I first met Nu (Anusha Misra) on this hot humid day of last June in Kolkata. I was at their mother’s bookstore near EM Bypass waiting for them as I perused the store. I hadn’t planned for the shoot and did not know how it was to be. It was like a blind date I had signed up for. I was familiar with Nu’s work on Revival Disability Magazine where she works with youngsters like herself to give disabled/queer folks a voice. On Instagram, you would find ‘Nu as @hotindiemess where they actively dispels myths and has conversations on disability. Nu shares their story via social media channels educating and inspiring followers and friends alike.
The first time I saw Nu in person, they were wearing their mother’s jeans and a checkered shirt along with colourful accessories. They love colour and had worn a colourful hat which we did not picture here. We started with some test shots and as they got more comfortable, we clicked some very happy portraits of our first time author and their first book.
As we went about the shoot, we were followed all around by Mowgli, the newest member of the Misra family. He loves to play pranks on Nu and left no opportunity to bite at the pink dress or nibble at my feet. His presence definitely made our time more fun.
We made a fort out of books for Nu to sit in – symbolic of the books that have always been a part of their life. Nu’s mother specializes in children’s books and owns an independent family run store in the heart of Kolkata. In Big Mistake, Nu recounts these stories of growing up in the bookstore which was also the location for our shoot.
In retrospect, the shoot day turned out to be quite fun. And as a photographer, nothing makes me happy than being part of celebrations as big as one’s first published short story!!
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