“Suresh Punjabi was born in 1957, the year Guru Dutt’s iconic film, Pyaasa, was released. It was an odd coincidence, considering the key role the movie would play later in his life.
Those were heady days for the 10-year-old independent nation. Its first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had envisioned big dreams of economic reform and scientific modernisation, aspirations that spread among the teeming population of the infant republic. Two decades later, when Punjabi opened his commercial photography studio in the small town of Nagda in Madhya Pradesh, India was still buzzing from that excitement of self-discovery. It didn’t take Punjabi long to establish himself as the chronicler of that Great Indian Dream, although his role was acknowledged, and is being celebrated, only in the last decade or so.”