Jharkhand teen gets Unesco pat for clicking kissing couple in front of Taj
He’s all of 14. But his ode to love — a kissing couple lost in their own world, silhouetted against the Taj Mahal — has won him a Unesco award in photography.
Jamshedpur boy Rishab Nandi, a Class IX student of DBMS English School here, is back from Beijing, China, with a second prize in the monuments section of the Unesco contest. He received a citation and a Canon 77D (dSLR) camera as his prize.
The contest “Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads”, held between April 11 and July 22 was organised within the framework of Unesco Silk Roads Project, Unesco Youth Programme and the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022). Entries were invited from youngsters between 14 and 17 years of the “Silk Roads” countries in four themes, culture, monuments, landscape and people.
“Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest provides an opportunity for youth living or travelling along the Silk Roads to more fully grasp their collective cultural heritage. In addition, it offers youth a means of using photography to express unique perspectives about their Silk Roads common legacy and pluralistic identities,” its website read.
In all, there were 6,006 photographs from 101 countries in the contest.
Back in Jamshedpur on Monday — Rishab had flown with businessman father Abhishek Nandi to receive the award on September 21 in Beijing — he told this reporter on Tuesday at his Sonari home that he couldn’t believe he was the “only Indian” to get the honour.
“I had clicked the shot casually on my Canon 700D,” said the boy who started clicking pictures three years ago. “My school told me about this contest. I sent my entry online in July without thinking I’d win. When I came to know I won the second prize through a mail sent by Unesco on the night of August 31, I did not believe my eyes,” the level-headed boy added.
On his winning shot, he said, “I’d clicked it during a vacation with my parents. It was a typical crowded day. But these lovers in silhouette against the marble backdrop of the Taj appealed to me. The Taj is an architectural marvel besides being a monument of love. And love is a universal language,” he said. Asked about specifications, he rattled them off like a seasoned pro: “I shot it with a small aperture (f 18) at ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/640 seconds and 24mm focal length.”
Mom Sumita said she was pleasantly surprised. “I know he loves clicking pictures as a hobby, but this win has given me the kind of pleasure I’d never imagined,” she said. Sharing her pride was DBMS principal Rajni Shekhar. “We’re very, very proud of Rishab,” she said. “He has a good eye and is a member of the school’s photography club.”