Pablo Bartholomew

In the early 1980s, when this photograph was taken in Bombay (now Mumbai), the old world still survived with the changing and the emerging new world. Near Princess Street, this watch repairer worked from the small space of his shuttered kiosk. He must have spent his lifetime working there. Maybe his father sat in the repair kiosk before him?

A few years before, I had moved from Delhi to seek my fortune. The big city life attracted me, offered me opportunities to work in advertising and the film industry.

When not working on film sets or doing advertising jobs, I would wander the streets of south Bombay. It is during this period that I photographed the vibrant life of the city’s fringes, wandering amongst the eunuchs, prostitutes, opium dens, rag pickers or just the old world parts of the city. In that way I was a true documentary photographer then, though I worked at other crafts of photography to earn a living. Later I got sucked up into photojournalism, which took up so much time that it altered a lot of my work spheres. After a quarter of a century, I need to and want to go back to my roots in documentary photography.

By arrangement with Drik Picture Library Ltd

mag cover This article is from the May 2006 issue of New Internationalist.
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