It all began with this photograph. Madhuri Dixit in a Marylin Monroe avataar. I first saw this photograph some years back. I was amused for a while, and then fell in love with it. Today morning, I came across it again. It lent me warmth, and a familiar smile. And then some sadness. Splashed across all newspapers is the dismal news of passing away of the most iconic photographer Bollywood has ever been testimony to, someone, who will be forever hard to find a parallel of. Gautam Rajadhyaksha. A name which is reverential for upcoming photographers; a person, the shock of whose sudden demise was more than palpable as I opened my twitter account to check random updates.
I am not much of a follower of photography. However, a die hard fan of Bollywood I incorrigibly am. Along with many others, Madhuri Dixit has been among my top childhood obsessions; someone like whom I wanted to dance, and smile, and even act. Collecting photographs of favorite Hindi Cinema stars was a charming occupation while we were still kids. This picture, and another one carrying a fresh from sleep, yawning Salman Khan, are fond favorites, both iconic, both clicked by the master himself- Gautam Rajadhyaksha.
I googled him, his photography, and arrived at some unmissable photographs. Gone are those days when we would endeavor to neatly cut out favorite pictures from newspapers and magazines, and daintily paste them in happy scrapbooks, along with footnotes murmuring of our playtime obsessions for years after. Now we just log onto Google, click on images, and have the whole universe of images unfold right before our eyes. I did the same, and found some portraits which I would want to paste here, as memories of a man I did not know, but whose art has has more than mesmerized my eyes. A small ode to a great artist.
|Simplicity at its best. Is there any other instance we remember of seeing the sisters share a melodious laughter with such a candid ease?|
|The sensuous beauty, Rekha, reminiscent of some ancient queen, some Indian Goddess.|
|Smita Patil- her beauty and grace has over powered me for ages. I bet this is one of the photographer's personal favorites.|
|Hailed as one of his best works. Shows the master batsmen conquering the world; the ball being symbolic of just the same.|
|Salman, as he looked in his nascent days. At that time, I have fantasized about him.|