Men in saffron turbans with white tikas on their foreheads,and women with a tulsi plant on their heads,make a long,arduous journey from Alandi to Pandharpur every year. The wari,which attracts devotees from across the state,was considered a perfect learning ground by nine Fergusson College photography pass outs. Armed with their cameras,they trudged along with the warkaris,singing,chanting,and clicking photographs.
Prasad Kurhe,who is a participating photographer at the ongoing exhibition titled Bhakti Sagar at Balgandharva Kala Dalan,says,We were first attracted to the wari during our photography assignments in college. We would await the day they entered in the city,The warkaris are so picturesque and vibrant, says the 24-year-old. Along with Kurhe,photographers Shruti Kharade,Hrishikesh Rede,Chinmay Brahme,Anuradha Bhuruk,Yogesh Pawar,Mahesh Nanaware,Prathamesh Sarang and Vaibhav Kalje have put together a collection of around 120 photographs for the exhibition.
The young photographers,all in their early to mid-20s,talk about the plethora of opportunities that a single event offered. Portraits,tableaux,events and actions we got to shoot almost every kind of photograph we learned about. We got to learn about compositions,colours and dimensions as well, adds Kurhe.
Kurhe and his friends were on the road for over 19 days. It was such a great experience. We walked,sang,ate and slept with the warkaris. Many from the dind (caravans of warkaris) would invite us over for lunch,dinner and tea. We hardly
had to spend any money, he says with a laugh.
Now,the group of friends are thinking about forming a collective to take on professional assignments. For our next venture,we are planning to limit ourselves to a studio. Portraits,products and scenes we plan to work indoors this time, says Kurhe,adding that another photo exhibition is on the cards.
Bhakti Sagar is on till December 6 at Balgandharva Kala Dalan,JM Road,from 10 am to 8 pm.