top of page

"Mysore and Dehradun on film: Paradise for grain lovers" - A photo essay by Avi Arora

Trial and Error is an essential part of art.

After a brief visit to Gurugram, where my grandmother resides, I had the chance to hold my great grandfather’s Pentax Spotmatic. I was in awe when I saw that it was an unbelievably beautiful machine.

Photography runs in the family, my dad used to work in a photo studio called Goyal Photo Co. back in the day in my hometown, Dehradun. From 35mm film cameras to Sony Handycams to DSLRs, I have grown up all around them.

I say art is trial and error because I have been exploring through the lens and paper. The hills and the valleys around me have always given me inspiration to create and evolve. Practicing abstract art for a year, and drawing inspiration from my photographs has been a push to my journey.

Mysore and Dehradun with a pinch of Bengaluru.

In a brief period of 27 days, this camera traveled to the three most loved cities in India. Dehradun has always been a breath of fresh air, and an escape to life. The place has an aura that makes you emotionally invested in the city.    I made it a point to do a short portrait session with my parents, to celebrate the first film after more than a decade in the Pentax.

In this period, I was obsessed with silhouettes and shadows and made it a point to get a handful of captures. Capturing on film feels solid, more permanent and a person naturally tries to make the shot as perfect as possible. There is a lot involved when creating a picture, film makes a picture more valuable and creates an impact.

This film roll has errors, portraits, and even pictures that were taken when I was not feeling myself. The roll is a rollercoaster of all things human and everything in between.

A short one-day trip to Mysore consisted of the Mysore Palace and St. Philomena Church.  The palace seamlessly blends Indo-Saracenic, Rajput, Hindu, and Gothic styles, creating a mesmerizing fusion of artistic elements. Built in the early 20th century, the palace boasts a three-story structure with a profusion of domes, arches, and intricate detailing.

The history that exists makes you feel like the world is vast and you’ve so much yet to see. It will never be enough time to incorporate everything in this life. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes in “Psalm of Life”, “Art is long, time is fleeting”.

St. Philomena Church, located in Mysore, India, is a magnificent testament to Gothic architecture and a fascinating chapter in religious history. Constructed in the early 20th century, it was designed by the renowned architect Reverend Rene Feuge. The church is dedicated to Saint Philomena, a revered Christian martyr, and it stands as one of the largest cathedrals in India.

Film has been one of the best things to happen to me, I have learned to be patient with my art, create, and explore more. There is a never-ending world when it comes to creating. I believe in making the best of what you do and enjoy the process.

I'd like to end this article with a quote: “A soul which knows that it is loved, but does not itself love, betrays its sediment: its dregs come up.”- Nietzsche. Always remember to love yourself.

You can find more from Avi Arora here:



bottom of page