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कभी कभी लगे यही
जो होना था हुआ वही
बदलना भी हवाओं का है ज़रूरी

[ sometimes it feels whatever happened, happened for the best ]

के चोरी चोरी चुपके से चुपके से रोना है ज़रूरी
के पानी पानी अंखियों का अंखियों का होना है ज़रूरी

[ there isn't any shame crying in secrecy,

let the eyes moisten, it is essential to keep moving forward ]

Noor is a peek into the life of a young runaway from the outskirts of Kathmandu trying to find her place in the big city; a search for vanities and aspirations, like anyone could have at that age. The portraits are fractions of intimacy shared between Noor and her surroundings, as she is followed around by the author for a span of a week, all perceived through a delicate and critical eye.


Their first interaction was at a Dance Bar in the social district of Thamel, the city’s main nightlife zone. When asked why she works at such an establishment at her age, she coyly mentions that she loves dancing, ‘and what’s better than being able to dance’. Intrigued by her response, the author enquiries into the life of the young dancer and continues to unfold her everyday, documenting in images the substantial transformation of her experience and the loneliness of the young woman persistent to find her place.

Noor is a sensitive, intimate portrayal of a woman on the move, occupying space unapologetically. The photographs juxtapose her life at home and her life in public, deftly conveying female joy and the necessity of freedom of choice.

Never allowing the subject's face to be fully visible, the series asks interesting questions about the form of portrait photography that is apt in the context of the woman's job as a dancer in a bar.

- exert from the Jury comments, TOTO Award for Photography 2024



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