Doors Are Stories: The Photographic Obsession of Divyakshi Gupta

A wash of blue in Varanasi. Photo (and all photos in this post) by Divyakshi Gupta.

Through traveling, Mumbai-based photographer Divyakshi Gupta discovers other places and cultures, but also reconnects with the lost bits and pieces of herself. “There is immense learning in travel,” says Divyakshi. “An exchange of cultures, stories, experiences, and emotions that resurfaces a deep, underlying truth: we are all the same, yet so different.”

At The Quirky Wanderer, Divyakshi blogs about her wanderings, mostly in the hidden nooks and corners of India. She is attracted to everything — streets to textures to colors — but is especially intrigued by doors. “Doors are more than mere photographic subjects or pretty frames,” she says. “They are stories.”


Can you tell us about your obsession with doors?

Divsi Gupta
Divyakshi Gupta

I often think doors are veils to homes. Each have a distinct character, speaking volumes of the people living behind the door. It’s fun to guess what could possibly be behind a door — an array of secrets, emotions, and mysteries. A home with laughter, heartaches, hopes, banter, and more.

Doors seem increasingly personified. Chirpy, tired, aging, hopeful, and waiting. In my travels, I have come across many interesting doors. I love countryside doors. They are colorful, lively, and vibrantly done with meticulous care.

City doors, however, are mundane — almost lifeless. As if we are so pressed with time that we cannot spend time to do up our doors creatively.

A huge drum, used in religious festivals, placed in front of a colored temple door in Mathura.
A huge drum, used in religious festivals, placed in front of a colored temple door in Mathura.
Most doors in rural India are freshly painted regularly with unique color combinations. Blue is used often, especially in hot regions, as a respite from the heat.
Most doors in rural India are freshly painted regularly with unique color combinations. Blue is used often, especially in hot regions, as a respite from the heat.

It’s fun to guess what could possibly be behind a door — an array of secrets, emotions, and mysteries.

A simple sari hung on a wall in a village.
A simple sari hung on a wall in a village.
A traditional old door, with a man resting next to it.
A traditional old door, with a man resting next to it.

In your travels, where have you found interesting doors?

I’ve photographed my best door compositions in places like Punjab, Rajasthan, and smaller towns and villages of the Indian countryside. Some of the color combinations, coupled with wooden handles and brass locks, are striking. I must confess, I have a thing for antique doors. They truly are a witness to the glorious yesteryears.

When people are curious as to why I’m taking a photo of their door, I simply shrug and say, “We don’t make them like these in cities.” I’ve often been invited to see the humble, cozy homes inside. Otherwise, I’ll take a photo and sneak past, leaving the world on the other side to my imagination.

Alwar, Rajasthan.
Doors of a court in Alwar, Rajasthan.

I have a thing for antique doors. They truly are a witness to the glorious yesteryears.

A door in a rural Punjab prepartition home.
A door in a rural Punjab prepartition home.
Two priests complete the door frame in a temple in Varanasi.
Two priests complete the door frame in a temple in Varanasi.

I’ll take a photo and sneak past, leaving the world on the other side to my imagination.


Explore more of Divyakshi Gupta’s travel photography at The Quirky Wanderer and follow her on Instagram (@divsigupta), Facebook (The Quirky Wanderer), and Twitter (@DivsiGupta).

June 9, 2016Interviews, Photo Essay, Photography, Place,