Photographer Srinivasan Periathiruvadi's love for the mountains

The profoundness and magnitude of the force of nature that beckons and makes human beings feel miniscule runs deep in the captures by photographer Srinivasan Periathiruvadi

author_img Rupam Jain Published :  13th January 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  13th January 2023 12:00 AM
Durinar by Night

Durinar by Night

A physician in his early 70s, but with a passion for photography as young as when he was first enamoured by what the camera could create, ’s love for the Himalayas, for high altitudes is evident in his ongoing exhibition titled, Himalayan Moments.

“Photography was my childhood hobby; I later went on to develop my own dark room. I am self-taught. But unfortunately, I couldn’t really take it ahead. I had a gap of 20 years because of my professional commitments. However, in 2006, I was grounded at home because I had a tumour in my brain which needed to be operated. That phase kind of rekindled my passion and my serious indulgence with photography began,” he says.

In 2009, a friend of Srinivasan was going to the Annapurna base camp with his family for trekking. He insisted Srinivasan join them. “I was into wildlife photography then. But suddenly, my passion to look through the tunnelled vision of long lens changed and I loved enjoying things as eyes can see. When I went up there, it was love at first sight with the mountains, and I got into landscapes. Once that happened, in the last 13 years, I have been to the Himalayas close to 15 times, to different regions. I am again off on January 19 to the North West of Leh to do winter landscapes,” the photographer tells us.


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Over a period of time, Srinivasan has accumulated close to 13,000 images. And with the pandemic locking us in our homes, it gave him an opportunity to go through all the images. “This is my third solo exhibition. The first was in 2012 on wildlife; in 2016, it was on wild-scape (intermediate between wild and land). Then I wanted to go back to my love of the Himalayas. So I started relooking the images and picked 110 which I felt were good enough; I narrowed them down to 68, and that’s the time I was looking for a place to exhibit. I reached out to Ashwin E Rajagopalan, director of Ashvita’s Fine Arts and Gallery, and here I am with my exhibition of 38 images,” he says, adding, “I run an NGO (started in 1995) called Jeevan Blood Bank, now renamed as Jeevan Stem Cell Foundation to help children with blood cancer. As with with the previous two exhibitions, 30 percent of the proceeds will go for the cause.”

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Each picture displayed on the walls at the gallery have a stories to tell. But the photographer picks one of his favourites and begins to narrate. “In August 2021, we decided to trek up to the Kashmiri Himalayas. As we were going from level 2 to level 3, which is a steep climb, for the last 100 metres, I had to walk on moraine (glacier). At one point, I just slipped. Next thing I know, I was gliding down about 100 metres. Nobody could hear me because they were ahead of me. Fortunately, I found something to hold on to; I lay there like a lizard trying to make some noise. My friend Rahul heard it, found a suitable spot to put the rope and send somebody down to lift me up. And finally, I made it up to the top and captured Durinar by Night, among  other images. What happened subsequently was, our exit route was blocked because of heavy snow. We had to go down a vertical rock, which was wet and slippery, and then glide on the glacier for almost 10 minutes to come down to level 2. My trousers were torn, and there were seven people waiting down just to catch me. It was a scene straight out of a movie, the experience totally worth it.”

Alone at the Top

At Ashvita’s Gallery, Mylapore. Till January 14.