Just in case it isn't already obvious- I love instagram. I love its quickness, its sense of community, and its diverse wealth of visual stimulus. I love that my instagram feed is a diary for the little things that I see and experience. Yes, it can be a little addictive, and yes, it can become a platform for a steady stream of pre-teen selfies, and carefully constructed identities but it doesn't have to be that way. You see, there's an instagram formula that is quite easy to avoid- it involves taking enough pictures of your prettily foamed cappucino, of multiple pink over-saturated sunsets and a few of brightly painted murals in recently gentrified neighborhoods for good measure and you're set. Bleh.
I am aware that my presence on instagram is a statement in itself of my own privilege, and can be interpreted as a form of boasting- look at what I cooked! look at the places I've explored! look! look! But I like to think that my intention is fairly clear- my instagram is honestly and truly my visual diary.
Most recently, I started photographing under the hashtag #mumbailocalseries. For me, it's been about capturing my process of becoming comfortable with the in/famous Mumbai local train. I grew up hearing about it's packed-like-a-can-of-tuna carriages, horror stories of its late night journeys , and exaggerated tales of its general griminess. Instead what I've found in these past few weeks has been very different- i've found a community of women from all walks of life willingly helping each other into the ladies compartment as the train threatens to leave any and all stragglers behind. I've found the most wonderful variety of vegetables being sold at railway platforms, often produce I've never seen or heard of before (sending this chaotic foodie into a colorful tizzy). I've been jostled and pushed into a keen sharpness and developed surprising enthusiasm to sit on the carriage floor, beside the pakoda-eating fruit vendor, because we both like the evening breeze on our faces.
My instagram sharing of the mumbai local train is not to exoticize it, or to romanticize it, though there is plenty romantic about it. I am just a confused Indian kid trying to figure out what that stamp on my passport means, and who I can be besides the South Bombay brat that my Nepean Sea road address brands me as. For that- instagram has been a pretty great buddy to bring along for the ride, and so I'm sure as hell not sorry.
If you are so inclined, you can follow me on instagram @sanajaverikadri for regular and inane updates on the changing light and shadows in my life.
small snippets of time with my little brother- my yawning, feasting, lounging, martial arting, patiently waiting, gently explaining, wittily quipping, all grown up little brother.
endless bombay train and rickshaw rides, sometimes with red tiger print seats, sometimes with ex-powerlifting champion drivers, sometimes with freshly made mamma-packed lunchboxes, sometimes with pink guava snackbreaks, always with a wide-eyed, only-just-figuring-out, oddly dressed 20 year old.
a green card and all the possibilities, new directions, different identities and beginnings that it could present.
significant exploration and adoration of the city that I ran away from, and am slowly reclaiming.
coconuts. three times a day, everyday.
roadtripping through rajasthan, with a father learning to braid his big little girl's unruly mane, freshly constructed medieval palaces dripping with kitsch, clutter and vegetable oil, many hours of stunning rajasthani landscape whizzing by a car full of groggy city folk, a quickly acquired family skill of telling apart the good roadside 'dhabbas' from the bad, the endless hunt for bottled water, and the loveliest little village adventures.
a hectic, exhausting, hilarious and incredible 10 days through south india- dosas, sleeper buses, large boulders, and ever hungry college students included.