I began documenting my grandmother and great grandmother early last year when I started realizing that the only bond we shared was of blood, not of memories. Having lived an exponentially different life from them in the capital of the country, going back to them in the small town of Puri, Orissa is like taking a step back in time. Having barely had a relationship with the paternal side of my family, this project gives me an excuse to be there. It somehow legitimizes my presence, at that moment in their lives. The photographs are but an excuse of getting familiar with what is considered as my family.
But what is family? Does birth determine it? If you share a bloodline, but no memories in common, does that make you family? If I meet my great grandmother for the first time when she is 98, not knowing if she will survive, does that fleeting encounter suddenly alter all those years of no contact? Am I entering their life as a photographer, or as their grand-daughter? I want to find answers to these questions, perhaps only relevant to myself.