biker traffic in india wordpress

Pillion riding with my mom


The month of april 2012 brought a temporary set-back in my life. I met with an accident where my right hand got fractured in a road accident and was mummified in plaster of paris for a month. Being a right handed guy I found it really difficult to go on with my daily life. The next best thing that I love to do after photography and music is riding my bike which I was unable to while recovering from my fracture. I had to ride with my mom to work. It was not much of a trouble for her as my work place was on the way to her’s.

My cast was taken off after 3 weeks. However, there still was pain and doctor had advised me not to lift heavy objects, no pressurizing my right hand, and definitely no bike riding for another 3 months. The first thing I did after getting the cast removed was going snap-happy with my camera. I was happy that besides the pain I was be able to manage photography. I still had to tag with my mom to work though.



So this one time I was returning back home with my mom on her scooty. She had to buy this fruit called nungu under the guindy bridge, right after kasi theater. While she went shopping, I took my camera out from my back pack and started clicking.

man pissing on road side wordpress
This is a not so surprising sight in India. The nearest toilet is just as close as how brave you are to whip out weener on the road side and relieve yourself.


scooter riders wordpress
I think I’m responsible for the expression on the guy’s face. This is quite a sharp turn and he must have been taken by surprise to see a fat dude with a camera in his hand waiting to take their picture.


underbridge dog wordpress
This dog was literally posing for it. I took a lot of shots of this guy. I feel this is the best one.


literally under the bridge wordpress
This is the bridge I was taking about. The nungu sellers had set up their little make shift shop under here because of the shade that this bridge can offer.


By this time, my mom was done shopping. I sat with her on her scooty but I didn’t put away my camera. We started off and I started clicking random stuff that I came across on the way back home.



This is was quite fun and at the same time challenging because

  1. I was continuously on move and I couldn’t do much about it.
  2. I had to react quickly
  3. Indian roads are very dusty
So under these circumstances, there were a lot of shots that I had taken but only a few turned out to be good.
riders wordpress
Now I’m not sure why this guy had such an expression his face but I’m guessing it’s because he wouldn’t have ever seen a dude pillion riding with a camera in his hand.


people crossing road wordpress
People waiting for the green signal to cross a busy road.


kart in the middle of chennai traffic wordpress
In india we have this traffic principle called create your own lane. So seeing a bullock cart in middle of a busy road with high volume of traffic is actually not surprising.


chennai metro under construction wordpress
The government has started constructing these metro rails and they’ve been at it since 2 years now. The traffic has become very congested and the roads have become very dusty.


woman pillion riding wordpress
This was pretty much a balancing act. She was not only sitting sideways on the bike. She was also managing to hold on to that big bag in her lap.


biker traffic in india wordpress
Another image that illustrates the “create your own lane” traffic discipline


That last shot is what I took when we were around half a km away from home. After that the road got really really dusty and I was afraid that might be bad for the lens of my camera. I placed the lens cap and tucked the camera in my bag.



I did all the shots with my Nikon l120. I’ve processed all the black and white images using Nik Silver Efex. The shot of the bridge from under it is the only HDR shot in this image. I did it with 2 stops (-2ev and gradually rising to +2ev). It’s not the best of HDR’s that I have done so far. But I used the HDR technique only to get all the details in the frame. Because I did these shots some where in the noon and the light was really harsh and it was very difficult to get all the details in one single shot.

6 thoughts on “Pillion riding with my mom

  1. Me acuerdo de tu accidente, menos mal que ya estás casi recuperado, ¡estupenda serie de tu India!, cada vez me doy más cuenta de que es un lugar sorprendente y de gente agradable y cordial, gracias a tu maravillosa fotografía, besos Irfan

    1. I’m feeling much better now alessandro. That april month was really horrible. I’m now and I’m able to ride and photograph like how i used to before. I will take care. Thanks so much.

  2. Great series. I’m just starting to dabble with HDR, having just received the full collection of Nik plug-ins. Great results so far.

    There is no way on this earth that I would ride on a motorcycle behind my mother though 🙂

    1. True. I’ve used a lot of plugins and softwares for HDR. Nik HDR efex seems to give the best results.

      It was either with my mom or the crowded buses. I was not going to risk my fractured hand in a rickety crowded bus. I had no choice.

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