The Pushkar Fair is an annual five-day livestock fair held in the town of Pushkar the state of Rajasthan, India. Apart from the buying and selling of livestock, it has become an important destination for tourist & photographers. Thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats.The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow.
I’ve been going there from past three years but this year was slightly different due to the demonetisation of Re500/Re1000 note, people had got there livestock but there were hardly any buyers as the whole process started during the fair time so it was a mixed bag of emotions The overall excitement of sellers and exhibitors was low as this is their main source of income for the entire year.
More than their main priority of selling the livestock there was anxiety among people on how they’ll manage once they go back to their native towns which can range from 200-2000 miles with no money in their pockets.
The swings were almost deserted and the balloon rides were trying to recover the cost by lowering the price almost to half. But in between there were lot of uncanny moments which I witnessed and they appeared to be larger than life.
There was no short supply of onlookers and window shoppers and they all wanted to experience the vibe of the place which was there but one could sense the disappointment in their eyes. Through my images, I’ve tried to portray a balance of the expanse of the fair while at the same time the underlined low emotion, which all the buyers & sellers faced this time.
Pushkar being a spiritual place for so many, so one can’t help but miss it’s ambience, it bustles with energy and the colours that stand out against the backdrop of desert, though there was a riot of colours but the serenity & tranquility I’ve experienced here over the years was totally amiss to me, so I decided to immerse myself in the winding alleyways and even bump into a stray horse or two which were let off by the owners coz they didn’t have enough money to take them back home. But we are Indians and have strong resilience as this move will eventually take us all towards a better future, next year we’ll all witness the joy and the true spirit of the fair.
Born in Delhi, India I did a master’s in fine arts from the prestigious College of Arts, I am a self-taught photographer and street photography is a passion that I live like a discipline. Although I started shooting as a wild life photographer for two years I switched on to street in 2001 and instantly became my passion and my first nature. In 2011 I formed APF (artphotofeature.com) along with my brother, Rohit Vohra, who is also a street photographer. APF is born from an education imperative, it’s an evolving magazine where we recognise fresh talent. The intent is to provide a platform for emerging photographers, artists and designers to showcase their works, works that are not necessarily commercial, to create opportunities and open new doors.
To know more about Vineet’s work, please visit his official website.