I have added a new newspaper article (feature) to my archive: Vårt Land – Frihavn for filippinske au pairer
You will find it here: http://sofilundin.com/publications/magazine/
I have added a new newspaper article (feature) to my archive: Vårt Land – Frihavn for filippinske au pairer
You will find it here: http://sofilundin.com/publications/magazine/
On 11th January 2012 my exhibition “På andra sidan” (On the other side) opened at Halmstad Konsthall in Sweden.
It is fantastic to finally be able to show some pictures from my work in India. Its even more fantastic that the gallery is based in my hometown Halmstad.
70% of India’s population lives in rural areas, but the state gives priority to urban development. Adivasi is the Indian name of the indigenous people and means original inhabitants. More than 90 million Indians belong to an indigenous group. They live at one with nature, far from civilization at the bottom of the Indian hierarchy, outside the caste system. Indigenous people live with a lack of basic human rights such as clean water, medical care and safe homes. The majority are landless and lack awareness of their rights.
In hope of a better life, many are forced to leave their homes and migrate to the cities, which leads to overpopulation in the cities. Daily, around 20.000 people reach India’s financial capital Mumbai by train. They come various parts of the country, all with dreams of a better future.
The exhibition is on until 22nd February.
On 14th of January 2012 the regional paper for the county of Halland covered my work in several pages. Since this is my personal blog Im taking the freedom of sharing this:
This weekend my friends invited me to spend the weekend in their summer house. A truly amazing place 1 hour drive from Oslo. Their house, well its rather a quite big cabin, was situated in the forest 15 minutes drive from Holmsbu. The drive uphill is a stunning scenery where you pass a lot of gorgeous villas and summer houses situated just by the water. Despite the weather being so so we managed quite a few outdoor activities in less than 48 hours. I even managed to become a blueberry photographer which I in my wildest imagination could have never thought of;) Thanks to Ida, Anita, Anisha and Per for a memorable weekend!
On the way to the cabin we stopped at a farm house, which is famous for its bakery items, and picked up quite a few goodies. The vacation started the
way it should with yummy cinnamon and vanilla buns and the hugest blueberry muffins I have ever seen, all enjoyed on the terrace.
Ida is closely watching Anita working on her bedside table project. The project ended successfully after 3 hours.
After finishing the carpentry work it was time for marriage. The happy royals from Monaco said yes to each other in front of the whole world…..
……and the ladies said Cheers!
What is better than a glass of chilled rosé wine on a beautiful summer evening…
The previous day ended with a fantastic barbeque, more summer drinks and a loooong game of yatzy…..it felt quite long since I was not the winner if I at all need to mention that. After late breakfast (of course at the terrace) we started our drive to Holmsbu. We passed small houses, big houses, small treasures, big treasures…
The yellow Polo was parked and full of excitement and trigger happy I started following two
gorgeous ladies with my camera on the shoulder.
The promenade was a flowery experience and the harbor in Holmsbu was crowded this sunday afternoon.
Ice cream eating tourists and grocery shopping locals had all gone out to enjoy sunday market. This table
with beautiful roses caught my attention. Here you could vote for the best rose of the day.
Parma ham from Italy and creamy cheese (from God knows which country) was out for tasting on the next table…
This is a typical scene from this coastal village. People sitting outside enjoying their food, beer and smoke. The sea seemed to be reflected in the daily life with
various symbols depicting the sea life…
……like in this shop for instance
Anisha found her way into a shop as usual…
The kids were enjoying themselves fishing for crabs from the pier…
….and the birds were diving for food near by
As the sun finally dared to peak through the clouds Ida got brave and dipped her feet into the ice cold water. They were up walking pretty
fast again I can tell…
After a memorable visit we strolled back to the car again…
After returning back to the cabin the big blueberry hunt started. After getting bitten by weird (unknown) insects a couple of times I gave up.
Ida showed no sign of exhaustion the way she kept picking for hours…
I proudly present the result of my work. Well, its not that less considering I picked for less than an hour. It was more fun to photograph these beauties though;)
Many people have asked for an English translation of the article about Shyam Bajaj which was published in Dagsavisen on 25th of June 2011. Hope you will enjoy reading the story about Norge Audio below. Please take into consideration that the article has been roughly translated and therefore the grammar will not be accurate.
He is a small man with big ambitions and infinite love for Norway. In 1976, the Indian Shyam Bajaj was the first supplier of hi-fi equipment in India. It is Norwegian technology and work philosophy that defines the company Norge Audio.
Bombay. Mumbai. The city of dreams. India’s financial capital has many names. Until the middle of the 1800s the city comprised of seven islands. One of them is Mahim, in western Mumbai. If you are travelling by road from north and toward Mahim you should have patience. Heavy traffic, bicycles, dogs, children, taxi drivers and booksellers are fighting for space on the road. Huge billboards, pictures of beautiful ladies in saris and known faces from Bollywood take your thoughts away from the chaos for a while.
It’s April and the sun is beating down from a cloudless sky. In the middle of a line of honking cars a red Maruti stands in line. Shyam Bajaj (77) has driven the same stretch as long as he can remember. While most people his age have a driver, he prefers to drive himself. On the fourth floor of an old industrial building in Mahim he is running the company Norge Audio since 1976. The old buildings in the area are reminiscent of textile factories, which in the beginning of the 1800s gave tens of thousands of migrant workers employment opportunities. Shyam was smart and invested here many decades ago. Mumbai is one of the world’s most expensive cities. A tiny room in this building costs more than a one bedroom apartment in Oslo. On the way up to the fourth floor I can hear soft music. Inside a sparsely furnished room with blue walls and spotlights in the ceiling, the sound becomes louder. Amplifiers and loudspeakers for all requirements and individual taste are up for display. Norge Audio is primarily known for its good quality and service. Bajaj says this is all thanks to Vebjørn Tandberg.
The letter to the Tandberg
In 1961, when Shyam worked as a radio mechanic, he got a Tandberg tape recorder for repair. It was the beginning of a life dedicated to the Tandberg and Norway.
- My biggest dream had always been to work in a radio factory and I hoped that I would be able to see the world at the same time, says Shyam and smiles when he talks about the letter he sent to Vebjørn Tandberg.
- When I repaired the radio, I had to order parts from Norway. That’s when I decided to submit an application for internship at the Tandberg radio factory. I had of course a fancy formal outfit in the picture I sent with the application, and I guess I have to admit that it was the Indian shirt that made sure I got a positive letter in return, he says, laughing loudly.
Left his wife for Norway
The rest of the family did not share Shyam’s enthusiasm over the letter from Norway. His father was worried about his son’s dreams of travelling the world and insisted that he had to get married.
- At this point of time I had neither wife, nor children in mind, says Shyam and admits that he had to bribe his father. When he married in 1962, it was on condition that he should be allowed to realize his dream. Two years after the wedding, he left his wife in Mumbai and headed for Norway. In 1964, a 27-year-old man with side combed hair stepped into Tandberg’s factory in Oslo. It was not long before Shyam was skiing, eating blood sausage and spoke Norwegian.
The Norwegian work hours meant a lot of free time for a person who was accustomed to long working hours in India. Shyam used the spare time practicing Norwegian in town with strangers and friends.
- I was one of the few Indians in Norway at that time and people were curious about India. I learned a lot about my own country during the two years in Oslo and the Norwegians got to practice their English, he says, smiling at the memories.
Shyam (27) at Tandberg’s Radio Factory in Oslo
At Norge Audio in Mumbai you can hear Indian classical music. An old Tandberg radio is displayed in a corner and in the innermost room the workers are busy sticking white and green Norge logos on the products. Shyam has just two full-time employees, but the workers have more to do now as the brand has gained international recognition.
- Norge Audio has never been particularly large, but in recent years we have received orders from Canada, UK, Dubai and USA. Customers are quick to share their experiences and therefore we become more and more famous. The quality is high and prices relatively low. Every part is carefully selected to ensure life-long quality. Vebjørn Tandberg taught me to never compromise on quality. I remember that he was stubborn and never gave up. At Tandberg radio factory, they were searching across the world until the correct product was found. Shyam describes Norwegians as extremely quality conscious, and believes that Norwegian products are made according to global standards.
The employees at the factory test the products before they reach the market.
Norwegians – the world’s friendliest people
Shyam still remembers the Norweigian he learnt almost 50 years ago and is not afraid to speak. The Norwegian nature is captured in pictures, but it is Vebjørn Tandberg’s work philosophy and the respect he had for his staff that made the biggest impression.
- I have never met a man like Tandberg. Imagine that every morning he went around and greeted good morning to every one of his 600 workers. In Norway, managers show respect to their employees. It is different from India where people are afraid to share their opinion, says Shyam, who says Norwegians are the world’s friendliest people.
Vebjørn Tandberg and Shyam Bajaj outside Tandberg’s property in Oslo, 1964
A Norway in India
- When my time as an intern was over, Tandberg said something to me which I can never forget. He told me to do something for my country, India. It was with these words in mind I that started Norge Audio. I wanted to introduce Norwegian values, practices, and not least, quality assured products in my country.
Right from its inception in 1967, Norge Audio products were made from Norwegian standards. Shyam is proud that Vebjørn Tandberg gave him permission to create the products from the same concept used in Norway, and he confirms that the well-known Norwegian tape recorders that were made back then still work just as well.
Shyam who is 77 today is still actively involved in his work at Norge Audio in Mumbai
- I have from the beginning used the same philosophy that I learned during my practice in Oslo. Maybe that’s why my staff has stayed with me for more than 25 years. The profits at Tandberg radio factory were reinvested in the business and Vebjørn was known for his humility towards his employees. His commitment to the firm made it a true success, says Shyam, casting a glance towards the room where the workers are about to fix the last part of another Norge-amplifier.
Shyam admits that he is very stubborn and that he never let go of his dreams. In his office the small library is constantly updated with books on philosophy of life, and the audio specialist is trying to be positive in everything he does. His face has naturally got fine lines showing the years that have passed. He is otherwise similar to the pictures from the thick coffee-table book that he has made in memory of the time in Norway. It is not only Shyam who has got wrinkles over the years. The images from the 60’s Oslo show that the capital has changed a great deal too.
Quality at an affordable price
- It’s hard work, good quality and most of all the love for a country and its people which lies in the name Norge Audio, says Shyam.
Today, his products are sold to both individuals, businesses and famous Indian musicians. Norwegians with taste for good quality order Norge equipment from India. Gaute Johannessen is one of them. Together with some friends he started a band in Mumbai. For Gaute there is no doubt that Norge Audio is worth the money.
- The products are the best you can get in audio equipment for a reasonable price, according to Gaute, who today helps Shyam promoting products in Norway.
From Norway to Norge Audio
Shyam, who today is 77 years, is looking for someone who can take over the business in the future, and confirms that he is not going to give up his life’s work until he finds the right buyer.
- Norge Audio was born from Norwegian values and it is my desire that it should remain so.
Slowly he turns the pages of the book which he has called From Norway to Norge Audio. Two years in Oslo in the 1960s became a lifelong commitment. Today there is a part of Norwegian culture and history in a part of Mumbai and there is nothing to indicate that it is going to disappear ever.
Shyam get nostalgic every time he opens the book. The memories from Oslo are all documented in pictures and Shyam remembers every single one of them.
In the background an old Tandberg radio is displayed.
Tandberg radio factory – A brief history
• 1904: Otto Vedbjørn Tandberg born in Bodø.
• 1930: trained as an electrical engineer at NTH in Trondheim.
• 1933: The country’s first radio factory – Tandberg radio factory opens in Oslo.
The business comprises the development, production and sale of speakers and radio receivers.
• 1934: Huldra 1, the world’s first mass-produced radio with single span, put into production.
• 1936: Silver Super 1 Super 1 and the battery goes into production.
• 1937-1950: Tandberg is introducing a range of work arrangements, including reduced working week from 48 hours to 42 hours a week, 70 percent salary during illness and three weeks vacation for everyone. Similar provisions are in the Holiday Act of 1947. Four weeks of vacation, statutory with effect from 1965.
• 1950: The first export orders, battery radios, sent to Turkey.
• 1951: The company’s first self-owned premises built on Kjelsås in Oslo
• 1952-53: The first tape recorder for sale.
• In the years between 1954 and 1969 on the major changes including the establishment of subsidiaries in Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Silver Super 6 FM and Huldra 5 is released and later the first TV receiver. Tandberg move into the premises of 15 000 sq m of basement. Colour television production from 1969.
• 1970: The company’s first computer product, Tandberg Instrumentation Recorder, marketed.
• 1972: Tandberg radio factory merges with Radionette companies that were known for, among other things, Courier radio. The idea is to strengthen Norwegian radio and television industry, but it turns out that Tandberg acquires a company with both financial and technical deficit.
• 1978: In late August, Vebjørn Tandberg took his own life. In December the same year Tandberg Radio Factory went bankrupt.
Source: Norwegian radio historical association. For a complete listing see www.nrhf.no
When mango enter the market at this time every year it brings back sweet childhood memories for most people.The first time I tasted mango in India I fell in love. After just a bite I knew that the love would never go away.
Every year in March I start counting the days for the mango to come. When I visited the market the other day I got overwhelmed to see “the king of fruits”, as the Alphonso-mango often is called. The counting was over for this year.
Maybe I am just obsessed with food, but to me there is nothing like the moments of happiness that I get when I enjoy a good meal, the bitterness of freshly brewed Espresso, or the sweetness of a mango.
Alphonso is considered by many to be one of the best mangoes in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. It is also one of the most expensive mangoes and is grown in western India. The fruit has gotten its name from the Portuguese Nobleman Afonso de Albuquerque. He used to bring the fruit on his journeys to Goa and after him people of the Konkani district started calling it Aphoos. Later the fruit got the name Hapoos, which still is the official name for Alphonsos in South Asia.
Right now there is just no time to loose. The mango is here only for a short period and it’s all about eating as many as you possibly could.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can enjoy the fruit:
Lassi is a popular yoghurt based drink in India and Pakistan
Serves 2 (or one if you are greedy;)
2 ripe Mangos
2 cup of dahi (curd)
4-5 ice cubes
Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth in a blender. Pour in glasses and serve
3 mangoes, pealed and cut into cubes
1 cup of milk
2 cups of whipping cream
Juice of one lemon
1. Put 2 mangoes into the blender together with the milk and the lemon juice. Blend until smooth and strain.
2. Whip the cream and mix it with the blend you prepared. Add the rest of the mango cut into small cubes.
3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Another yummy dessert is mango with vanilla ice cream. That’s a complete killer!
More than 6.9 million people travel by train in Mumbai daily and the city has the highest passenger density of any urban railway system in the world. Traveling by train is by far the best way of commuting in Mumbai. If you can afford to avoid traveling during rush hours, the journey will be very pleasant and could also be quite entertaining.
A few days ago I was catching the train from Bandra to Churchgate. I noticed to my surprise that the train was nearly empty from passengers and I took the opportunity to get some snaps from inside the train. While clicking away a lady approached me. Harini Prakhas, a food photographer from Mumbai was curious to know how I managed to take photos of people with so much ease. We started chatting and she is now part of my network. So many unexpected things can happen on (and around) the local trains. Not only do you get new friends, you also get to observe the daily life in Mumbai. The railway is the beating heart of Mumbai.
The BBC has produced a documentary about dabbawallas and prince Charles was pleased to meet the them on his visit to the country. They were also invited to give lectures in top business schools around India.
After returning back to India I am full of energy and eager to explore what the city has to offer and it feels great to be back writing again. The other day I went to town (South Mumbai) to catch an exhibition I’ve been waiting for.
The exhibition Homai Vyarawalla: a retrospective, portrays an illustrated journey trough the rich photographic world of India’s first woman press photographer.
Born in 1913 to a Parsi family, Homai moved to Delhi in 1942, where she photographed events leading to Independence as an employee of the British Information Services. Homai photographed the last days of the British Empire and the birth of a new nation. She captured the social and political life of a nation in transition, tracing both its triuphs and tribulations.
Press photographers played a major role in representing the histories of their times. Unaware of the significance of their images, Homai and her colleagues were creating visual archives of their present. Some of these photographs that include the pageantry of independence, the many portraits of national leaders and nation building activities became iconic. The circulation of these images in public memory is linked to a nationalist version of history.
Homai photographed key events that would have a decisive impact on indian history that included a meeting where leaders voted for the 3rd June plan to partition India. She also photographed the first flag hoisting ceremony at Red Fort on August 16th 1947, the departure of Lord Mountbatten from India and the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Some of the most iconic portraits of India’s first Prime Minister Nehru form part of this collection.
The exhibition acknowledges Homai Vyarawalla’s role as a pioneer among women in her contribution to early photojournalism in India. The great value of her work lies in photographs that archives the nation in its infancy documenting both the euphoria of independence as well as disappointment with its undelivered promises. Her images with their strong composition and rich tones are a testimony to her skills as a master photographer.
The exhibition also features photographs of everyday life in 1940s Bombay and images of leisure in Delhi in the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout her career, Vyarawalla extensively chronicled the lives of ordinary people. Some she preserved in her collections while a great many lie scattered all over the world in the personal archives of those who had the privilege of being photographed by her. Like all exhibitions, this too is incomplete. But it hopes to start a journey of many new discoveries about the life and times of Homai Vyarawalla.
Pandit Nehru at Palam airport, 1954. Photograph by Homai Vyarawalla.
Homai turned 97 years in December 2010. Do not miss the exhibition at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. From 25 February – 10. April 2011.
The exhibition is curated by Sabeena Gadihoke
Goa is mostly famous for its old hippie culture, crowded flee markets and never ending full moon parties. But there are still some options left for the traveller who wish to enjoy the beauty of this state on a silent beach. During my trip to Goa recently I discovered some beaches which are still almost untouched by tourists. Once should go when there are still places like this left. Very soon Morjim beach in the north and Arossim in south will be just as crowded as all the others.
Morning walk at Morjim beach. The beach is famous for the many sea turtles. Every year they come in the month of November to lay their eggs in the sand. But due to the climate change and the tsunami the animals are not to be seen before the month of December. The beach is quite short (around 3 kilometers) but the sand is fine and if you wish to be away from the crowd of backpackers. This is the place to be.
Christianity is India’s third largest religion with approximately 24 million followers. Portuguese missionaries reached the Malabar coast in the late 15th century. Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for almost 500 years.
14th of November is the day which has been dedicated to the children of India. On this day in 1889 one of the country’s most famous personalities was born. His name was Jawahar Lal Nehru. When Nehru returned from his studies in England he decided to dedicate his life to politics and he wanted to give the poor and downtrodden a voice. He took part in the freedom struggle in India and became a follower of Gandhi. When India got independent he became the country’s first Prime Minister. His love for children has made the whole country celebrate children on this very day. Children always used to call him Chacha Nehru – Uncle Nehru.
On this day I want to share some special moments which I have experienced with the children of India
“The Father of the nation”
It’s been a while since i’ve been updating the site and that’s in a way a really good sign. That means I have been busy with work.
Today I have one good news for you. I have made my own photo shop online, from where you can purchase my prints. Visit the shop here!
I deeply apologize for the fact that this might cause some language confusion for some of you, since the site is in Norwegian. Thank God for Google Translator. A really good option for enthusiastic people;) Please note that the prizes listed on the site is in NOK-Norwegian Kroner. (and not in US$ ;))
Most of my prints are available for print. Maybe there is a particular picture you like, which is not visible in the shop. In that case you can contact me directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a nice photo tour!