September 29, 2015

At around 10:30 that Tuesday morning, my phone began to ring with messages about the killing of a man in Dadri in Gautam Budh Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh. As I usually do, I immediately called up my sources for confirmation. The report was authentic. It had happened late the previous night at Dadri’s Bisada village, a mere forty kilometers away from the national capital, New Delhi. A two-hundred-strong mob had gathered outside the house of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was among a handful of Muslim residents of Bisada, after an announcement was made at the local temple that he had slaughtered a cow and consumed beef.

I immediately left for Dadri. Upon reaching Uncha Gaon village, a...

May 12, 2015

It was two o’clock on a hot afternoon. I was working on a routine assignment in Noida, at the outskirts of New Delhi, when I suddenly felt the earth shake. It was a pretty jarring earthquake, felt strongly all across north India. Soon after, I was informed that its epicenter was in Nepal. It was the second deadly earthquake after the first one, of 7.8 magnitude, that had devastated the country on April 25, 2015. Half an hour later, I got a call from the National photo-editor of Hindustan Times, Gurinder Osan, asking me if I was ready to travel to Nepal for the second time in the same week. (I had recently returned after an unofficial trip to cover the aftermath of the first earthquake.)

I rea...

September 6, 2010

The day was proceeding lazily, like any other day in Srinagar, with sighs and repetitions. In the late afternoon, I heard news of firing and killings at a place called Pattan, thirty-five kilometers away. It didn’t immediately strike me as anything new or remarkable. Some more people dead, another report of violence, another family mourning their loved ones. Little did I know what I was going to witness would leave an indelible imprint on my mind forever.

Some time later, I received a phone-call from a journalist friend telling me that the victims would be shifted to the government hospital in Srinagar. Slinging a camera on my shoulder, I quickly made up my mind to visit the hospital. A crowd...

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