Now, it’s a cover for new album of Toucas Trio Vasco

Two years ago, on the Hooghly ghats, near Kolkata, I photographed this sadhu. Now, it’s a cover for a new album of Toucas Trio Vasco.

A musical trip 

Blending musical traditions ranging from India to jazzy tunes to pieces with a “fado” touch, even to indian percussive pieces as well as reflective melodies. This record is like taking a trip around the world ! Beautiful, multi-layered melodies and interesting rhythms played on a host of traditional music from India, Spain, the Balkans, Brazil and Cuba. Christian Toucas, composer and leaderband of Toucas Trio Vasco, offered me to feature one of my photos for the cover of his album.

A tribute to the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama

On 1497 after overseeing the building of two ships, the Saint Gabriel and the Saint Raphael, Vaso De Gama set sail for India, along with five other ships. Vasco da Gama was the first European to reach India by sea. In addition, his initial voyage to India was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, the West and the Orient. Therefore Christian Toucas decided to redo the same journey through music. The cover image depict the first trip of Vasco Da Gama.

About the photo ‘On belly of Hooghly river’ 

There is a famous Bengali quote that says : “If you don’t visit Calcutta and don’t see the Howrah Bridge, it means you are still in your mother’s womb.” Near the bridge, people go in belly deep to take a dip in the Hooghly river – the son of Ganga. I woke up quite early for this shot. It was around 6:30 when I met this sadhu. I followed him with his back turned to me. I said ‘namaste’. The sadhu turned and looked at me. I do not balk to have the feet in water too. I was crouching there in my wet pants because I wanted to shoot him from the waist, slightly tilted up. Howrah bridge perspective in the morning fog was amazing. The Sādhus were dressed in saffron-coloured clothing, symbolising their sannyāsa (renunciation). I though it was a good moment for the shot on belly of Hooghly river.

About the print advert

I’m a passionate collector of vintage travel newspapers with engravings and stamps too. I have two old newspapers about India. The commandant Annet-Jean-Baptiste Plazanet was narrating an episode of his journey back in the Journal des Voyages (N°386, April 1904.). The engraving illustration shows a sleeping beauty and an Indian shepherd. I put the CD album on the newspaper. And the shot told a new visual tale which enchanted the eyes of readers.

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