During a workshop mentored by Magnum photographer Chien-Chi Chang, I lived with and made photographs of a close friend’s joint family in the south Indian city of Madras. Mornings started early with an aromatic cup of strong filter coffee over conversations with my friend’s grandparents. Their family arrangement was unique because of their ability to preserve traditional values while embracing modernity - evidenced by their acceptance of my friend’s live-in relationship with his girlfriend under the joint-family set up.

It was an emotional time for the family, my friend’s wedding preparations had come to an abrupt pause with the terminal medical diagnosis of his grandfather – the patriarch of the family. Interacting with them, I learnt that a sense of humour can go a long way in handling difficult situations. I accompanied my friend and his fiance on late night drives to the beach as they pondered their future. I witnessed his mother as she prayed for her father and prepared for the inevitable . I played fetch and sunbathed with his blissfully unaware Indie mutts – Whitepaw and Lisa.