A solo-backpacking trip from Mumbai across the Southern tip of India way back in 2003, turned life around for Menon. Having set off with a camera and 30 rolls of film, this I.T. programmer discovered a world he didn’t know existed; an organic world – simple, pristine and beautiful. As an explorer, Menon “saw strange places and met stranger people”.
Life was never the same again. Formal training in photography immediately followed.
The young lens man travelled through Maharashtra, publishing numerous photo essays on sites of historical and architectural importance. But, it was everyday rural life that had Menon enchanted. Inspired by a geography teacher way back in school who had opened up vistas through fabulous visuals of the natural world in days with no cable television and internet, Menon’s captivating lens yearned for more. A journey that he had started off on as a young boy with dreams of studying fine art suddenly morphing in a degree in physics.
Menon dug still further into his soul and discovered the purpose behind his each click. Each frame for him became a means of documenting history as it unfolded as well as playing a small part in creating that history. Today, the artiste organises photo journeys to give us a glimpse into a life less ordinary. Imagine learning photography on the glistering sand dunes of the Thar Desert? “I believe that by documenting our rapidly diminishing heritage and culture, we are doing a valuable service to society, to our future generations.”
“My life’s calling now is to nourish the lives of others through photography journeys deep into villages as yet untouched by the high walls of urbanisation, we all find so hard to break through.” This visiting faculty at the University of Mumbai, where he teaches photography, is a self-confessed addict.
“I enjoy very few things apart from travelling, making photos and spreading knowledge through my lens.”