Samyukta Lakshmi

Documentary photographer based in Bangalore, India. Team Member @everydayindia

http://www.samyuktalakshmi.com/

258 posts 14,691 followers 875 following

Diwali the festival of lights, is the celebration of good over Evil, Light over darkness. People in India celebrate by lighting Diya’s at their homes, lighting crackers/ fire works, getting together, distributing sweets and dressing up.
#diwali

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Vajramusti Kalaga or Thunderbolt fight or Diamond fist fight is an ancient martial art practice in Mysore during the annual Dasara festival. 
The professional athletes who fight this martial fight hail from a small community known as Jetti or Jatti  mainly found in and around Mysore District.

The combatants, clad in a single garment of light orange coloured drawers, extending half way down the thigh, have their right hand furnished with a weapon called Vajramusti ( claw dagger)  fitted to the hand and pointed with four knobs, resembling very sharp knuckles. They use the left hand to block and counter strike the opponent.

The combat is a mixture of wrestling and boxing, if the latter may be so named: the head is the exclusive object permitted to be struck.

The art of Vajra Musti, is native to India and considered to be an Indian martial art. This martial art is associated with a weapon that is utilized by the hand and is used with striking and grappling. “Musti”  literally means “closed hand” or “fist”. The word “vajra” means “thunderbolt”. Many historians claim that this martial art has been passed down through Buddha’s bloodline, where it first originated. If these theories are correct, the Vajra Musti dates back to 1000 BC.
In ancient time tis fight is said to have been from start to finish and it was fatal. Today it is more symbolic and stops once the first strike on the head is made.

#mysore #dasara #vajramusti #everydayindia

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Last month when my grandmother passed away, my family and I visited Kogilur, a place she's from and loved very much. She always spoke about Kogilur with so much fondness. When we visited Kogilur for her cremation and few of her ceremonies, I decided to make images in Kogilur and places she visited frequently while there.
#kogilur #karnataka #everydayindia #mediumformat #rolleiflex #kodakpotra

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Portrait of my 7 year old niece Simhastitha at Savanadurga.
#film #portrait #makeportrait #mediumformat #ilford #rolleiflex

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A portrait of Manjappa who cuts wood which is used to flue- cure the Tobacco in Kogilur, India. The tobacco leaves are strung together and then hung from tier-poles in curing barn's "kilns". The flue-cured barns have flues which run from external fed fire boxes, which heat-cures the tobacco without exposing it to smoke, slowly raising the temperature over the course of the curing process. The procedure generally takes about a week.
#everydayindia #ReportageSpotlight #everydayeverywhere #karnataka

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Following one of the worst droughts to hit Karnataka, the government set up fodder camps across the state during the summer months. Farmers move in from villages far and near and are provided with sheds, water, fodder and a free meal. After the local veterinary doctor certifies the number of cattle each farmer owns, the farmer is then eligible for 5 kgs of fodder per animal. Farmers depend on cattle for their livelihood. This photo was taken at a fodder camp in Tumkur, Karnataka. #drought #karnataka #tumkur #everydayindia #everydayeverywhere #filmisnotdead #ilford #rolleiflex #mediumformat #120mmfilm #portrait #makeportraits

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At Bandipur National Park
#everydayindia #elephant #Bandipur

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Met Allapppa and his precious little lamb while shooting the drought at Kaniyanapura tribal colony.
#everydayindia #indiaphotoproject #everydaychildhood #portrait

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Anita from Karamalla colony at the settlement meeting hall known as the Chowdi that is used for tribal dancing and calling of the gods by the Shamans.
#everydayindia #indiaphotoproject

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Flower store at the Devaraja Market, Mysore. The Devaraja Market was built during the period of 1881- 1894 by converting an unhealthy swamp created by a dysfuntional Poornaiah Canal. It is an iconic heritage building that has gone to seed due to the total lack of maintenance and misuse. Last year while some efforts were being made to conserve the building by an ill equipped team part of the building collapsed.
#everydayindia #indiaphotoproject

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I photographed the Mysore silk industry for the @nytimes recently. You can have a look at the article at the link in bio.
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/fashion/craftsmanship-silk-mysore-india.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com
#nytimes #mysoresilk

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When i asked Maramma what she does for a living, she said she spends most of her day trying to get water for her family. This village on the fringe of Bandipur National Park, gets water every 2-3 days which is insufficient for the families in the village. #worldwaterday #watercrisis #drought #india #everydayindia #indiaphotoproject #ReportageSpotlight #everydayclimatechange

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Kadramma and her goat in Gundlupet, Karnataka. She has 4 goats and spends a good half of the day taking care of them through which she makes a living.
#everydayindia #indiaphotoproject

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Had the most amazing encounter with an elephant this evening. We were just sitting in the verandah of my cousins cottage in Bandipur. The verandah opens out into a small water body. An elephant very graciously warned us with a loud thump of his trunk on the ground and trumpeted. Within seconds we were up and at the door of the cottage. He came up to the water body barely 10-15 feet away from us and drank to his tummys​ content. We could see his huge tusks. He was too close to use a flash but managed to record the sound of him drinking water. So grateful for this beautiful experience. #Bandipur #india

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Bera selling chrysanthemum garland's at Devaraja Market, Mysore.
#onassignment @nytimes #mysore

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Anita and Bhagya shree, children of construction workers from Gulbarga, going about their morning rituals.
#everydayindia #ReportageSpotlight #Bangalore #india

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Ramu, a boatman on the Ganges moved to Mumbai for a better life. It didn't last more than a month as he didn't like it. Although he spent the nights on the street, he spent over Rs. 10,000 a month. Ramu, now lives in Varanasi with his wife and 5 children and spends just 3000 a month. He's happy he chose Varanasi over Mumbai.
#everydayindia #ReportageSpotlight #tbt #portriat #makeportrait

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Robusta, a variety of coffee being put out to dry as part of the coffee making process in Thithimathi, Coorg.
#everydayindia #coorg #coffee #ReportageSpotlight

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Sometimes waiting for a bus is just "ass" easy.
#everydayindia #bangalore

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A man stops to listen to a conversation #Alsisar #Rajasthan #everydayindia #ReportageSpotlight

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A little boy looks out of the window at Humayuns Tomb, New Delhi
#everydayindia #ReportageSpotlight

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My beautiful grandmums morning rituals.
#portrait

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Does this 'holy cow' deserve our garbage as fodder?! #varanasi #swachhbharat #everydayindia #everydayeverywhere #ReportageSpotlight

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A man takes a dip in the Ganga at Assi Ghat, Varanasi.
#everydayindia #everydayeverywhere #Varanasi #ReportageSpotlight

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