Thursday, 2 August 2012

Mumbai through the lens

Mumbai, ‘the maximum city’, ‘the city that never sleeps’; many names have been given to this beautiful city. It is not just a city of brick and mortar. This city has a soul, a voice; it is alive! Its vibrant, its active, there is something always happening around the corner in this city. Strewn across its vast landscape, in the dingy gallis or out in the open spaces, are hundreds of unique stories, of people and places that may never catch your eye. These little things essentially add up to make Mumbai the unique city that it is. One Mumbaikar is on a mission to ensure that you do not miss out on these little treasures hidden all over the city. Discovering Mumbai presents the story of Gopal, a photographer and photo blogger by hobby who has been capturing every nook and corner of Mumbai through his camera for his project titled ‘MumbaiPaused’.

Mumbai Paused’ is a project started by Gopal, who is a copywriter with a Mumbai based advertising agency. Originally from the southern city of Bangalore, he migrated to Mumbai in 2000 and has been living in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai since then. Gopal is 38 years old, married and has an adorable four year old son. His interest in photography began a few years ago when his wife gifted him a digital camera. Bitten by the shutterbug he started experimenting with photography and would carry his camera wherever he went. It was in Bangalore that he developed an interest in clicking photographs of things happening around the city. While travelling to work on his humble scooty he would stop and click pictures of things which caught his eye.
Urban cemetery
Gopal continued working on his photography and after he moved to Mumbai he continued clicking pictures around town, capturing the city while it went about its daily routine. This is when Mumbai Paused was born. He would click photographs and put them online on his blog. The broad objective of Mumbai Paused was to capture Mumbai streets as they went through changes. Like all migrants he fell in love with the charm of this city. Through Mumbai Paused he was able to push himself out of his comfort zone and go to places he would otherwise not go to. He started exploring the city’s gallis and the not so frequented places which he would never went to if he didn’t have a camera. “I look out for ordinary things that we all see but fail to notice. A camera helps to spot and record them”, says Gopal. To understand what he means you have to go through his blog. You will stumble upon very intriguing and interesting pictures from all over Mumbai, from south Mumbai to the far flung suburbs in north; he has captured every nook and corner of the city in his own distinctive style. His pictures are fascinating and are sure to leave you spell bound. And like us, along the journey; you too will discover a lot of things about Mumbai.

The entire journey has been an enriching experience for Gopal. Along the journey he has made numerous friends and has come across many interesting personalities. It has given him opportunities to shoot images for some of India’s leading newspapers and magazines and also a few international magazines. So far he has not exhibited his work anywhere in Mumbai, but we hope that he does so soon. The city continues to inspire Gopal, and there is so much more out there to capture and present. Gopal wants to continue taking photographs and hopes that he can present at least one story every day. We hope the same too! His photographs are not mere stills, they are alive with a story. Stories that tell something about the city you didn’t know or which you always overlooked. His works provide an insight into what makes the city so special and enigmatic. Saying that Gopal is in love with the city would be an obvious understatement! When asked to summarize Mumbai in one line; this is what he had to say, “Mumbai is the melting pot of Humanity”. Thanks to people like Gopal we are able to see Mumbai in a way we would have never seen it. So stop reading and just head over to his blog right away! - 

You can also follow him on his twitter account - @mumbaipaused

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