Sample Memorial

Long tribute to a photographer

Aarav Mehta

Aarav Mehta, internationally renowned photographer and businessman, passed away on 27th July 2013 in his hometown of Mumbai, India. He was 67. According to his sister, Mrs. Anita Sharma, heart disease was the cause of his death.

He was born on 31st November 1946, in Khar, Mumbai to Deepak and Rani Mehta, both deceased. The younger of two children, he was a vivacious child whose curiosity often got him into trouble.

Throughout his many adventures, Aarav had one trusty sidekick, his camera. Presented to him on his 18th birthday by his parents, it was not long before Aarav was so attached to his camera that he was aptly nicknamed “AV” by family and friends. There were many who thought that his camera touting days would be a passing fad like his many other short-lived passions such as cricket and stamp collecting. They were proven wrong. Photography became Aarav’s all-consuming love and his life’s work for nearly half a century.

“His father had wanted him to take over the family’s textile business... AV was pushed into a business he had no real interest in,” said childhood friend, Mr. Ronit Tomar. However, he dutifully joined the family business in 1967 after attaining a degree in Business at Mumbai University.

Over the next five years, he worked tirelessly, learning the intricacies of managing a business. He was popular among his colleagues and built trust with his clients easily. The money he made he squirreled some away to fund his true passion - photography. He bought the latest cameras, lens, gadgets and lighting equipment. In his spare time, he practiced his art on the streets of Mumbai and on his clients, who soon became his biggest fans.

After more than a decade in the family business and honing his photography skills, he bravely ventured out to become a full-time professional photographer.

He joined a production company, Lenstik, as an assistant photographer. His forte was people, photographing them at work and play, in religious festivals, in any conceivable situation. He had the eye of an artist and the hands of a skilled technician. Every photograph told a story or drew the viewer into a mystery or a poignant moment in the palette of life.

Countless state and national competitions and gallery exhibitions later, he became a well-known national icon. Photographing a myriad of subjects from Bollywood movie stars and eminent politicians to the rickshaw riders and street vendors, Aarav’s photographs recorded the history and soul of India and her people.

Ultimately, it was a series of riveting black and white stills of Mumbai that launched him into the international stratosphere. Capturing simple, images of everyday life in Mumbai, Aarav made each photograph come alive with the nuances of the city’s trials and tribulations. “The pictures he took captured the very soul of our city. He showed it in a way that made people instantly recognize Mumbai’s color and character,” remarked Mr. Yash Sen, a close friend and mentor of Aarav.

In 1971, taking a leap of faith, Aarav Mehta Studios opened its doors to the public. It was here that Aarav combined his love for photography and his business acumen cultivated from the family textile business to build a successful studio and gallery thus far unparalleled in India.

He is survived by his sister, Mrs. Anita Sharma and his three nephews Ananth, Balu and Chandra. Ananth Sharma, his nephew, said, “My uncle was filled with such joie de vivre, it was downright infectious.”

Through the viewfinder of his camera, Aarav “AV” Mehta lived a thousand lives in a singular lifetime, seeking each day to capture the most complex subject of all, Life itself.



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