Danish's Feed
Sep 28, 2012
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Learning the lessons of the slums

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By Danish Siddiqui

If you are flying into Mumbai, the first thing you’ll see from mid-air are the visually beautiful rows of slums. I have always treated the slums and their inhabitants with respect.

GALLERY: MUMBAI’S SLUM LIFE

Every metropolitan city (at least in India) has slums, as more and more people travel to the cities for better opportunities. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a planned neighborhood.

May 17, 2012
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Inside Kabul’s theaters

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By Danish Siddiqui

I believe that sometimes you learn about a city and its society from its local cinemas and the genre of films they choose to screen.

Coming from the heart of the Indian film industry in Mumbai, popularly known as Bollywood, I had no idea what to expect from the cinemas in Kabul. I had several questions on my mind. Did families go out to watch films or was it only a getaway for men? Is watching films at the cinema as popular as it is in other parts of the world? What kind of films entice the Afghan cinema-goer?

Apr 16, 2012
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Charlie’s Angel

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By Danish Siddiqui

After an excruciatingly long 15-hour journey from Mumbai, I stepped out of the car outside Adipur train station and found two children waiting to welcome me with flowers. Both were wearing bowler hats and had t-shirts depicting the silent film star Charlie Chaplin. Of course, I was yet to meet the town’s biggest Chaplin fan.

Adipur, a small town in the western Indian state of Gujarat was only famous for its salt pans until Ashok Aswani started living like Charlie Chaplin. A practitioner of indigenous medicine by profession, Aswani has been celebrating Charlie Chaplin’s birthday on April 16 with his fan club for the past 39 years. He even holds a candlelight vigil and a prayer meeting on the legend’s death anniversary on December 25.

Mar 15, 2012

Forget Bollywood — Mumbai enjoys fight nights

MUMBAI, March 15 (Reuters) – The small wooden door in a film
studio complex deep within the heart of Mumbai creaks open to
pumping music, a beer-guzzling crowd and two men raining punches
and kicks onto each other in the makeshift ring.

Welcome to India’s very own fight night.

First started around three years ago by Full Contact
Championship (FCC), a company founded to promote mixed martial
arts, fight nights are slowly gaining popularity in India, a
nation where people traditionally have had no inclination to pay
money to watch somebody be physically beaten in front of them.

Feb 28, 2012
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A convert to Islam

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By Danish Siddiqui

London to me, as a photographer, is a uniquely diverse place to capture on camera in terms of its people and their stories. It amalgamates a lot of complexities that make for compelling narratives.

A couple months back I went to London from Mumbai as part of a short assignment, to get some experience out of my usual domain. I worked closely with the Reuters UK team and specifically Andrew Winning on the production of a multimedia piece that would tell the story of young Muslim converts in London.

Nov 18, 2011
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License to kill

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By Danish Siddiqui

 

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Mumbai provides everyone living in it with an opportunity to earn and survive. Be it a white-collared job in a multinational company located in one of the city’s plush high rise buildings or killing rats by night in the filthiest and dirtiest parts of India’s financial capital. This time, my tryst was with the latter.

I decided I wanted to meet Mumbai’s rat-killer army employed by the city’s civic body. Very little is known about this tireless force that works the bylanes of the metropolis every night. Mumbai’s municipal corporation employs 44 rat killers and also has a freelance contingent, who aspire to be on the payrolls one day. Employees of the pest control department receive a salary of 15,000 to 17,000 Indian Rupees ($294 to 333) while contract laborers are paid 5 Indian rupees ($0.10) per rat they kill. The rat killers are expected to kill at least 30 rodents per night and hand over the carcasses to civic officials in the morning. If they fall short by even one rodent, they are expected to make it up the next night or else they stand to lose a day’s pay.

Oct 13, 2011
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Jostling for space in Mumbai

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By Danish Siddiqui

To live in the world’s second most populous country and city is itself an experience. When I was asked to do a feature story on the world’s population crossing the 7 billion mark, I realized it wasn’t going to be an easy task. This was simply because there were so many stories to tell in this city of dreams, Mumbai.

I chose to do a story on the living conditions of Mumbai’s migrant population who pour in to the city by the hour.

Oct 13, 2011

One room is home to many in India’s City of Dreams

MUMBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Salim stands between the sleeping
bodies of two men on the floor of the room where they live as
his father helps him get ready for school, straightening the
dark tie of his school uniform.

A year ago, the eight-year-old made a 22-hour train journey
from his village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
to Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, known to migrants
like him as “the City of Dreams”.

Aug 4, 2011
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Married as minors

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A year ago I traveled to Rajasthan, a state in northwestern India, to photograph child marriages. Minors in India continue to be forced into matrimony despite a ban by the central government. In fact, several children below the legal age tie the knot in mass ceremonies during the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya, considered one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar.

Almost a year later, I was asked to go back to Rajasthan and photograph a child couple whose marriage I had documented earlier. The couple were 14-year-old Kishan Gopal and his 12-year-old wife Krishna. With the help of a few friends, I tracked down the village and the groom’s house. I wasn’t sure if the parents and the couple would allow me to photograph them again. With a lot of apprehension, I reached the house of the child groom.

Jul 9, 2011
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When monkeys tie the knot

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It all started with a phone call. I was being invited to a wedding. Sounded good. I’d finally make my debut in wedding photography.

I had it all planned. I wanted to spend a day each at the groom’s and the bride’s respectively. Now the only hiccup was I couldn’t interact with them. After all, they were no regular couple. They were monkeys.

    • About Danish

      "I am a television news correspondent turned photographer, working for Reuters in Mumbai. I was brought up in the Indian capital Delhi but have been posted in Mumbai since summer 2010. With Reuters, I made my foray into professional photography. I've been learning something new about photography everyday on the job. Apart from taking pictures to go with the daily news, I have a keen interest in shooting in depth features and multimedia."
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