India — A Light Within

Among the many artistic collaborations that I have had the pleasure of being a part of over the years, one of the most significant has been my ongoing work with photographer Charlee Brodsky and poet Zilka Joseph.

Charlee and I started working together when she started making a series of stark black and white photographs of my dance hands. Subsequently she came to India with me, and created a large body of work in three main areas: street scenes of Kolkata, color photographs of my dance hands, but this time in a cultural context, and photographs of disadvantaged children who had undergone heart surgeries in Kolkata with the financial support we were providing through a non-profit organization I founded (

It was an absolute pleasure to work with Charlee. Our interactions were stimulating and rich with creative possibilities. I learned a great deal about photography just by watching her at work. On our return to the US, we started discussing the possibilities of taking our work further. It seemed to us that we needed a writer/poet to add a voice to the photographs.

I had felt an instant connection with Zilka when I met her in Ann Arbor a few years back. We could talk, laugh and share thoughts and ideas with the ease of old friends. I admired the artistry of her writing, and related to and felt moved by her poems. It seemed natural that she would join the collaboration that Charlee and I had started.

I feel privileged and delighted to work with these two amazing women. The following links provide a glimpse of our work.

Wisdom of the Lotus

— Sreyashi Dey

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