Monday, January 29, 2018

At his recent exhibition, photographer Radhesh Rajappan has focused on horses

By Shevlin Sebastian

Photos. Radhesh Rajappan at the exhibition (by Albin Mathew); the daughter of Music; horses 

At 2 a.m. on a Friday, photographer Radhesh Rajappan received a phone call at his home in Dubai. The veterinarian Dr Sultan Mohammed, at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, said, “Come quickly. The mare is about to give birth.”

So Radhesh jumped out of bed but, by the time he reached the club, 58 kms away, the mare, Selha, had given birth. Immediately, the doctor said, “Please don't shoot now. The foal will feel very nervous.”

When Radhesh tried to enter the stable, Selha neighed her disapproval. So Radhesh waited outside. And he saw the wondrous sight of the foal running around the mare, then stopping to suckle, then running around again. Finally, at 3.30 p.m., when Selha felt comfortable, Radhesh stepped in. By 4.30 p.m., he started shooting. And then he got the prized photo of Selha nuzzling the foal, as it stood next to her.

This picture can be seen in the 'Land And Life' photography exhibition which was held recently at the Durbar Hall, Kochi. In another photo, there is an image of a horse, with sleek chestnut hair, nibbling in a field of grass, with several trees on the perimeter. Thanks to the early morning sunlight, the skin is glowing. “This horse's mother's name is Music,” says Radhesh. “She is so beautiful that people call her the 'Aishwarya Rai' among horses. Now, observers are saying that her child is going to be as beautiful as the mother.”

Radheesh, who grew up in Kochi, used to go on horse rides at the Bolgatty Palace, a tourist site. “I became fascinated by horses,” he says. “The horse is a graceful animal. It has energy and power.”

He always had an interest in photography. But it was only in 2013, when he joined a photography club called Shutterbug in Dubai that his interested deepened.

One day, the group had gone to a farm, 50 kms from Dubai to take photos of birds. He was returning with a friend, Nishtha, who asked whether they could drive through unknown roads. “She wanted to explore space,” says Radheesh. “So I agreed. I was in no hurry. It was a holiday. But by going down a particular road, we came in front of the Royal Equestrian Centre. There was a statue of a horse. We decided to check it out.”

That was when Radhesh realised that there were hundreds of horses in residence. Soon, he began taking pics. When Mohammed Arfan Asif [Shutterbug founder and noted photographer] saw these photos, he told Radhesh horses should be his lifelong subject. “So I decided to focus on them,” says Radhesh. 

Asked about the character of horses, he says, “They are just like human beings. Each is different from the other. For example, if there are four stallions, one could be aggressive, the next one relaxed, the third one will bite you, and the fourth will kick you.”

Interestingly, all of them do not like human beings. “If there is a human being within the vicinity, the horses feel alarmed,” says Radhesh. “They don't like the smell of the soap, perfume or the clothes we are wearing. We don't have a natural smell, so they stay away.”

The only way is to earn their trust. For that, on his weekly Friday holiday, Radhesh spends more than ten hours in the stables. “After a few hours, I place some oats in my palm,” says Radhesh. “Then I would wait till the horse came and ate it from my palm. Some would come within an hour, while others took as long as a week. But the moment they ate from your palm, a friendship developed.”

But in order to ensure everything goes well, Radhesh has learnt to closely observe the eyes. When it looks relaxed, then it is safe to take pictures. 

And all along, he has been guided by Lorenzo, a third-generation trainer from Argentina. “Lorenzo began working in the stables from the age of five,” says Radhesh. “He loves horses more than his family. If he does not go to the stable every day, he feels unwell.”

Not surprisingly, Radhesh's photo of the Argentinian, shows the latter, with one hand on the neck of a retired horse called Palmereta, while the other hand caresses the area below the mouth. Both look serene.

Horses have changed me as a person,” he says. “Earlier, I was very aggressive, but nowadays I have calmed down and become a more accepting person. And when you interact with horses, you feel renewed energy. They are God's wonderful creatures.” 

(A shorter version was published in Sunday Magazine, The New Indian Express, South India and Delhi)

#RadheshRajappan #GhantootRacing&PoloClub #Shutterbug #MohammedArfanAsif

1 comment:

  1. شركات عزل خزانات المياه من الداخل بالرياض
    أما العزل السلبي فلا يتم استخدامه إلا إذا فشل العزل السلبي وفيها يتم عزل المياه من الناحية المعاكسة لوجهة خروج الماء من الخزان.
    شركات عزل خزانات بالرياض
    ويعتبر الخزان الخرساني هو أكثر أنواع الخزانات التي تحتاج إلى عزل داخلي.
    شركة تنظيف خزانات المياه بالرياض
    عزل خزانات المياه بعد التليس من الداخل
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    مواد عزل خزانات المياه
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    هناك العديد من طرق عزل الاسطح و المواد الواجب توافرها حتى يتم عزل خزان المياه من الداخل ومن الخارج عزلا صحيحا وناجحا.
    شركات عزل خزانات المياه بالرياض