In the house that I grew up in, there hangs an image on the side of our refrigerator. It is a portrait of my paternal grandfather.  I never felt an urge to look at the other side of the image that I glanced at everyday, until one day at the peak of the first lockdown in India, in which the initially predicted two weeks turned into 6 long months. On the back of the image, addressed to my grandmother on the 6th of march 1969, there was written the phrase 'To My Darling Love'.

This sentence showed a side of my grandfather that I heard of but never experienced. After all, he was a man that I lost at the age of 6. The only memories that I hold of him are the stories shared by the rest of my family. Stories of him as an army man, as a husband, as a pillar of support for his children. This sentence, this initial finding led to an urge to delve deeper into more of his archives and find more belongings that had been spread across the house. Each of the images and possessions that I found carried a thousand stories.

From the medals that he earned at the army before taking an early retirement due to medical reasons, to his suit jackets from his job afterwards at Jamshedpur - the place where my parents first met in their teenage years - to countless archives throughout different stages of his life. In that house, there are so many things that are linked to him, from the legs of the dinner table that we sat on everyday: which came from his village, to the couch in our living room: which was his cot as a child. The longer I looked, the more I found, unravelling and discovering threads and links that flew under the radar throughout my life.

‘To My Darling Love’, a project that became a way to connect and learn more about a man that I am a direct descendant of, whose life and decisions have impacted me in a multitude of ways. The work is a collection of collected archival footage and still lives of objects that belonged to my grandfather. These images became and still are important elements in my work that keep guiding and shaping most of my projects.