Photojournalist Anushree Fadnavis captures intimate potraits of commuters in the ladies compartment of Mumbai local.
Anushree Fadnavis’ first tryst with the Mumbai local was as a kid when her mother would share stories of her travels at the end of her day. Stories of exasperating crowds, people crushed against one another, or squabbling women. Now a 27-year-old, and an established photojournalist, Anushree captures people from different walks of life travelling in Mumbai locals and uploads them as a photo-series on her Instagram page.
For her, the local train embodies the true spirit of the city. There are stories of of families, working women, kids, and transgenders. “If Mumbai were a body, the local train would have been its spine. The city is full of hope, aspiration struggle and so full of dreams. The local trains manage to capture each of these emotions beautifully,” says Anushree, who uses trains to travel for her assignments as a photojournalist with Indus Images, a news agency.
Her Instagram page has over 95,000 followers today, but photography happened just by chance, she reveals. “I was earlier working with an IT company,” explains Anushree. “I was always interested in journalism and was looking for other means to explore the field and started learning advanced photography out of the blue. I then resigned from my job and pursued photography full time.”
As she chronicles the lives of people en-route their journey, she realised that each one of them has a story to share. “The ladies compartment is like a second home for all the travellers, they share stories, use it as their make-up room, build relationships. They are like an extended family,” she smiles. But does she always have their permission to shoot, we ask, “I used to take photos on my DSLR but realised that people tend to get very intimidated. I do ask them to pose for portraits. But when I want to capture a moment I usually just click. There are times when people are not comfortable and I have had to delete countless number of photos when that happens. I don’t want to be a voyeur,” she admits.
Her next project documents the lives of transgenders in the city, and some of her works in the train series records the tales of the third gender. “They have seen so much in life, I have often noticed that people don’t talk to them and the society is not ready to accept them but if you notice closely, they are humans just like you and me,” she signs off.
To see more of Anushree’s works, find her on Instagram as anushree_fadnavis