“Women, over the years, have tended to lose their identities to being a mother, a wife, a sister among many other roles they play. But while fulfilling her responsibilities attached to these, a woman usually forgets who she herself (without these strings attached) is,” says photographer Kandukuri Ramesh Babu who has now exhibited over 70 photos of women alone from day-to-day lives at his Gallery at Manikonda – Samanyashastram.
As the name of his gallery also suggests, the artist-photographer’s forte is celebrate the ordinary. “And what is more beautiful and ordinary than a woman?,” he quizzes. Through this photo exhibition, Ramesh wants to show the inner celebration hidden within a woman beneath the wrinkles and tiredness of daily chores.
Recalling a few of his clicks, Ramesh shares the essence behind a few. “I had clicked a 110-year-old woman. If you observe, the picture has elements of both light and shadow. But the beauty of the picture is that the woman doesn’t seem to belong to either. We usually measure our lives with either light or dark but this woman seems to have outgrown it all with her century-and-above experience and a profound smile.”
Another picture is of a woman is carrying load on her head with such effortlessness. She seems so balanced and happy despite the weight above her head, which is very inspiring to watch, he shares.
Although these pictures might recite their own stories to the viewers, the stories of the photographer and his memory behind each photo add a cherry on top. Ramesh shares one such memory of one of his pictures, which, he feels, was an achievement and a memorable moment. “Once I came across a woman astrologer. She refused to click any pictures.
But I told her that she is a person who makes people act wisely and I’m just looking at her as a divine embodiment – a woman for herself – which should not be missed. She hesitantly agreed after a long conversation and when I showed her the image, she was puzzled.”
He shares that the problem with society is that “we usually look at women as our property or embedded in a relationship. When you free her from all this, she would look simply divine.”
The pictures are exhibited at Samanyashastram Gallery till September 10.
The photographer’s pictures, showing the essence of Hyderabad’s ordinary lives, are also being displayed at the Indian Photo Festival held at the famous Bordeaux Metropole, Paris, France, from August 11 to September 24.