Pictures of the Day: Adrenalin Rush

Posted on August 4, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Photo of the Day, Sports, Travel
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Adil Najam

With Bilal Zuberi writing about the donkey cart race in Karachi and Shirazi mentioning the horse and cattle shows in his last post about the Potohar, I was reminded of the wonderful photographic art of Umair Ghani which I have been meaning to feature on ATP for some time.

This set of photographs depicts scenes from oxen races, one of the many staples of local horse and cattle shows (melas) in rural Punjab. Pairs of oxen (or jooRis) race against each other in a fast-paced, high-drama, heart-pounding racing event that is an absolute spectacle that would rival any Nascar race.

Much like the donkey cart race, this is an event that pushes the animals as well and the drivers literally to the edge of of their physical prowess and demands amazing control, concentration, and courage. It is, quite simply, a sight to behold and an experience that gets your adrenalin rushing as fast as that of the men and beasts on center stage.

I am, in fact, always amazed at the amazing work being done by Pakistani photographers and have a whole long list of photographers I want to feature. Umair’s work is particularly poignant – especially in capturing the essence and grandeur of rural Pakistan (something that urban Pakistan has always often ignored and sometimes undermined; more on this later). Umair has won gold medals in Asia’s biggest photo contest, Asahi Shimbun international Saloon of Photography (2005 & 2006), and many other awards and has been published internationally. [I also plan to feature other photographs from Umair Ghani - including some spectacular tent-pegging ones - soon.]

3 Comments on “Pictures of the Day: Adrenalin Rush”

  1. MSK says:
    August 4th, 2006 9:50 am

    First, what amazing pictures.
    Second, I am ashamed to say that I did not even know of these ox races. They look spectacular.
    Third, from the look of these, this looks like a very dangerous thing for the drivers. Right?

  2. August 4th, 2006 10:06 am

    compared to a gadha, these look like monstrous beasts. This must be quite a ride. I am reminded of a picture you put of a hari ploughing the field.
    On the topic of horse and cattle show, does the annual show in Lahore still capture the hearts and minds of people as it did when Sultan Golden used to do his long jumps? What is he upto by the way? Another topic for a dare-devil post?

  3. February 5th, 2007 7:57 am

    [...] All this, and more, I worry about. And when I do, one of the places I seek refuge in is the photographic portfolio of Umair Ghani, whose work we have featured on ATP before. Umair’s work speaks poignantly and beautifully of the reality of rural life in Pakistan (Punjab in the case of these pictures). [...]

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