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Free Ticket

Free Ticket

A train ride can be one of the most comfortable and enjoyable journey that a person can experience over a long distance. I personally feel that a train ride can be bliss compared to a bus ride, as the latter takes a toll on my back while commuting over a long distance and can be pretty boring at times. As any other countries, people commuting by a train is very common in Bangladesh as well, specially, when the trip covers a long distance, away from the Dhaka city, since, the journey is faster, more breezy and surprisingly for some it does not cost anything. By saying no costs, I literally mean no cost at all, as a lot of people prefers to commute by sitting or standing at the top of the train. It is a fairly ordinary scene nowadays in Bangladesh to see commuters travelling on the roof top of the trains risking their precious lives, their bodies every time, just to save some money and to reach their destination faster. The Bangladesh Rail Corporation has taken initiatives to discourage these kinds of risky actions but the commuters still travel this way. Majority of these commuters are beggars, hawkers, labors and very low earning people coming to Dhaka city to earn a living and provide a meal for their family living so many miles away from them and for these people spending so much money to visit their families frequently, is something that they can’t afford and so they end up climbing the roof of the trains while the ticket checkers or the station masters are unaware and travel their destination.
During Eid and Bishwa ijtema, thousands and thousands of people commutes in and out of Dhaka city, to reach their home, while some for travelling or religious purposes. It creates a huge rush for tickets and the prices go up, which a lot of these commuters can’t afford or manage, as a result most of the people who can’t manage a ticket end up climbing the roof of the train and travel on top of it. A lot of these people sometimes fall off and gets injured severely losing their limbs and sometimes their lives, but that does not stop them from travelling this way.
I even had a conversation with a few people who astonishingly travels on the roof of the train because they enjoy it a lot; as there is lot of adrenaline rush involved with it that makes them feel alive while some have gotten habituated to this way of travelling and they do not feel the need to travel inside the compartment safely and comfortably and rather prefer sitting on the roof feeling the breeze blow through their hair. This has also become a great place for the hawkers to make a profit for themselves by selling tea, biscuits and cigarettes to these train passengers who are travelling atop, risking their own lives in the process.

The Procession of Weapons

The Procession of Weapons

Hola Mohalla is one of the biggest festival celebrated by the Sikh community. It’s a one day Sikh festival which most often falls in March and takes place on the second day of the lunar month of Chett, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi but sometimes coincides with Holi. Hola Mohalla is a big festive event for Sikhs around the world. The words 'Hola Mohalla' would thus stand for 'the charge of an army. The festival was founded by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The Guru was in the midst of fighting both Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire and the Hill Rajputs, and had recently established the Khalsa Panth. On 7 March 1701, Guru Gobind Singh started a new tradition by overseeing a day of mock battles and poetry contests at Lohgarh Fort. The tradition has since spread from the town of Anandpur Sahib to nearby Kiratpur Sahib and the foothills of the Shivaliks, and to other Gurdwaras around the world.Thousands of people gathers around the sunny spring of Haryana and Punjab and the most interesting thing that amazed me was their entire visual. People dressed for war, ready with guns, swords & shields just to pay tribute to the festival. Starting from adult to children everyone is dressed as a fighter. Alongside the festival there is a fair which showcases all the traditional equipments for the festival & there is a huge gathering there. At that moment I decided I want to do a portrait series of the festival. I felt every character has a different look and a story to tell.