After coming back to India from a trip to Malaysia and Vietnam in late 2018, I had a hard time coping with myself. I was broke financially and mentally. My creativity and productivity seemed to be dying. I was struggling to get a sense out of my life and questioning my decisions.

Not able to deal with this, I decided that I had to do something to find inner peace. I booked a train to Ajmer, a city I had visited a few times as a kid. Ajmer — known for the shrine of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti — is a city bustling with devotees who visit the shrine from all over India. The narrow streets around the shrine accommodate pedestrians, some vehicles, shops, lodges, restaurants, tea stalls — these streets have space for everything and everyone.

I was seeking peace and answers to my questions. I was looking for motivation and wanted my creativity back. The shrine was my go-to place every evening to close my eyes and sit in silence. During the day, I would push myself out of the room and go out for walks around the city. During these aimless walks, I clicked many pictures, drank plenty of tea, and ate a lot.

This short trip to Ajmer was a turning point for me. I learnt to be more confident in street photography, talking to random people, and trying not to shy away from clicking a picture I wanted to. I think this change is reflected in my photographs — although many of them are not technically good in terms of sharpness or focus etc.

Streets of Ajmer showcases the routine, busy face of this bustling city. During this trip I also visited Pushkar, a colourful town 15 kilometres from Ajmer. Pictures from Pushkar are in the Streets of Pushkar series.

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