The Desi Vintage Project

I’ve started a new little project for my condo: collecting vintage photographs of South Asian portraits or families. The vintage photos available in Colorado and the United States are mostly of Caucasian families and I don’t really connect with them. I find joy in looking back in time to the gazes, smiles, perhaps even the discomfort of these past lives of South Asia.

eBay is a gold mine for this project. I’m going to create a spread of frames in my living room, Wes-Anderson style, with these photographs. Costs range from $5 to $50, depending on the photo. Most are getting shipped out from India by collectors in Mumbai and Delhi.

Lots of photos from the British Raj era – Muslim families, Parsi families, Hindu families. Random flashbacks. Bollywood actors, like Lata Mangeshkar and Indian cinema director Zia Mohyeddin and his wife Sarawar. Famous heads like Benazir Bhutto and the late Indira Gandhi.


Copyrighted material, please contact the author for permissions.