Photo essay – Doors, gates, and the occasional aged grill

Delhi-11 Delhi-64 Delhi-67 Jaisalmer-17 Jaisalmer-36 Jaisalmer-47 Jodhpur-49 Jodhpur-50 Kolkata-2 Kolkata-37 Kolkata-40 Kumbhalgarh-Fortress-34 Maheshwar-34 Maheshwar-63 Raghurajpur-Puri-3 Raghurajpur-Puri-23 Ujjain-10 Ujjain-14 Varanasi-42 Varanasi-43 Varanasi-49 Varanasi-58 Varanasi-60 Varanasi-65 Varanasi-90 Varanasi-120 Varanasi-131 Varanasi-140 Varanasi-142 Varanasi-154 Varanasi-168 Varanasi-169 Varanasi-170

The world is full of doors and India is no exception. They come in all colours, tones and textures, but it is those that are weathered and worn that frequently are the most attracting. Every broken panel and rusting bolt and hinge projects its own declaration of beauty, and each one cries aloud its historical narrative. Many do it in colours that age does not damage, rather being enhanced by it; achieving what the Japanese would recognize as ‘restrained elegance’. There may even be a word in Sanskrit that precisely defines the condition.

You cannot walk through the streets of India without colliding headlong with their diversity. Many, admittedly not all, but many, are painted blue. There is significance to this, for universally the colour ‘blue’ bespeaks welcome, restive warmth, and love. It is a colour that is also understood to keep away evil spirits.

This is my selection. The subjects were photographed in Kolkata, Maheshwar, Raghurajpur, Ujjain, New Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, the Kumbhalgarh Fortress, and Varanasi. By and large, I encountered them in back streets and narrow alleyways. Yet for all their varied splendour few hint at what lies behind, or give insight into who passed in or out their portals. In this sense they call to you, beckoning.

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