our country, to look at the world through a window seat.

The fruitseller, Thailand.The fruitseller, Thailand.

Hailing from a tier-two city in Maharashtra, Osmanabad, Shanu’s childhood revolved around the camera, and the eye for a good frame started getting honed pretty young. “Coming from a relatively small town, I couldn’t find many things to entertain myself with, so I remember roaming around the hills near my house with a Kodak camera that my father had got me. At times, there would be no reel in the camera, but I would set the frame and think that if I had clicked it for real, it would have been a beautiful picture,” shares the 26-year-old, who loves to click urban spaces.

No room for more baggage.No room for more baggage.

A few months ago, Shanu’s ‘The Window Seat Project’, which stemmed from this fascination for railways, was buzzing across the digital spaces. “Once you sit near a window seat, the breeze simply pushes you into a place inside your head where you start to travel in your memories. As a grown up, I realised I could take the opportunity through this project to see what kind of India people see when they look out of a window seat. Trains are the veins of this nation and I try to capture the romanticism of the world through the window seats — it helps in understanding the diversities in all aspects of our nation and yet what holds it together.”

Iron man and the blue walls.Iron man and the blue walls.

This young photographer believes that even a mobile phone’s camera can get the best of images if one knows how to view the frame right. He looks for the overlooked elements in chaotic urban life through his images — be it a quiet walk on a rainy day, the hidden beauty in the mundane everyday life, and the under-appreciated side of nature.

The kulfi seller.The kulfi seller.

Shanu will be taking a month-long rail trip this month, to get a closer look at the railway life. “It will be tediously blissful, but I’m just a guy with a camera and a story to share,” he says, signing off.

Frame in a frame, Hampi.Frame in a frame, Hampi.

Tags: railways, travel, shanu babar