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Ex-diplomat's photo-exhibit on Himalayan 'majesty, mystery'
Ex-diplomat's photo-exhibit on Himalayan 'majesty, mystery'

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Interspersed with colour photographs, a series of black-and-white stills on display here take one through the enrapturing Himalayan belt. Captured over 60 years by Deb Mukharji, a former Indian Foreign Service member and envoy to Nepal and Bangladesh, the images freeze the infectious charm of the mountains he dearly loves.

"Tall tales from the Himalaya", an exhibition of 75 images of mountains, forests, lakes and rivers - selected out of a body of thousands of photographs - showcase the beauty of Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and even California and the Western Ghats.

Exhibiting a landscape still from as early as September 1959, when he undertook a long trek mapping Alaknanda, Garhwal, Badrinath, the Valley of Flowers, and Hemkund Sahib as an 18-year-old, Mukharji feels privileged and blessed to having been able to walk the Himalayan valleys for over six decades.

"The Himalayas are particularly my fascination. The fascination is like love, you either feel it or you don't, but I do love the mountains," Mukharji, who has authored ' "The Magic of Nepal", "Visions of the Infinite", and "Kailash and Mansarovar: A Quest Beyond the Himalaya" told IANS.

On his photography, he maintains that his camera likes to capture almost everything.

"Finding that right moment to capture a dancer's movements or expression, imprinting the architecture of Delhi, Shiraz or Samarkand, is greatly satisfying. Or the fleeting instant in the streets of Kathmandu or Kyrgyzstan. The vast swollen rivers of the delta. Frozen Alaska or broken branches in the Death Valley. Women under the baobab tree in Chad. Life on the sea," Mukharji said.

"But the majesty and mystery of the Himalaya is for me the supreme subject matter."

Mukharji's photography, cited as "poetry through lens" by late Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen in 2004, has featured in solo exhibitions in Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka, along with prominent journals. 

He believes his preferred black and white medium allows for greater depth, texture and tonal qualities.

The exhibition will conclude on Tuesday at the India International Centre (IIC) here.

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