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Paz, present and future
Photo by Adil Hasan & Subrata Biswas

For the “Photo-Poetry Dialogues: Octavio Paz in India” exhibition, which showed last month at Instituto Cervantes in Delhi, photographers Adil Hasan, Subrata Biswas and Sudeep Sen interpreted the legendary Mexican poet’s India-inspired writings. Hasan and Biswas described their respective approaches to the project: Subrata Biswas: "To me, in the two poems The Balcony and The Mausoleum of Humayun, the poet was a silent witness to the history of the old city of Delhi and its present. He tried to depict the motif of relationship between poetry and silence in his creation. As a post-modernist poet Paz was extremely inclined towards existentialism and surrealism, and was a strong believer of poetic modernity throughout his work. Inspired by the two poems, I have tried to make a free translation through my lens. As a migrant I also have some feelings about this old city. I was not only drawn to its historical significance, but also its vibrancy and character." Adil Hasan: "This reaction to the poems is much less to Octavio Paz than it is to Amir Khusro and Nizamuddin Aulia, and the glimpses of a beautiful relationship that we see through his writings. It is actually along a thin thread of thought from my childhood that I followed. Paz’s poetry, in this case, is so extremely visual that I found it difficult to not end up illustrating it. He describes his own wanderings through the alleys of Nizamuddin Dargah, his encounters with the regulars there, and interspersed with these lines, he talks of two men, their camaraderie, their jugalbandi and their destiny together."

Photo: Subrata Biswas

Photo: Adil Hasan

Photo: Adil Hasan

Photo: Subrata Biswas

Photo: Subrata Biswas

Photo: Adil Hasan

Photo: Adil Hasan

Photo: Adil Hasan

Photo: Subrata Biswas

Photo: Subrata Biswas

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