Rupak De Chowdhuri

Rupak De Chowdhuri

Based
Kolkata, India
Born
Lumding, India
Status
Photographer
Camera
Canon 5D Mark II, 7D
“My biggest lesson has been not to miss the photograph in front of me in hopes of getting a better shot in the future.”

Beat

I cover sports, politics, social issues and breaking news.

One Shot

. KOLKATA, India. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Kalyani Das ties her husband Pachugopal to the metal bars of a train window using a chain and padlocks as they travel from Mallickpur village where they live to Kolkata where she works.
“My favourite shot is of a woman named Kalyani Das, whose husband suffers from a mental disorder. Every morning she travels to work on a crowded local train and ties her husband to the metal bars of the window using a chain and padlocks. Kalyani keeps her husband on a chain all day, and says she does so in order to prevent him from abusing her or running away. The picture is important to me because it shows that, even in this century, we can still see human beings tied up in iron chains.”

Profile

I am an artist and photography is my passion. I used to take pictures of things I saw that looked interesting, and that was how I learnt photography.

My first assignment came after the death of Mother Teresa, whose beatification was in progress. Pope John Paul II had attributed her with the miraculous healing of Monica Besra, an Indian woman who was cured of cancer. The Reuters TV team came to my hometown of Siliguri to look for Besra, and finally we reached the village of Danogram, where we discovered her busy farming in her paddy field. We got an exclusive interview and photographs. The two days of hard work taught me: “If there is strong will, success will come”.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was the Bihar flood of 2008. It was a huge flood by the Kosi river, and millions of people were displaced.

I was really excited by an assignment that I did on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Bhutan because it was my first time covering the summit and it was a very important meeting for the leaders of both India and Pakistan. I didn’t want to miss a moment. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani came out from an hour-long meeting to appear to the media. Before they shook hands, they noticed they were standing on the wrong side of their National Flags and, suddenly, they changed their position by crossing each other.

I try to take pictures that will speak a thousand words to all sorts of people.

My biggest lesson has been not to miss the photograph in front of me in hopes of getting a better shot in the future. I’ve also learnt to plan with confidence before I shoot.

Behind the Scenes

. Laxmipur, India
Rupak De Chowdhuri covers a rescue operation for victims in flood-affected areas India's eastern state of Bihar.