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#RSqShowcase // Urban Sadhu, A Photo Essay

Advertising chief Sumanto Chattopadhyay and photographer Sharmishtha Dutta travel together to create a beautiful photo essay about the duality of spirituality.

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Urban Sadhu By Sumanto Chattopadhyay & Sharmistha Dutta

It started with the void:
The emptiness I felt within.
And yearned to fill.
Could I do so
by walking away from it all?
But to walk away
one must walk towards something.
Towards what? Awareness?

Photo credit: Sharmistha Dutta

Misused word.
Abused word. Delete. Reset.
Simplify thoughts.
Clarify ideas.
I started again.
Redefined my journey
As a search for a place
where there is something
bigger than I, me, myself.

Photo credit: Sharmistha Dutta

Wandering aimlessly
gave me an aim.
I felt compelled to raise
my chin, my knees,
my altitude.
Up in the mountains,
things seem clearer.
One’s ego is dwarfed
by the scale of Nature.
You are infinitesimal.
But, could it be,
that you are also one
with the infinite?
Not greater, not lesser?

Photo credit: Sharmistha Dutta

But which path to take?
Should I be a sadhu?
Meditate to liberate the self?
Look for the guru
with the right mantra?
Seek the echo of Om that vibrates
with the essential me?
Should I renounce
the worldly life?
Be a spiritual warrior?
An ascetic in search
of enlightenment?

Photo credit: Sharmistha Dutta

Should I light up,
cry Bom Shiva,
as I vanish behind
a cloud of smoke?
Alter the mind?
Reach an understanding?
Am I capable of living
a life of austerity?
Do I need to?
Between epicureanism
and asceticism,
is there not a middle path to take?

Photo credit: Sharmistha Dutta

To reach a place
where I may fill the void I feel?
Or at least realise
that the emptiness is imaginary?
That it is my fullness
that is real?
More questions than answers.
And yet,
a glimmer of understanding.
A shimmer of hope.
It breaks through
the clouds of my thoughts.
If but for a moment,
I spy the light. Within.

Concept & Photography: Sharmistha Dutta
Writer & Model: Sumanto Chattopadhyay

Sumanto Chattopadhyay’s day job is that of Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Soho Square. Over the years he has won many international advertising awards at Cannes and elsewhere. He is also passionate about writing, acting and photography.
Sharmistha Dutta, an advertising alumn, counts Durga, a photo project on Gender bias and social discrimination against widows in India as her most prominent work. It has been exhibited at various International Photo festivals and has been published as a photo book in 2016.

RSq Showcase is a Runway Square concept that provides a platform to creative professionals to showcase their work. You could be an established photographer/ fashion stylist/ makeup artist/ hair stylist/ actor or an upcoming indie filmmaker who would like to take your non-commercial conceptual shoots to a larger audience. Write to us, and if we like what we see, we would be happy to give it a home on Runway Square. All rights to work posted under #RSQShowcase belongs to the artists mentioned under credits.
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