Always Take Diversion on Indian Roads

National Highway, State Highway, Expressway, Freeway, Crossroad, Service Road, Tarred Road, Kutcha Road, or Take Diversion. Whatever the type of road you take every day to school. College, work or nowhere in general, take your eyes of the road and pause to see what the sides of the road have on offer. Because there are a million stories out there in Indian streets and it’s waiting to be clicked, sketched, written, or sung about.

Let’s start with street photography, that’s what I love to do. Every day, I pause to click pictures that people pass by without noticing. Life in India tends to spill out on to the streets. From the channels people watch on TV, to the smell of what’s cooking. The festivals they celebrate to a death in the family, there’s a reflection of any incident on the road. And there lie the seeds to your stories I click and you can click or write about.

While we all love a good story, we often underestimate the importance of telling a story in our lives. Stories define who we are. The homework in college can be a well written story. The Power point presentation can be a captivating story. A Bio-data is a life story. A PhD thesis is a story. Those who say stories well, shine. Those who do not know how to tell a story, die.

So if you like to click photographs, sketch, write a story or any form of creative expression, take your eyes off the road, just look around. Find a corner stone or a road side chai shop and observe life. It will take less than a full minute for stories to unfold before your eyes. Photographs are easy. You can just click. Writing a story, a song or sketching can take you places. I’m talking about your imagination here. Before writers sit in a corner and write their stories, they travel to see the world. Before Mahatma Gandhi started his freedom movement in India, he spent a year on the road just observing people. Who knows what you will go on to create by observing people on Indian roads?
Our roads may be blocked, but will never face a writers’, artist or an idea block if your eyes fall in love with what Indian roads have on offer.

MS Gopal

The author is a photographer, photojournalist and writer based in Mumbai. You can see his Street Photography on Mumbai Paused ( and Indian Road Romeo (

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