By Ambica Gulati December 1999 Photographer Suman Sarkar captures beauty in the most mundane of places Hurried steps reach for the temple. A blast of wind. All hell breaks loose. Gods pour their scorn from the skies. The plastic bag breaks. Fragments of goddesses lie strewn on the road. Yet, the eye roves and the feet surge ahead, coming to a standstill beside a pond, rippling under the morning sun. Reeds look down at their shadows and chuckle as ever-expanding circles break their other selves. A group of ducks files past in regal pettiness. Another search. Another day. Eyes swivel around and the feet turn. A shimmering shrine in white, the Taj Mahal. Ode to an immortal love. Loneliness creeps inside. A mournful Shah Jahan waiting for his beloved Mumtaz Mahal to walk out of the marble splendor. Four pearly minarets hold fort for the lady, embalmed in the abyss of earth. A poignant pining that travels through centuries. Nearby, a stark tree waits for bountiful spring. Footsteps reverberate on the white marble. Glassy eyes seek the sacred shrine. Divided, yet one. Caught in a stream of sunlight, a monument to love imprinted in memory. Clicked in a flash, captured forever. Meanwhile, dancers prepare for the festival of joy. Swaying in erotic mysticism, lost in rhythm. Ecstatic, their souls cling together. Another waits in the wings, resting ghungroo-clad feet on the soil, purifying the earth with rangoli. From the skies, Mother Nature lovingly brushes her gaze. Storm clouds herald rain, while a woman plays conjurer with her dog. Bleak companions. Night creeps in. The day is over. Tired eyes seek the solace of the dark. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder… or is it in the click of a shutter?
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