Profiling the Unseen is published as a photobook in Taiwan!

Hello fellow Glimpses readers 🙂

My project “Profiling the Unseen” was picked up by a publisher in Taipei and will be published as a photobook in Taiwan in the coming weeks. Check out the book cover below!

img_2797

I will update this space once I have the link to order the book.

Also, to stay updated with my future projects, do leave your email ID below. I’m also putting together some videos with some of the people who have been featured in the book so if you’re interested in those, do share your email!

Advertisements

Profiling the Unseen – New Delhi Edition – I

The last leg of this project, I’ll be sharing snippets from conversations with some of the people I met in New Delhi, India.

  1. Meet Kaalu, who works as a cobbler in New Delhi, India
Profiling the unseen

Kaalu works as a cobbler, on a street corner in New Delhi, India. At just 26 years of age, Kaalu is a master of his craft. So much so that many of his loyal customers save their shoes to be repaired by him, whenever they’re visiting the city from other cities and even other countries!
It is a hard job. Delhi heats can go up to more than 100 degrees, while winters can go down to 40 degrees. Despite the extreme weather, Kaalu seems happy that he is able to earn a sustained living.
His deepest desire is that things continue to go well and nothing untoward happens.

2. Meet Ramakant, who makes “Jalebis in New Delhi, India

Profiling the unseen Delhi India

Ramakant owns a sweet shop in an old part of Delhi called “Chandni Chowk”. He makes sweets called “Jalebis”. In fact, his version of the Jalebi is so big and juicy that it’s referred to as a “Jaleba”. Notice the spelling change 🙂
Ramakant’s sweets are famous among his customers and he has many loyal fans. The art of making a delicious jaleba runs in his family. In fact, he carefully selects apprentices. Only the select few get to learn the craft from him
Worth a try if you ever visit Delhi.

3. Meet Asif, who collects waste material for recycling in New Delhi, India

Profiling the unseen Delhi India

Asif buys scrap from people that can be recycled. People give him stuff like newspapers, books, plastic, metallic items, electronics, etc.
Asif really wants to grow his business but doesn’t know how to do so. He has simple questions such as where can he get a loan from, that too in a way that he is not cheated? Can he make more money with his existing resources?
Asif typifies small entrepreneurs in India, in need of basic knowledge and resources to help them grow and succeed. Someone who can answer their simple questions.

Profiling the Unseen – San Francisco Edition – I

I’m continuing my photo series in San Francisco. This project is turning out to be a great way to see different parts of the city and meet new people – even though I live here!

It’s been gratifying when people have shared a little bit about themselves with me. Eye opening to learn about the kind of challenges they face. And inspiring to see how almost everyone around us has dreams.

My first post for San Francisco profiles a Bart Station Manager, a Painter, and a “Guy behind the Ticket Counter at a Theater”.

1. Meet Sarah, who works as a Bart Station Manager

San Francisco

Sarah is one of those people that we see in the glass cabins at Bart stations. She describes experience in her cabin “a little like being in a fishbowl”! Sarah enjoys helping customers, especially tourists who’re new to the city and don’t know their way around.
Sarah meets all kinds of customers. There are nice ones like the guy who worked at an Italian restaurant and was a regular commuter, and who brought her food one day to say thanks for her help! However, there are the not-so-nice ones too. Many are rude to her, and even cuss at times. Many people try to scam others by selling fake tickets. And then there are those that try to get on the train without paying.
Sarah isn’t sure what she wants to do later in life yet. But lately she’s becoming interested in politics. She thinks she would want to be involved with Social Justice one day.

2. Meet Seren, a budding Painter 

San Francisco

Seren is all of 26 and has already made significant strides as a painter. While she works part time as an interior designer, her heart lies in painting. As she speaks passionately about her desire to have the viewer “think about what her painting means”, it is clear this is her first love.
Born as a creative child, Seren’s memories of her first piece of art is a drawing of a bunch of fairies at school. While other girls at school made fun of her drawing, her mom made sure Seren didn’t give up. An artist at heart herself, Seren’s mother has had a big influence on Seren’s art.

San Francisco

While Seren has recently bagged a place in an Art show in Miami, being a painter has its challenges. Money is a problem. Lack of validation is another.
Yet, Seren works hard and remains hopeful. Her dream? To make enough from her Art to be able to do Art. Now isn’t that awesome? 🙂

3. Meet Zac, who works at the ticket counter of a small theater

San Francisco

Zac works behind the ticket counter of one of those quaint theaters that one can still find in some parts of the city. I caught up with him during his lunch break.

San Francisco

Zac is currently studying film making. He has been a fan of movies since childhood and loves Steven Spielberg as a director. He imagines himself to be a great movie director like Spielberg one day. In fact, he thinks he would be a very “involved” director who would want creative control over every single aspect of his movie.
While he understands it’s hard to make it big in Hollywood, Zac remains optimistic. He has already found a great course in London to pursue further study in film making. His dream is to direct a horror movie one day.

 

Profiling the Unseen – Taipei Edition – VI

Today’s post profiles people from very different walks of life – a dumplings cook, a luggage check person at the Taipei museum, and the owner of an organic rice and beans farm.

16. Meet Mr. Chong and Ms. Chung, chefs at a small dumplings place in Taipei

Mr. Chong has been working at this tiny dumplings place for the last 8 years. Starting out as a cook, he now manages this place that is a haven for dumpling lovers like myself.

Mr. Chong has been working at this tiny dumplings place for the last 8 years. Starting out as a cook, he now manages this place that is a haven for dumpling lovers like myself.

Miss Chung has been working here for only a few months. She learnt how to make dumplings by simply watching how others were doing it.

Miss Chung has been working here for only a few months. She learnt how to make dumplings by simply watching how others were doing it.

As expected, like many Taiwanese who dream of being “their own boss”, Ms. Chong wants to open her own dumplings restaurant one day.

As expected, like many Taiwanese who dream of being “their own boss”, Ms. Chong wants to open her own dumplings restaurant one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Meet Ms. Yie-Uh-Hwang, who works at the luggage check at the National Palace Museum

Ms. Hwang has been working at the museum for more than 11 years. She joined in the beginning as a cleaning lady, as a way to support her family. Her boss however has been very kind to her. Despite being only an elementary school graduate, he has taught her to use the computer and been very supportive. Now she is able to sell tickets as well as help customers at the luggage check. She owes a lot to this job – it has allowed her to support and provide well for her family. She is proud of herself as in her generation in Taiwan, most women cannot say the same.  One of her grandchildren is about to get married now. She is happy.

Ms. Hwang has been working at the museum for more than 11 years. She joined in the beginning as a cleaning lady, as a way to support her family.
Her boss however has been very kind to her. Despite being only an elementary school graduate, he has taught her to use the computer and been very supportive.
Now she is able to sell tickets as well as help customers at the luggage check.
She owes a lot to this job – it has allowed her to support and provide well for her family. She is proud of herself as in her generation in Taiwan, most women cannot say the same.
One of her grandchildren is about to get married now. She is happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Meet Ms. Yi Ling Chen and her son Yong Tien, owners of a rice and beans farm

Ms. Chen and her husband own a rice and beans farm. While they had a vegetable farm 3 years back, they moved to rice and beans when they saw the heavy trend towards importing these grains in Taiwan.  Ms. Chen and her family’s goal is to provide high quality grains to the people of Taiwan, and ensure that they can lead healthy lives. They rely purely on word of mouth marketing. A recent article in the newspaper about them helped get a lot of customers and create further awareness. As can be seen, her son Yong Tien, who is just 2 years and 7 months old, is getting trained in the family business starting from a very young age.

Ms. Chen and her husband own a rice and beans farm. While they had a vegetable farm 3 years back, they moved to rice and beans when they saw the heavy trend towards importing these grains in Taiwan.
Ms. Chen and her family’s goal is to provide high quality grains to the people of Taiwan, and ensure that they can lead healthy lives.
They rely purely on word of mouth marketing. A recent article in the newspaper about them helped get a lot of customers and create further awareness.
As can be seen, her son Yong Tien, who is just 2 years and 7 months old, is getting trained in the family business starting from a very young age.

Profiling the Unseen – Taipei Edition – V

Every once in a while, you come across those who love what they do. I met some people like that through this project. Allow me to introduce three of them today.

13. Meet Rock, a magician in Taipei

Rock is perhaps one of the few magicians still existing in Taiwan. He has been practicing magic for the last 10 years. He got into magic after watching videos of great magic performances.

Rock is perhaps one of the few magicians still existing in Taiwan. He has been practicing magic for the last 10 years. He got into magic after watching videos of great magic performances.

 

His favorite part of doing magic? It is the moment when the viewer experiences shock and surprise and expresses his wonderment at what just happened.

His favorite part of doing magic? It is the moment when the viewer experiences shock and surprise and expresses his wonderment at what just happened.

 

Rock does not perform magic for putting on a show. His goal is only to teach children this slowly dying art form. He can teach simple tricks in as less as three minutes.

Rock does not perform magic for putting on a show. His goal is only to teach children this slowly dying art form. He can teach simple tricks in as less as three minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Meet Jane, who works part time at the Taipei Public Library

Jane does a number of things at the Taipei Public Library – she maintains book records, she issues books, she takes care of returns, and generally makes sure everything is in order. She is also a student of Library and Information Science, which is why she started working at the library part time.  She loves her job. She got into this because she loves reading – detective novels and books on finance and economics are her favorite. Her favorite part about this job is when children come to reserve books. She enjoys seeing them interested in reading. However, there are also times when customers are rude to her, especially when she asks them to return overdue books. Jane is another example of exemplary Taiwanese kindness. She came all the way outside the library, just so I could photograph her, since photography is not allowed inside the library. She wants to become a reference librarian eventually. She will stock the best books in science, economics, fashion, and all subjects possible.

Jane does a number of things at the Taipei Public Library – she maintains book records, she issues books, she takes care of returns, and generally makes sure everything is in order.
She is also a student of Library and Information Science, which is why she started working at the library part time.
She loves her job. She got into this because she loves reading – detective novels and books on finance and economics are her favorite. Her favorite part about this job is when children come to reserve books. She enjoys seeing them interested in reading. 
She wants to become a reference librarian eventually. She will stock the best books in science, economics, fashion, and all subjects possible.

 

15. Meet Mr. Lai, who works as a Tailor in Taipei

Mr. Lai has been working as a tailor since he was 13 years old. Since he did not want to study, his father asked him to pick up a skill instead. Mr. Lai can fix anything – clothes, bags, belts, etc. He believes in the importance of finding the right man for every job. “Just like you need the right doctor when you’re sick, you need the right man when you need to fix something. I am that man”, he says. “He can even fix leather pants for Harley Davidson riders,” he laughs and tells me.

Mr. Lai has been working as a tailor since he was 13 years old. Since he did not want to study, his father asked him to pick up a skill instead.
Mr. Lai can fix anything – clothes, bags, belts, etc. He believes in the importance of finding the right man for every job. “Just like you need the right doctor when you’re sick, you need the right man when you need to fix something. I am that man”, he says. “He can even fix leather pants for Harley Davidson riders,” he laughs and tells me.

 

He is 73. Yet he works till 2:00am every day. In this age of technology, his customers post about him on FaceBook and Line, and that gets him enough word of mouth marketing. Mr. Lai ruminates how lesser and lesser people in Taiwan want to become tailors. It is cheaper to buy new clothes than to get them fixed, and youngsters don't have the patience to spend 4 years learning the skill, well.

He is 73. Yet he works till 2:00am every day.
In this age of technology, his customers post about him on FaceBook and Line, and that gets him enough word of mouth marketing.
Mr. Lai ruminates how lesser and lesser people in Taiwan want to become tailors. It is cheaper to buy new clothes than to get them fixed, and youngsters don’t have the patience to spend 4 years learning the skill, well.