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History does repeat itself
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Peace and Justice
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  • This is the best body of work in infra-red photography that I have seen in India.
      Shri S. Paul
    Photographer, on the infra red exhibition Ladakh Huess
  • I am proud to know this couple- Shamim and Sasmita. This book reflects the labour of their love. We could reach the place because of the power of his lens.
      Janab Arif Mohammed Khan
    Former state minister, at the inauguration of the book
  • Words fail me; outstanding!
      Mr. Rajiv Lochan
    Director NAGMA, on "One Fine Tuesday"
  • At times Delhi looks beautiful but the kind of flavour Shamim has brought about in black and white is not only very beautiful but after this book we all will see these monuments from a fresh perspective.

    ( while unveiling of the book 'Forgotten Dilli - Portrait of an immortal city')

    Extraordinarily taken pictures. Akhtar is someone we are proud of.

    ( on 'Ladakh Hues " )
      Mrs. Sheila Dixit
    Ex-CM Delhi
  • When stones burst into songs

    Qutub Minar must count among the most sketched, painted and photographed monuments of the world. What the Eiffel Tower is to Parisians, the Big Ben to Londoners, the Brandenburg Gate to Berliners and the Statue of Liberty to New Yorkers, the Qutub Minar is to Dilliwallahs. It is older and more spectacular than all the other monuments.

    I have seen hundreds of photographs of Qutub Minar but none to match the cover of Forgotten Dilli, Portrait of an Immortal City by Sasmita S. Akhtar and Shamim Akhtar. Shamim is a Bihari Muslim, now in the IAS, posted in Delhi. Sasmita is an Oriya Brahmin, a sociologist, who is a product of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Between them, they produced a pictorial album on Lakshadweep and now one on the old monuments of Delhi.

    Sasmita has written the text; Shamim has taken the photographs. They have limited their work to the end of the Mughal dynasty in 1857. They have pictures of baolis (step wells), dargahs (Sufi shrines), forts, mosques, and mausoleums. What arrests the readers attention is the interplay of light and shade on trees and clouds to highlight every monument.

    It is a sheer joy to turn over the pages of the book again and again. It reminded me of an old film song, 'Geet gaaya paththaron ne ' 'The stones burst with songs'.
      Mr. Khuswant Singh
    The Telegraph, 6th March 2010
  • 'A stunning exhibition, highlighting the unique beauty of Ladakh...extremely impressed by the quality of his images.'

    (on the exhibition, Rode to Heaven in 2008)

    'I have great pleasure in commending this book to all those who love mountains. Packed with photographs, there are short descriptive notes which are useful.'

    (In the foreword of the book, Rode to heaven: Ladakh in 2009)

    ...I myself have not been able to go to Kailasa nor will I be able to go to in this life; but after reading this book I feel I have also done half parikarma.'

    (At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within' , at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011)
      Dr. Karan Singh
    At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within', at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011
October 2, 2012
Today the 2nd of October happens to be the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the nation and it is customary to remember him and offer homage. To most of the Indians he is more than an ordinary human being, to many others he is "seen" as responsible for the division of the nation. Many even consider him a saint and while few in their ignorance consider him weak and irrelevant in modern times.
July 12, 2011
A Small Conversation with a commoner and the Guard at the gate.... Guard :- Why are you here? commoner:- To meet the King ! Guard :- do you have any grievances? commoner :- None , I just want to meet him. Guard:- why don't you take the free Goods as offered to all visitors of King and just Go away? commoner:- I don't need to take anything, just want to SEE the King.
July 12, 2011
Sometimes, the legends become the truth and many times truth is dismissed as constructed history. What is the story of Prince Siddhartha who after attaining enlightenment under a Bunyan tree in Bodh Gaya came to be known as Lord Buddha? Is it a myth, a constructed history, a legend or the truth?
June 16, 2011
What could be India , if we choose to ignore the holy river Ganga? It is believed that holy Ganga was invoked to come to planet earth from heaven for the betterment of Mankind. It flows from the head of none other than Shiva himself.
March 23, 2011
Blood in my vein, Water in yours?
March 12, 2011
The celestial bodies also share a relationship. On the worldly note, The Sun is nothing but a burning star, providing energy to the Solar System, where as the Moon is just a dead satellite, orbiting the planet Earth aimlessly.
February 14, 2011
The constitution of our nation gives us some rights that are “fundamental”… ironically supplemented with duties that are NOT fundamental. One such fundamental right is “Freedom of Speech”... in which there is an inbuilt freedom of the press and electronic media to literally say whatever they want and can.
January 4, 2011
In nature, there have been no white tigers ever! There is a story of the origin of white tigers. This is how it goes:- In Bhubneshwer (Odisa), there was a botanical garden being set up. In that garden there was a male tiger named Nandan. He was in captivity and had very few chances of ever tasting love or life. In wild, there was a female tigress, who was enjoying her freedom in the lap of mother goddess in her own jungle. Some how She fell in love with the captive Nandan and jumped into his cage to share his plight for sake of love. She gave up her freedom to be with Nandan in his captivity. She is Kanan. Now that park is called Nandan- Kanan.
August 18, 2010
When the commonwealth games are too near and we are far away from being ready. The debate is going on whether it’s the politicians who are more corrupt or the bureaucrats! Corruption is now more or less an “accepted” phenomenon in most of the countries including ours. It is nothing new to the human society. It has always been there since the beginning of civilization and probably would remain till the end of it.
July 9, 2010
I have been a solo rider for more than the last two decades, but this is the first time I am sharing my experience of riding this way. I request you to be a little patient so that I can tell my story. If you get impatient in- between, I suggest you to look at the links to my photographs.