Denied by the modern India, but knitted to the lives of the teeming millions, the Mandi, cacophonous, chaotic, dusty, is unwelcoming. It has no patience for halts, stops, makes no way or allowance, the Mandi it too old to care. The heart of traditional commerce that has fed our cities for centuries, the Mandi has no time, for any one. Countless nameless lives move in and out of it everyday, countless livelihoods. I was walking through these ancient markets beset by the sights and sounds that refuse to give you space of any kind. A place with no image, no arresting visual of the new-age capitalistic make- over we so like to wear. And in that frenzy to find a moment, a time, and a space for reflection, ponder and rest, that is what the picture titled Mandi is, a fleeting brief in time captured and through the lens discovered.
The picture was taken in the wholesale markets of Chandni Chowk, amidst sneezes from air filled with the dust of ground spices and grain. Part of a document on markets of India, an ongoing work, the picture was selected for the Lalit Kala National Academy Award for Visual Art for the year 2008.