I moved to Bombay in August of 2019 and started a new job working as a film conservator at a film archive. Bombay can be a very intimidating city if you’ve moved from a relatively smaller place. It took me sometime to get used to being surrounded by so many people. It was absolutely chaotic in the beginning.
But the good part about living in Bombay is that the city is big enough for people from all walks of life to live and survive together. It has the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, living in perfect harmony, all working towards a better life.
I made these images as I traveled to and from work, Some during my commute, some when I’d get the chance to go out and explore the city. Sometime after I moved, the anti CAA protests had started in Delhi and were slowly spreading to all parts of the country. It was then interesting to observe if the protests had changed the complex dynamics between the people living and working in Bombay. Through my work, I’ve been trying to look at people and their stories.
Every person I pass, see on the streets, in the bus or train, in a fancy house or by the sea, all have stories. And it is interesting to capture a part of their story and wonder what their life must be like. Most of my pictures involve a water body. I’ve always been drawn to the water. It calms me down and I have always found myself close to a water body when life has been tough. These are some stories I’ve tried to capture in this massive city where everyone somehow manages to live together, giving and taking up space.
And it all comes together at the end of the day.
Written and photographed by: Gautami Khanvilkar