Journey of the indian woman by Lopamudra Talukdar

India is a country in a hurry, a country everyone is waking up to and taking notice of. While our scientists are reaching out to the moon our industrialists are taking the world by storm with major acquisitions.

India is a country in a hurry, a country everyone is waking up to and taking notice of.

While our scientists are reaching out to the moon our industrialists are taking the world by storm with major acquisitions.

But has the core of the country really changed? Or has the chasm between the urban and rural grown wider? Are some age old prejudices still holding India back? What about the women? Well, what about them? Are they on an even keel with their male counterparts? Are they the flag bearers of the modern India we are so proud to project? Are those news of persecution of women in India just a blip on the radar?
As a woman photographer, criss crossing the country, these questions and many others have haunted me for long. While the urban, educated women like me are a privileged lot (and rightly so) the rural women have mostly been left far behind. During my numerous travels to the rural hinterland of India, I have been moved by their plight, their despair. This photo story is an honest attempt to document the life of the rural women in India, from her early life as a child, growing up in a largely male dominated society, getting married and beginning a new life forging new relations, the cultures and traditions that are part of her everyday life. Then one day laughter and colour is snatched out of her life as she loses the man of the house, becomes a widow. Life becomes a series of dull, repetitive, monochrome moments. I have tried to encapsulate her journey through a whole gamut of emotions, from moments of joy, affection, exhilaration, love to those of grief, despair, sorrow and isolation.

01
Religion is ingrained into the life of a girl child at a very tender age. From this moment onwards, all she does is dictated by her religious belief.

02
The life of a young girl is usually full of colour and laughter…. and innocence. They know not what awaits them, if fate so decides.

03
For a teenage girl in rural India, while the thought of impending marriage is never too far away, she is still enjoying her moments of festivities with her friends and family. Life is still kind to them.. but for how long?

For a young girl in male dominated rural India, life is not a bed of roses. There is danger lurking at the corner as some of the recent news stories have brought to light. She’s still smiling .. but for how long?
For a young girl in male dominated rural India, life is not a bed of roses. There is danger lurking at the corner as some of the recent news stories have brought to light. She’s still smiling .. but for how long?

Marriage in rural India is a life changing event for a young girl. The journey to her husbands home cannot be measured in terms of distance covered. It usually means being uprooted from ones own family and adjusting into a new one. For some, the transition is smooth and pain free while some others need to compromise and adjust in the new household.
Marriage in rural India is a life changing event for a young girl. The journey to her husbands home cannot be measured in terms of distance covered. It usually means being uprooted from ones own family and adjusting into a new one. For some, the transition is smooth and pain free while some others need to compromise and adjust in the new household.

The journey of the Indian woman, just married, continues into the house of her husband, getting to know the in-laws, forming new equations and learning to constantly adjust to the new household. Married life typically means introduction to religious rituals, mostly with the women folk in the family as the husband is usually conspicuous by his absence.
The journey of the Indian woman, just married, continues into the house of her husband, getting to know the in-laws, forming new equations and learning to constantly adjust to the new household. Married life typically means introduction to religious rituals, mostly with the women folk in the family as the husband is usually conspicuous by his absence.

Diya or the earthen light is an integral part of an Indian woman’s religious rituals.
Diya or the earthen light is an integral part of an Indian woman’s religious rituals.

As one settles down in her married life, building relationship and understanding with the in-laws is the key to a happy existence in what is still an essentially a joint family.
As one settles down in her married life, building relationship and understanding with the in-laws is the key to a happy existence in what is still an essentially a joint family.

09

While public display of affection is still largely a taboo in the rural hinterland, that does not mean that the husbands do not care. A rare tender moment in a couples life.
While public display of affection is still largely a taboo in the rural hinterland, that does not mean that the husbands do not care. A rare tender moment in a couples life.

Her religious upbringing from a tender age comes handy in the new arrangement as she prays for her family.
Her religious upbringing from a tender age comes handy in the new arrangement as she prays for her family.

The largely colourless life of the Indian rural women becomes a riot of colour whenever a festival comes along, specially if it is Holi. For once, the spirit is up and the guard is down. They know not what lies ahead but for this day everything else can wait.

13

14
The largely colourless life of the Indian rural women becomes a riot of colour whenever a festival comes along, specially if it is Holi. For once, the spirit is up and the guard is down. They know not what lies ahead but for this day everything else can wait.

The topsy turvy life of the quintessential Indian woman almost comes to a screeching halt when she loses her husband. In our society, specially in the rural areas, widow is still a dirty word and becoming one is a double misfortune - losing the man of the house and becoming a social pariah. All the colour is soaked out of her life, quite literally so. A journey has come to an end and a new journey awaits.
The topsy turvy life of the quintessential Indian woman almost comes to a screeching halt when she loses her husband. In our society, specially in the rural areas, widow is still a dirty word and becoming one is a double misfortune – losing the man of the house and becoming a social pariah. All the colour is soaked out of her life, quite literally so. A journey has come to an end and a new journey awaits.

As the fire burns on the pyre, the bed for the woman will never be the same again. As per the Hindu tradition, the bed has a special symbolic presence in a death.
As the fire burns on the pyre, the bed for the woman will never be the same again. As per the Hindu tradition, the bed has a special symbolic presence in a death.

Becoming a widow is still a curse in the rural Indian society. It is as if, the light and the laughter has been snatched from her life, overnight she becomes a social pariah. Her once colourful existence is suddenly devoid of colour. Even today, many Hindu women, no matter how young or old they are, leave a secluded colourless life in the dark alleys of Mathura, Vrindavan and Varanasi. They dress in white, cut their hair short and stay away from all social and religious activities.
Becoming a widow is still a curse in the rural Indian society. It is as if, the light and the laughter has been snatched from her life, overnight she becomes a social pariah. Her once colourful existence is suddenly devoid of colour. Even today, many Hindu women, no matter how young or old they are, leave a secluded colourless life in the dark alleys of Mathura, Vrindavan and Varanasi. They dress in white, cut their hair short and stay away from all social and religious activities.

18

19

Amidst all the despair and the gloom, perhaps all in not lost. There are still good samaritans who have in recent years tried to brighten at least one day in their dull life by bringing many of them together to celebrate the festival of colour - Holi. I was fortunate enough to be a witness to one such celebration, where the widows throw themselves with unrestrained vigour at the colours being sprayed all around. For a few hours they forget who they are, how they have lived a confined life for years but soak in the festivities all around. Life comes a full circle for them.
Amidst all the despair and the gloom, perhaps all in not lost. There are still good samaritans who have in recent years tried to brighten at least one day in their dull life by bringing many of them together to celebrate the festival of colour – Holi. I was fortunate enough to be a witness to one such celebration, where the widows throw themselves with unrestrained vigour at the colours being sprayed all around. For a few hours they forget who they are, how they have lived a confined life for years but soak in the festivities all around. Life comes a full circle for them.

21

23

24

About Lopamudra Talukdar

During the first 40 years Lopamudra’s life Photography was never a priority for her. In fact she was more comfortable posing in front of a camera than being behind it. She had done her Masters in Zoology from Calcutta University and then settled down in the ‘City of Joy’ as a home maker. However things changed in 2010 when her husband handed her over his camera gears which were gathering dust and she was asked to make best use of it. In retrospect, few things helped her at that point. From a very young age painting came naturally to her and with it, a sense of composition. Her father was into graphic designing and his library was filled with books on photography, art and designs. As a young girl they fascinated Lopamudra and she realise played a part in her photography journey in the later years. It also helped that she is an avid traveller. There are always a dozen places on her bucket list and when she is not working on her photography, she would be planning a new trip. She likes to describe herself as a travel and documentary photographer.

3 comments

Comments are closed.

More Stories

Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

The physical presence of blood and flesh is felt in nature as well as material substances also. If the skin cover is eliminated from all living beings, what we see? Blood and flesh is visible in the innermost part of every living body.
The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

It is a metaphorical and allegorical journey through my self, but at the same time it is a universal story through metaphors and symbols, everyone can try to find themselves in these photos.
Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

This body of work originates from a series of Polaroid SX70 self-portraits made during a daily practice from 1979 to late 1987. Crisis of Experience is the result of an eight-year project exploring themes of self-reflection and female identity using the mechanics of seriality.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Interview with Riccardo Magherini; published in our print edition #19

Interview with Riccardo Magherini; published in our print edition #19

Riccardo Magherini is a photographer and visual artist. By approaching his medium in innovative ways, Riccardo often challenges human perception, condition and context. 
From three to twelve by Tatiana Kireicheva

From three to twelve by Tatiana Kireicheva

This story is dedicated to my father: for 40 years he lived in two houses - in Russia and the USA. He migrated when he was very young, received US citizenship and was practically unable to return to Russia (due to legal, political and other circumstances).
November Light by Kip Harris

November Light by Kip Harris

The light in November is very different in Milan and Florence than it is in Rome. The warm amber glow of the eternal city does not penetrate that far north.

Featured Stories

Happy Kids by De Westelinck Smith

Happy Kids by De Westelinck Smith

This serie is about well dressed kids who seem to live in an decade some time before ours. Mostly they are emotionless with hint of melancholy, put into a scenery that often feels different.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Dreamland; Tale of the blue pear by Nikolina Petolas

Dreamland; Tale of the blue pear by Nikolina Petolas

Tale of the blue pear; Nikolina Petolas’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. The series present a search for our own essence, which is embodied in the shape of a pear, in different color and sizes, which can be found in the majority of her artworks.
The Nenets by Sara Bianchi

The Nenets by Sara Bianchi

The Nenets are an ethnic minority with fewer than 50.000 people dedicated to reindeer breeding. They live in Yamal peninsula, Siberia. Yamal in the language of the indigenous means "the end of the world"
Altitude by Hengki Koentjoro

Altitude by Hengki Koentjoro

It’s one of the utmost forms of joy in life: the delight of waking up in the youngest hour of the morning, racing with the break of dawn to ascend the height of the earth.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Because of my short career as photographer, my portfolio is mainly practice material and shot close to my home. Finding the beauty in things you see every day, requires me to see things in a different perspective and develop myself.
Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Those Kabuki players seen in the photographs are not with the mainstream Kabuki companies in Tokyo. They are with localized small groups located in various parts of Japan.
Fake by Matilde Pernille

Fake by Matilde Pernille

The next ten years I photographed myself and my friends growing into adults. When I turned 16 I got my first DSLR and started taking more professional portraits too. This led the way to more abstract photography, but I never stopped documenting my life.
Descendants of Samurai Ryotaro Horiuchi

Descendants of Samurai Ryotaro Horiuchi

In the Soma region of Fukushima prefecture, there is a traditional Samurai festival called “Soma Nomaoi”, which is said to have continued for more than 1000 years.
Gotham Visions; Second City by Emmanuelle Becker

Gotham Visions; Second City by Emmanuelle Becker

Gotham Visions / Second City is a portfolio of stylish, unsettling urban landscapes, a collection of dark, brooding night scenes shot in seemingly lifeless cities. Emmanuelle Becker’s imagery is cinematic and particularly influenced by American film noir and German expressionist cinema.
Mike Ruiz, The photographer to the stars

Mike Ruiz, The photographer to the stars

Ruiz, who is of French Canadian and Filipino-Spanish ancestry,was born in Montreal in 1964, but raised in Repentigny, Quebec, Canada.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Love for dinner by Tomassco

Love for dinner by Tomassco

Tomassco-a fashion photographer, born in a small town of Kelme in Lithuania. Discovered an interest in photography at 10, shooting friends and first selfies.
Between Intervals by Maren Klemp

Between Intervals by Maren Klemp

My goal with this project is to raise awareness of mental health. "Between Intervals" is a plunge into the darker sides of the human mind, and the photographs are visual representations of conditions associated with mental illness.
Alternative family album by Frank Rodick

Alternative family album by Frank Rodick

These images are part of what I’ve called an “alternative family album.” With one exception, I constructed each work using vernacular photographs from archives discovered after my parents’ deaths.
The time of water by Daria Nazarova

The time of water by Daria Nazarova

The past of my family is connected with the places where the Rybinsk reservoir is now located.Between years 1937 and 1941 more than 130,000 people were forced to leave their properties. Stone and old houses were destroyed and burned, the rest were dismantled and transported to new places.
Correfoc by Adam Buczek

Correfoc by Adam Buczek

Correfoc can be considered one of the most dangerous festivals on the planet where thousands of people gather on a hot summer day and parade tiny streets of Catalan cities while being sprayed with fire. The spectators are trying to get as close as possible to the fire in order to be cleansed.
Northeast India: Ordinary Realities of an Exotic Land  by Adish Baruah

Northeast India: Ordinary Realities of an Exotic Land by Adish Baruah

A mention of India’s northeast instinctively brings to mind the pristine beauty of its landscapes, its fascinating valley and hill tribes, the vibrancy of their cultures and the socio-political unrest.
Old Dhaka By Mushfiqur Rahman

Old Dhaka By Mushfiqur Rahman

Old Dhaka is the most crowded and oldest part of Dhaka city, always on its toes, in a boisterous way. Chaotically beautiful!! I found that spite, that vigor for life, that chaos in Old Dhaka; the kind of chaos that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable but rather invites you to immerse in life whole heartedly.
China culture : Teahouse by Thomas Phoon

China culture : Teahouse by Thomas Phoon

Ancient Chinese scholars used the teahouse as a place for sharing ideas. The teahouse was a place where political allegiances and social rank were said to have been temporarily suspended in favour of an honest and rational discourse.
Solaris by Roberto De Mitri

Solaris by Roberto De Mitri

There are places that emerge in front of us as a direct expression of our own mood. Nature becomes a manifestation and pure expression of our own feelings, transcending the materiality of the elements that compose it.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.