Photography — 16 March 2014

A slideshow of photos by Allan taken in the late 70s in Pune.

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The fall of 1979 proved to be a very intense time for me. The day after I arrived in Pune, Osho’s father left his body, a month later Osho gave me sannyas and the name Swami Anand Allan. During that four-month visit, I participated in one experiential group after the other. Totally blown out by these experiences and in need of a break, I ventured down to MG Road with my camera and, unknown to me, just carrying a camera was apparently an invitation for photo requests.

At the time I was a commercial studio photographer in Toronto, Canada and enjoyed taking photos of people, as well. The break from my reality back home was a blessing as I got to dabble in photojournalism as well as to open spiritually.

Walking along MG Road, it was not long before a young boy walked up to me and asked if I would take his photo. I happily obliged. The boy then proceeded to introduce me to his entire extended family whom I also took photos of. MG road suddenly turned into a studio as the local residents and shopkeepers all took turns posing, showing off their smiles and wares for sale. These people just loved to have their photo taken!

In January 1980 I returned to Pune where I attended Osho’s morning discourses, continued to explore my personal growth, and energetically bathed in the Buddhafield. Many more photos were also taken of the surrounding area, some of which are mixed in with the 1979 gallery grouping.

Although these photographs are but a snippet of my time spent in Pune, they bring back fond memories of that magical time when my heart was bursting at the seams. The love and innocence that I feel when looking at them is a reflection of how I felt and how profoundly I was touched by these experiences. Recently I scanned the color slides and digitally sepia-toned them for effect. This added even more warmth to them.

 

Allan ForestAllan Forest has been a photographer since 1971 when he graduated from the school of photography at Ryerson University, Toronto. Initially he focused on commercial studio photography and specialized in advertising and catalogue photography. He took sannyas in 1979 and frequently visited the commune in Pune. A few years ago he moved to the Sunshine Coast and currently freelances and takes landscape photographs. 24 of his photographs were published in the picture book, The Sunshine Coast.

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