The Story Of A Man Who Has Collected 1.5 Lakh Rare Photographs In The Last 40 Years
Everyone has a hobby. But how far does one take it?
Anand Kumar Bhowmick, started collecting photographs since his childhood and hit a whopping collection of 1,50,000 rare photographs. His journey continues. In a time where people are busy with snapchats and reality shows, here is a man who has taken time to document history, as it is, through his rare photograph collection.
“1977 is a very important year in my journey of photo collection. As Dr. MGR took oath as Tamil Nadu’s CM for the first time. His personality left a deep Impression on me and from that day I began collecting his Photographs.
Slowly, my interest expanded and I collected more of Cinema, Mahatma Gandhi,The father of our Nation,of Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose,India’s mighlty Soilder. I was drawn to the spirit of our Freedom Struggle.
We have a Plastic Company, Where we procure Raw material to make Toys. We had to transport material Bundles that weighed 25 Kilos & my Father used to give me 2 rupees for an Auto Rickshaw.
I’d Pocket that money and carry it in to my shoulders all the way. I collected all these photos on those small Savings.
Book Fairs. Wherever it happens in India I try to attend it. Through that I get access to Old photography Books,Information and Tips. I search and Buy old Magazines from moore market. In those Old Magazines I find and Collect Pictures.
Gandhi and His Dandi March. Bhagat Singh and His Uprising after the Jallian Wallah Bagh Tragedy. Uttam Singh and his story of revenge in London.
Nethaji and his travel around the world to over 40 countries to gather support and that’s when he met Hitler,and that’s a very rare Photograph.
People are unaware of such historical events, But how can awareness be created?
I tried to create exhibition oppurtunities but nothing worked out. Then I thought why should I hunt for a place to exhibit, I have my own shop and my own space infront. Why not make it my own exhibition space? Why not create an all year exhibition instead of one or two days in an Year?
Here I conduct an all year exhibition for people to view any time.That’s How my first exhibition started here. A photo reveals history we can observe the victories and trails from the point of time.
You don’t need education for this and that’s the power of photograph My favorites are MGR’s and Netaji’s,as they evoke so much happiness and pride in me.
For this oppurtunity to tell the stories of these heroes to the world I thank God and my self Confidence.”
During the 2015 Chennai floods, his shop took a massive hit and he lost a lot of his precious photos. But nothing drowned his spirit. He passionately continues search and collect more rare photos.
He takes pride in exhibiting them for free outside his shop and educating people about their history, everyday.
You can reach him at No 12 , Kasi Chetty Street , Sowcarpet, Chennai – 600079. Contact : 04425368785
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