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Remembering Gautam Rajadhyaksha

By Kedar Dhume

It was more than two decades ago that I first made my acquaintance with Gautam Rajadhyaksha – not in the flesh but through his beautiful work with the camera. I was then a student of Goa College of Fine Art with specialisation in Applied Art and Photography, back in the late eighties. I had taken up photography as an elective subject and back then the demigods in the field were the late Wilas Bhende and his own star pupil, Gautam Rajadhyaksha, who recently also passed away. They were both mentor-like figures and many young photographers of the time aspired towards working with them. And I was one of them.

Gautam Rajadhyaksha, photographer, mumbai

Gautam Rajadhyaksha

In pursuit of my dream, I visited Gautam in his studio near Opera House, Mumbai in 1991 as soon as I passed out of college. He received me graciously, but he already had too many assistants working under him. But always ready to help, he directed me to another ace photographer of the time, Jagdish Mali, who took me under his wing for two fruitful years. But I would often visit Gautam in his studio as we also shared a bond with our common family deity, Lord Manguesh.

The following ten years, I had no real contact with Gautam, till one day after I had set up my own advertising agency, I received a call from an event management team from Pune asking me to handle a photography exhibition of Gautam to be held in Goa. This was in 2000, and I promptly agreed to oversee the exhibition free of cost. The exhibition, a plethora of his photographs spanning a couple of decades, had to be accommodated at a specially designed hangar at the grounds around Kala Academy. The show was a major success and Gautam was quite pleased with it. Continue reading

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Meet Victor Hugo Gomes

4,000 ethnographic artifacts that help map everyday life of Goans
By Savia Viegas

Call him what you will. Banavlecho pisso ( mad man from Benaulim), Bhatkar (owner of landed property) or Don Quixote with a penchant for riding yesterdays’ roads. Visit his museum and you see the spark of genius that made him save tools and technologies from extinction. Listen to him and the collection of what he terms the ‘material culture’ begins to open up vistas of the life before. Meet Victor Hugo Gomes, 40, the creator of soon-to-be-opened Goa Chitra museum at Pulwaddo in Benaulim.

Since the museum is at an incipient stage, not signage’s but landmarks of bars and Kingfisher advertisements lead you to what could be a quinta of the old days. An unpaved road, horticultural trees and then you come upon a field with a fresh water pond in it.

Workers are busy breaking up the clods of a rich brown earth moist and grainy like pieces of jaggery fertilized with a mixture of humus, bovine dung, urine and jaggery. A brindled cow stands at the farthest end of the field chewing cud as she idly flicks away the flies with her tail. One cannot but
appreciate the whole setting within which womb-like the embryonic museum unlocks the secrets of Goa’s past.

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