he bright lawns of the National Gallery of Modern Art assumed a sombre mood as artists including filmmaker Mira Nair and photographer Raghu Rai gathered to pay tribute to eminent lensman Prabuddha Dasgupta.
One of the most prominent names in fashion photography, Prabuddha died of a sudden heart attack on August 12 at the age of 55. "Prabhuddha behaved in a typical Indian fashion. But, like us Indians he did not just jump the queue, he broke the queue of life, dashed ahead and finished first, leaving us all behind. He left us rather sooner despite being much younger than many of us," Rai said, mourning the loss.
Nair, who also hosted the evening homage last evening, was seen consoling the grief-stricken friends and families. "I knew Prabuddha for very long, from the time when he was quite young and much before I enrolled for a photography course at Harvard. He was very dear and it feels awful right now to know he is gone," a teary-eyed Mira told PTI.
Fashion designers Rohit Bal and Ritu Kumar were in the audience listening to every eulogy that came out on the dais. Celebrated artist couple Subodh Gupta and wife Bharti Kher too came in to pay homage to the prominent photographer who in many ways "rewrote the grammar of fashion photography".
An audio-visual clip of Prabuddha's work was played on screen, where he said, "I want to have a long string of images held together by grace, because grace is that undefinable, non rational, non linear word that I am looking for."
Dasgupta had spent his childhood in the NGMA campus owing to his father, a noted sculptor himself, being the curator of the Gallery from 1957-70. "I came here to speak from the heart but I knew it would become impossible for me to talk here, so I wrote it down, but it still is from the heart. And, it is about my laid-back, little brother called 'Gutlu' with whom I played hide-and-seek and cricket in this Jaipur House (NGMA) campus only," said his elder brother Pradeep Dasgupta.
A group of young girls sang soulful pieces like 'Hallelujah' and other songs as an interlude, and after being exhorted by Nair, sang 'Imagine' also, to bring the evening to a close.
Mira Nair, Raghu Rai Pay Tribute to Prabuddha Dasgupta
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