Historic port towns thrive on a convergence of cultures. Over the centuries, they have evolved a unique culture which blends influences from all parts of the world – be it in lifestyle, architecture or ethos. Ponnani, a port town inhabited predominantly by the Mapila community drew me in with its charismatic charm that pervades its people and their life style. The photo-text series is built on my close interaction with the people at Ponnani over a stretch of more than three years and it still continues today. The harbour town seemed to have fallen out of time in an effort of self-preservation; time was a mere entity of passage there, flowing uninterrupted. One can still come across an Abu Backerka who has made it his routine to roam around collecting unused medicines and giving them away to the needy, or the story of an Azizka, who lived the life of a pickpocket known to all, or that of Alika, who was the town’s earliest cloth presser and continued ironing for over 40 years.
Exhibited at Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2016 (40 Images)