Culture Weekly

Capturing moments

April 18 - April 24, 2024
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Gulf Weekly Capturing moments
Gulf Weekly Capturing moments
Gulf Weekly Capturing moments

A former Bahrain resident returned to the kingdom this week to showcase some of her stunning photographs in a one-day photographic exhibition, writes Naman Arora.

Bahrain-loving 13-year-old Soniya Deshpande displayed 150 of her best photographs in her solo exhibition titled Drawing with Light: A Lens Chronicle, which took place last Sunday, April 14, at the Bahrain Conference Centre in Diplomatic Area.

“I grew up in Bahrain, and spent almost my entire childhood here before returning to Pune, India, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to reconnect with my friends and family here and showcase some of the photographs I have been taking,” she told GulfWeekly.

The exhibition was divided into six sections. The ‘Qalbi Bahrain’ (Arabic for ‘My Heart Bahrain’) section showcased the photos of the kingdom she had taken during her stay on the island spanning almost a decade.

Meanwhile, ‘Diversity in Life’ focused on the different people she has met in life so far, ranging from Bahraini potters to Indian fruit-sellers, and more.

In ‘Nature’s Creation’, Soniya captures the beauty of flowers and plants found in her backyard as well as during her travels.

‘Shufti Glimpses of Gujarat and Rajasthan’ dives deeper into her journeys through the two Indian states with her mother Suvarna and father Sameer.

‘Wildlife Whispers’ documents the birds, bugs and animals she encountered, some within her own backyard, and some further away, like the Bengal tiger she managed to get a shot of, at the end of a safari tour in Gujarat.

‘Ye Hai Mumbai’ explores her time in the South Indian city, where she was able to capture both famous monuments and lesser known neighbourhoods.

And finally, the section titled ‘Uranophilia’ is dedicated to her love of taking shots of skies at different times and from different angles.

“All these images were taken using my Samsung M21 to help me further hone the craft, but I would love to upgrade my equipment at some point, although using a professional DSLR would sacrifice the mobility and quick access that using my phone has given me,” she added.

“Some of these pictures were actually taken while I was being driven somewhere, so having a light camera device came in quite handy!”

The former student of New Millennium School, currently studying in Grade 8 at Pune’s DriveChange Learning and Resource Centre, captured all the photos within the last three to four years.

In 2022, she published her first book, a pictorial journey titled My First Bus Trip based on her childhood experiences. The book was launched in the kingdom by then-Indian Ambassador Piyush Srivastava in December 2022.

Soniya plans to continue pursuing photography as a passion, though she is clear she doesn’t want to make it a profession because ‘that might take the fun out of it!’







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