A short story and photo essay from Indian photographer Sohrab Hura.
The sound of the cage crashing to the ground tore through the house. The crow had escaped. A light came on, and on the bed Madhu tottered from left to right trying to find her head. Her hands clasped at the smooth top of her torso, her fingers feeling for any trace of a stump of a head before falling still for a moment and then again repeating the motion, frantically. Even now she kept forgetting that she did not have a head. It had already been a year. An obsessive lover had stolen it while she had fallen asleep to the rumble of the waves outside. She should have seen it coming. The fortuneteller had warned her that it would hap – pen, and there had been other signs too. Every time he made love to her he bit her really hard. It wasn’t something unusual for a man to do, but with him it was different. He would try to tear the flesh off her breasts and when he didn’t manage, he would smile and say, “I just wanted a piece of you so that I wouldn’t miss you when I leave”, and then he would slip the money down beside her.
It was a hot and sweaty night. The wind had strangely stopped blowing in the evening and with it the sea had died. Madhu rubbed the sweat off her body. The day had been long and boring. An idiot of a photographer had come over from the nearby city of Chennai. He had heard about this woman who had lost her head and wanted to take photographs of her. He had said that he wanted to take photographs of all the wonderful and vicious things that happened along the Indian coastline and that he had started on his way through Tamil Nadu. “Why on Earth would anybody waste his time on something like that? Anyway he had a strange accent,” she thought. (by Sohrab Hura)
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Sohrab Hura is a young Indian photographer, from a small place called Chinsurah in West Bengal. Trained as an economist, he gradually turned to photography, shooting his immediate surroundings, family and close friends, simply “making photographs just for the love of making photographs”. Eventually, he made the leap to photography as his main occupation and became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2014. He is currently the coordinator of the Anjali House children’s photography workshop that takes place during the Angkor Photo Festival, Cambodia every year and his home base is New Delhi, India.