Remembering Abhoy Da

HERE'S A SET OF PICTURES made with an Agfa Isoly II box camera. These and several others were taken in the hill region of North East India, and printed superbly by my friend, Mr Abhoy Paul, who jointly with his brother, Mr. Panna Paul, ran Studio Monalisa in Shillong.  

My adventure with photography began in Mr Paul’s studio, and I shall ever remember him for the hints, tips and advice the gentleman had to give me. He was also a very good friend.

My acquaintance with Mr Paul was made way back in 1985. Many years later, after I had relocated to a different place and was working on this site, I remembered my friend, and included a reference to him in a post titled “The Box Camera in India”. Years passed, and nothing seemed to materialize. I had hoped the Paul brothers would be around, and would get in touch with me through the site. I had hoped this would that this would be a fine way to revive our old acquaintance.

I did get to hear from the family, but not from the brothers themselves. I received a message from Abhoy-da’s son, Arin. Sadly, Studio Monalisa in Shillong shut business many years back, and both Abhoy-da and his brother have moved on, Arin tells me. I am deeply moved. I shall miss my friends so much.

This view of Shillong was printed by Abhoy Da.
The lack of focus at the left edge is due to
improper scanning.

Mr Abhoy Paul with son Arin at the Ward Lake
in Shillong
I remember seeing Arin at the studio counter back in those days. He was a fine lad, energetic and bubbling with enthusiasm. Today he has grown up, and is a film maker in Mumbai. I am so glad Arin got in touch with me. He is the last link I have with the Paul family, and shall ever remain a precious friend.

Arin, then and now...

Father and son, a long time ago...

Ravindra Bhalerao