It’s a rare thing really. To come across something which is highly relatable, yet validly intriguing. As they say, the most beautiful things in the world come in the most natural packaging. This statement couldn’t have been more true, in the case of our presentation today. Today, we are talking about a simple College Project by a talented student of Jai Hind College, Mumbai. The project which goes by the name, Dreamcatcher by Deeksha Rathore, captivated us by its literally ambitious nature of things. Deeksha via the Dreamcatcher project took ordinary lives and turned them into exciting endeavours, one which resonates across every life. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed by this young lady’s attempt in capturing life, literally and poignantly, and contacted her to share her story here. The excerpts and the project work come below..
You’ve named this project as Dreamcatcher could you expand on that? And what’s the inspiration behind it?
A dream catcher does exactly what its name suggests; it catches your dreams. They are believed to catch all sorts of dreams – good and bad. The good ones pass through the feathers to the sleeper while the bad ones get trapped in the net. I’d like to think of my project as a dream catcher of sorts, one that tries to catch – or in my case, capture – all kinds of dreams. The inspiration came to me from one of the several conversations I’ve had with my mother about future. She always told me not to worry too much about the future, and that “30 years down the line, you could be doing something entirely different!”. That’s when I wanted to explore this idea.
So I began talking to people close to me, asking them what they wanted to be. Their answers were so interesting; that I knew I had something there. The purpose of this project isn’t to determine whether there is a feeling of regret or relief amongst these individuals. I feel those emotions are very personal. As the photographer, I’ve simply tried to contrast a dream and a reality through my lens.
You’ve shot diverse crowd, at their unassuming best. In your Dreamcatcher project did you look for something in particular. Specific places or occupations or was it all spontaneous.
I did start off with a list of professions I wished to include. However, after a point, I started talking to anyone and everyone whom I thought could make for an interesting subject. I realised a list was the wrong approach to have and then it became secondary. I think one criterion that had to be followed consistently was finding people with the present occupancy and their dream jobs which could be depicted visually through a picture.
Of all the pictures you’ve snapped, which remain to be the closest to you? And which ones were perhaps the toughest to shoot?
The closest to me is, ‘The Salesman’. I was on my way to Maganlal Dresswala to rent props for my shoots. I happened to cross a beautiful Rajasthani Handicraft store and just had to stop and speak to the employees. Half an hour later, I walked out disappointed – a lot of them were shy and those who answered had dream jobs I couldn’t exactly portray in a picture. On my way back from Maganlal, I went in one last time. As luck would have it, the owner’s son had just come in and said he had wanted to become a professional carom player. They even had the carom board! Luckily, I had my camera on me and thus followed the most spontaneous shoot of the series. I bonded with the owner and son after the shoot, learnt their stories. It was also a personal connect, I guess, given my Rajasthan roots. The toughest to shoot was probably ‘The Sabzi Wala’. It was the second picture I had taken. I was still recovering from an ankle fracture and was on crutches at the time. However, the man was very sweet and agreed to be photographed on the condition that his business wasn’t affected. This meant not only standing on my crutches and clicking for about 2 hours waiting for customers to pass by and rearranging the vegetables repeatedly so the 2 frames look similar. That kind of took a toll on me, but it was completely worth it.
You mention a college photography project. Could you tell us what this is all about? And what do you stand to attain from the project? And what dreams did you come across via your subjects?
This was a project for my photography class in my second year of college. We were allowed to pick our own topics, as long as the teacher approved of it. And Dreamcatcher came henceforth. It was to show the inner dreams every one of us have but seldom end up achieving. Through this series, Dreamcatcher, the idea was to capture their inner ambitions. In that context, the professions and ambitions combination go as., Air hostess – DJ, Sabziwala – Cook, Mithai maker – Fashion designer, Doctor – cricketer, House Maid – Bharatnatyam Dancer, Salesman – Professional Carrom Player, Mochi – Policeman, Juicewala – Army Man, Jeweller – Air Hostess, Rickshaw Wala – Artist and so on.
So that was Deeksha Rathore, speaking about her terrific project Dreamcatcher. We surely wish that the dreams she’s captured and weaved around the work, come true in time to come. We wish her all the success, and root for her to make it huge in the arena of photography.
More from the Dreamcatcher project here..
Till next time, Ciao Ciao..!!