Pricless moments that defined 2017 through the lens of mid-day photographers

Dec 31, 2017, 16:01 IST | Sunday mid-day team

The year in pictures>> With a keen eye, a nose for news, and an ever-ready trigger, mid-day's dashing dozen captured some priceless moments that defined Mumbai in 2017, for better or for worse  

May 4
"This was taken on the day Eman Ahmed -- touted to be the world's second most heavy woman -- was flying to Abu Dhabi for the second leg of her treatment, after her surgery in Mumbai's Saifee Hospital. The media had gathered at the cargo section of the international airport, through which the ambulance carrying Ahmed was slated to pass. The media was at the rear door of the vehicle, queued up to get one last shot of her. However, the head-rest of Ahmed's bed was obstructing our view. I observed that her sister, who was first seated next to the driver, had opened the middle window and was shouting out instructions. I saw that as my 'window' of opportunity, quite literally. While the rest of the media kept jostling at the door, I slipped to the front of the ambulance, climbed in on the passenger seat, opened the window and got the shot. As you can see, her sister was visibly annoyed!"

Eman AhmedEman Ahmed being taken off the ambulance right before boarding the flight to Abu Dhabi, from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, after her surgery in Mumbai. Pic/Rane Ashish

Oct 5
"I am a regular visitor at Aarey Colony. That night, I was there on an assignment to cover the funeral of a boy, who had died of a snakebite. A few days ago, there had been rumours of a leopard having been spotted in the vicinity. My friends and I thought of driving around, to see if we could get a picture. It was 2.30 am when we spotted this sight and stopped the car. A leopard cub appeared to be lounging on the roof of a cowshed. The cub was there for 10 minutes. We flashed a torch on the animal while it stayed still. I got this shot on my telephoto lens, sans flash -- the torchlight provided the lighting. Seconds after this, there was a growl in the bushes below and the cub sprinted away."


A leopard cub spotted late night on top of a cowshed in Aarey Colony, Goregaon. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

Jan 16
"I like to catch celebrities and heavyweight figures when they let their guard down. On stage, they are usually most cautious, if not serious. So, it was quite an accomplishment to catch Mr Mukesh Ambani at that exact moment he acted goofy."

Mukesh Ambani and the governor of Maharashtra, CH Vidyasagar share a light moment during the convocation ceremony at the Mumbai University campus in Churchgate
Mukesh Ambani and the governor of Maharashtra, CH Vidyasagar share a light moment during the convocation ceremony at the Mumbai University campus in Churchgate. Pic /Suresh Karkera

Sep 12
"I had to wait for more than three hours to get this shot. A press conference was held to announce the demo launch of Mumbai's first sea plane service, which was attended by Mr Nitin Gadkari. However, soon after the conference, there was fog that lasted for nearly three hours, thereby stalling the flight. This was taken right after the plane had landed on the water, after its flight. Mr Gadkari took a while to find his footing as the plane and the platform kept wobbling. He seemed a little nervous."

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at the launch of a demo sea plane flight, held at Girgaon Chowpatty. Pic/ Bipin Kokate

Jun 21
"I was in search of an off-beat photo, when I was headed to Sassoon Docks one early morning. The fisherwomen there gather around the hundreds of boats that arrive loaded with the fish. Everyone fills in their respective buckets with the fresh catch of the day; however, hours before they can reach the market, their first [non-paying] customers are the birds that flock in."


A fisherwoman walks away with the fresh catch of the day, even as cranes fight for the first bite, at Sassoon Docks. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Sep 20
"You'd think film stars get themselves clicked ever so often, that beyond a point they would cease to bother how they look in every photo that is taken of theirs. At the Durga visarjan ceremony, I was proven wrong. On the last day of the puja, sitting on a make-shift platform beneath the idol, Rani Mukherjee and her mother, Krishna Mukherjee, with a hawk eye, appeared to be going through all the photos their in-house lensman had taken of them during the ceremony."

Rani Mukherjee and mother Krishna Mukherjee take a breather to look at some photos during the sindur khela ceremony on the last day of Durga Puja at Juhu's Tulip Star Hotel. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Rani Mukherjee and mother Krishna Mukherjee take a breather to look at some photos during the sindur khela ceremony on the last day of Durga Puja at Juhu's Tulip Star Hotel. PIC/Sneha Kharabe

Feb 13
"We are so used to cricketers and celebrities being flanked by their entourage to take care of them, that anything otherwise seems hard to believe. I was hanging by the T2 terminal late one night, to click photos of the Australian cricket team that had just arrived in Mumbai. There seemed to be no one around to load their bags into the bus. But, without making the tiniest fuss, Australian captain Steve Smith along with his team-mate David Warner started loading the bags. That's true sportsman spirit, I thought."

Australian captain Steve Smith and David Warner at the international airport, moments after arriving in Mumbai
Australian captain Steve Smith and David Warner at the international airport, moments after arriving in Mumbai Pic/ Datta Kumbhar

Oct 19
"Diwali lunch at Arpita Khan's Bandra home was attended by estranged couple Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan, amid raging rumours of their divorce. They arrived separately, Malaika arriving before Arbaaz. On her way out, it was striking to see her walk out, oblivious to his presence, even as he stood right behind. That moment only reaffirmed the buzz."

Australian captain Steve Smith and David Warner at the international airport, moments after arriving in Mumbai
Malaika Arora leaves Arpita Khan's home after a Diwali lunch in Bandra. Pic /Shadab Khan

Nov 22
"It was already 5.30 in the evening and I hadn't got a photo for that day. My friend and I were on a bike, on our way from Andheri to Juhu, when I spotted Varun Dhawan in a car next to us. I made sure he wasn't aware of our presence and we kept tailing him. At the DN Nagar signal, he shouted out to a few fans, asking them to wear a helmet while riding; his windows were down. At the Juhu signal, I spotted two fans in a rickshaw requesting him for a selfie. This photo was taken the moment he inched out through the window. I had no idea then that the snap would be inviting trouble for Varun, with the Mumbai police getting involved in the matter, and the actor being massively trolled for the pic."

Varun Dhawan
Varun Dhawan spotted clicking a selfie with fans at a traffic signal in Juhu. Pic/ Satej Shinde

Sep 5
"I was looking at getting a Ganesh visarjan shot that would be different from what we see every year. Everyone knows of the serpentine queues at Ganpati mandals, due to which, many don't even manage to get a darshan. That's why thousands of followers flock to Girgaon Chowpatty on visarjan day, to get a glimpse of the idol. While looking around, I spotted this little boy making a reach for Ganesha's feet, perhaps one last time, or even the first, until next year. I was nearly chest deep in water by the time I positioned myself to take this shot. You cannot tell from the picture, but, the boy is actually balanced on his father's shoulder."

Ganpati visarjan in Girgaon Chowpatty
Ganpati visarjan in Girgaon Chowpatty. Pic/ Atul Kamble

Dec 29
"When I reached the spot of fire at Kamala Mills, at 11.45 pm on Thursday night, no one seemed to know what was happening. It appeared that people had escaped and the firemen were busy dousing the flames. Over half an hour later, when the first body was pulled out from the washroom of Mojo's Bistro, they realised that several had died inside from suffocation. This is the photo of the first casualty being brought out. The fire trucks were blocking the entry of the ambulance, which is why there were no stretchers, and the firemen had to carry the bodies on their shoulders."

 A massive fire broke out in two eateries at Kamala Mills on Thursday night, claiming 14 lives. Pic/ Sameer Markande
A massive fire broke out in two eateries at Kamala Mills on Thursday night, claiming 14 lives. Pic/ Sameer Markande

Dec 15
"This could well be one of the most disturbing photos I have taken in my entire career, and even though it is a rare one, I hope there's never a repeat. It was noon, and very close to our office in Kala Nagar, I spotted a crowd gathered under an SRA building -- a man had positioned himself on the 19th floor, ready to jump to his death. My first instinct was to go upstairs and save him, but I was not allowed to go inside the building. 'The man is mentally unstable', I was told. I went up the building opposite this one, on to the 17th floor, and positioned myself at a spot where he couldn't see me. This man kept sitting where he was for 45 minutes, and then suddenly he took the fatal plunge. This was taken the second he jumped." 


Bandra Suicide
A 30-year-old, suspected to be mentally ill man, jumped off from the 19th floor of an SRA building in Bandra East. Pic/Nimesh Dave

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