I was twenty-two when I moved to the city for the first time in Chennai. Everything seemed bigger than reality. And yet, it did not feel like the dream people in my village spoke about. But, it was where I saw my first large dumping ground. I would cross it everyday while on my way to work, the Pallikaranai dump yard, a constant entity to my everyday life in the city. Wide and big, but not so tall, like the mountains back home.
At my home-village in Palkulam, I lived at the southernmost tip of this country in the Kanyakumari district. My house had a big pond in its front which is used for day to day needs and, from the backyard, you could see the mountains.
When I was a university student in Ahmedabad, I remember being stunned at the nightscape from my friend Paul’s home. I didn’t know there were mountains there. As I realized later, I was right. These were the dumping grounds of the city. Just shaped like the natural mountains.
I have always wondered why we desire the city so much. The city can offer me money, a career; but in the village, the quality of life was far better. I feel the rhythm of life in the village is better suited and sustainable to me.
Urban mountains has been
exhibited as print form in
Photo Festivals like
Delhi PhotoFestival 2015
Chennai Photo Biennale