Vintage photos shared by Narain Sawlani


A short break during Narain R. Sawlani’s interview with Geeta Chhabra for her blog at the villa of Narain R. Sawlani in Al Barsha, Dubai-UAE. (From Left to Right) – Mohammed Alattar, Geeta Chhabra and Narain R. Sawlani. Mohammed Alattar is a resident of the UAE and is working on a project called: Reverse Moments. He is connecting older studios in Dubai and meeting Emiratis, Pakistanis, Indians to know how they began experimenting with their cameras and the UAE landscape. This photograph has been possible through this chance and connection.

In the year of 1967 – H.H. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum with Indian President, Dr. Zakir Hussain, who stopped in Dubai for a few hours, on his way back from Haj in Jeddah, to New Delhi.
The photograph taken by Narain R. Sawlani shows Dr. Hussain seated with H.H. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and British Political Agent at the airport of Dubai.

In May 1978 – H.H. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum inaugrated the first Steel-Drum Factory at Al Quoz, affiliated with an Indian public sector company, called Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.
In the photo taken by Narain R. Sawlani, is Mr. H.N. Bahuguna, Minister of Petroleum, who specially flew down to attend the inauguration. Also seen are Mr. Saif Al Ghurair & Mr. Ansari, Indian Ambassador-UAE.

Seen in the monochrome picture is Narain Sawlani standing on MV Dara – years before the ship exploded and sank off Dubai in 1961.

A coolie carrying Narain R. Sawlani on his shoulder and bringing him from mid-stream’s small boat to the shores of Gwadar. This picture was taken by one of his relatives, in March 1958, when he visited his father and maternal uncle at Gwadar.

An interesting photo by Narain Sawlani of the gone by era when passengers were taken ashore in boats, after disembarking the ship. The ship could not touch land due to lack of a jetty.

In case of Gwadar, passengers would alight in a boat mid-stream, from their ship via a staircase hanging outside the vessel. The boatmen oared towards the shore, and, sometimes, the ordeal was to board from one boat to yet another smaller boat to touch land.

‘In the 1950s, Muscat also had no jetty for the ships to come alongside. But the ships could anchor very near to the shore, may be about half a kilometer away. Petty traders in their tiny boats came by the ship to sell their wares – shells, conches and Shankhs. Passengers readily bought things by stringing down baskets with ropes, flung from their ship. The water of the sea was usually calm and very, very clear. We used to throw a coin of 25 Paisa or 50 Paisa, and the local boy would jump in water and bring up the coin from the bottom. We, too, could see the coin lying at the bottom! These are the experiences, never to be forgotten.’
As told to the diarist by Narain R. Sawlani on the photograph taken by him decades ago.

Look! See! Narain Sawlani’s digital recreation of a marvel… fish jumping up to the surface as they saw light of a Petromax lantern in the darkness of night, in Dubai waters.

Old Stamps from a Collection of Narain Sawlani’s Hobby.

More Old Stamps from Narain R. Sawlani’s Collection.