Sneak Peek: Alpana Aras-King

Sneak Peek: Alpana Aras-King

I spent a few days exploring Delhi during my visit for the Magnum Workshop. As a Mumbai native, it has taken a while for this city to grow on me, and I wish I could have spent more time there. On a Friday afternoon, I stopped with a photojournalist friend to see the Jama Masjid. This beautiful mosque was built by Mughal Emperor Shaj Jahan of the Taj Mahal fame. It took over 5000 workers to build this mosque that offers a quiet respite for thousands that come out and pray in the bustling capital city of India. On Fridays, you can visit the mosque as a non-muslim before prayer hours. As a visitor, you need to purchase a ticket to enter, and you might need one for your cameras as well whether you use it or not. As a sign of respect, be sure to have a scarf to cover your head upon entrance to the mosque.

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Mumbai is the city I called home for many years until I moved to the United States. In so many ways, it is still home. The beauty of the city is the heart of the people. Often the ones that don’t have much are the ones with the biggest hearts. One afternoon as I walked out of my parent’s high-rise building, I came across this older lady feeding the stray cats. She lives in a tiny house adjacent to the gates of the high-rise and comes out to feed the cats every day.

In India, the crow represents stories that have been collected over the years through my childhood and reminders of where I came from. One of my favorite memories is of a crow, “our crow” who came religiously to sit on the window sill of our dining room window. We would leave a bit of food for him that he would consume daily. Initially he would eat with trepidation. However, one day, we stuck out our hand to feed the crow. And much to our surprise, he flew in to swoop the food right out of our hands. The fear was gone.

ALPANA-ARAS-KING-PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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