Vinay Thakur, a lawyer who practiced law for over 9 years has now turned into a photographer that captures the essence of life with his lens. This interview will tell you more about his other side of profession as he launches his new book with Amogh Thakur “Architecture of Justice” which has been released by Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
What was the main motive behind writing this book?
Vinay Thakur: I had started my career as a lawyer, and later shifted into professional photography. Since I belong to a lawyers’ family, I thought that this was one way for me to give back to my family lineage of lawyers. Also, the buildings are so glorious that they merited documentation to familiarise future generations with the grace and beauty of these buildings that house our legal system.
Amogh Thakur: My decision to consider a career in photography, was a complete departure from the family lineage of being lawyers. Being co-author of the book, was my way of honouring and giving back to this lineage. Shooting for this book, allowed me to leverage my skill as a trained photographer and helped bring alive the aesthetic beauty and value of these buildings.
Why did you leave law and enter photography?
Vinay Thakur: I practiced law for over 9 years, but I always harboured the love for photography. Finally after 10 years of being a practising lawyer, I took up a course at Rochester University, USA and made the switch from the world of law to a world behind the lens. Being a 4th generation lawyer, I thought if I could photographically preserve these heritage structures, it would be a personal contribution to the field of law.
How beneficial this book will be for the readers?
Vinay Thakur: This book is a one of its kind rendition and a never to be re-told again story of the High courts. And this is what defines the unique character of this ‘Statement Coffee table book’.
Through this book, our intent is to take the reader beyond the black and white face of the judiciary, and to showcase its aesthetic and artistic side. This book is an attempt to bring to the fore the extraordinary side of this otherwise monochromatic world.
How did you get the motivation to write on this untouched topic?
inspiration to get onto this journey of photographing the High courts started
when I was called upon by Justice Sharad Bobde, who was then the senior
administrative judge at the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, to photograph
and curate a book on the Nagpur Bench to commemorate the completion of 75 years
of its formation. While I had been in the building a number of times, as a
lawyer one rarely stops to appreciate the beauty of a courtroom building. My training as a photographer helped me take
notice of the beauty of this building.
Had it not been for the vision of Hon’ble Justice Sharad Bobde to extend this project across the major High Courts in the country, this project would not have been possible.
Amogh Thakur: This project gave me the opportunity to go beyond the confines of a brief. It was open-ended and that allowed me to freely photograph these buildings in all their splendour. From the facades, to the pillars, etched windows and carvings, that otherwise seem ordinary to a lay person, but to the photographer’s eye, epitomised sheer elegance. I had to capture this beauty for the world to take notice.
How long did you take to complete this book?
Vinay Thakur: It has taken us a year to come to this point with the book. Shooting the Supreme Court, 24 High Courts and 12 benches, was not an easy task. We travelled over 18,000 kms all over India over a period of 6 months to get the shots we required. Post which the designing and bringing together of the final product took another 5 months… So this has been a yearlong labour of love.
What all kind information does this book hold?
Vinay Thakur: This book “Architecture of Justice” is an attempt to bring attention to the court structures and provide some stories and facts that make for an interesting read, for lawyers, architects as well as people with an eye to beauty. We have included 20 panoramic shots –each 24 inches wide so that we showcase these buildings in all their grandeur.
How beneficial this book will be for the readers?
Vinay Thakur: It is a storehouse of knowledge for the students of architecture. Practicing lawyers, after many years also do not get to see all the High Courts of the country. This book will give a pictorial walkthrough to all such beautiful buildings at a glance.
Who is your main target audience?
Vinay Thakur: We haven’t really outlined a target audience, as we want to reach out to as many people as possible. Our intent is to get readers to take notice of these magnificent structures that are such an important part of our history and our legal system. Hence, this book is important for not just lawyers or people from the legal fraternity, but is also equally interesting for architects, designers, photographers and the common man in general. I think this book will be a book collectors delight.
Will this book be multilingual?
Vinay Thakur: At present it is only in English. It can be multilingual later.