Kolkata orthopaedic surgeons turn photographers

Kolkata: For Kolkata’s orthopaedic surgeons, trading in their scalpels and knives for cameras and pointing, clicking and shooting a myriad variety of subjects is another way of looking at life and interacting with people.

“They travel a lot and they are observant. They interact with human beings on a daily basis. And on the sidelines they have hobbies like photography. All of this helps in developing a fresh perspective towards life. This is reflected in their photographs,” said Indrajit Sardar, West Bengal Orthopaedic Association (WBOA) president.

For the first time, 16 orthopaedic surgeons, ranging in age from the twenties to the seventies, have come together to showcase sublime moments frozen by state-of-the-art digital SLR cameras, in an exhibition aptly titled ‘Ortho Frames’.

“There’s another motive behind this effort. The proceeds of the sale will go to the ‘Dr Biswajit Sen Memorial Fund’ which will be used for training junior surgeons; a part will also be donated to a charitable trust,” said Sardar, who is inclined towards clicking landscape and wildlife.

The picture palette, comprising 63 photographs, encompassing nature, wildlife, street, travel and portraits, freezes rare instances like a squirrel foraging from an ice-cream cup to the classic mountain ranges of Switzerland.

“All of them have their specific areas of interest. Besides, their professional skills help them out with photography as well. For example a hand surgeon who is dexterous with his fingers is adept at capturing the intricacies of subjects like insects and animals,” clarified Sardar, during the three-day show that concluded Sunday at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Salt Lake.

Sardar points to Anirban Chatterjee, a hand and paediatric surgeon, to buttress his theory. Chatterjee has been into the craft since his teens.

“I am into all sorts of photography but I find myself doing more of wildlife, nature and a bit of street,” said Chatterjee who has artfully captured Comrade Crabs in action, in one of his works.

Amateurs they might be, but the exhibits reveal their painstaking attention to detail and their dedication to the craft. Armed with an arsenal of cameras and lenses, these shooters are well versed in photography jargon.

“I get information on the different aspects of photography from the internet and discussions with my colleagues help out a lot,” said Suhas Bala, a paediatric orthopaedic specialist, whose daughter often features in his photographs.

Seconding his colleague, Chatterjee said: “Books and magazines on the subject provide a wealth of information. We also discuss new things with our colleagues.”

Often thought of as dispassionate and uncaring, Ortho Frames successfully dispels such notions about orthopaedics.

“Though we are academicians, some of us are into music, poetry, writing and photography. All of these bring out our creative side and provide an outlet for expression,” said Sardar.

Bala, who is into music as well, adds. “I used to be a part of a music band in college. I used to play the guitar. But now there’s no time to practise and I can’t do solo acts. Photography allows me to get creative.”

In addition to being a hobby, recreation, pastime or an outlet for expression, photography for these amateurs is also a means of growth and development.

“It broadens our outlook. We develop ourselves more when we look at everyday objects in a different light. Ultimately we aim at being better human beings,” said Sardar.

By Sahana Ghosh

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