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Sakthivel Shoban, 12

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Our neighbour gave us so many eggs before the (photo) shoot, so we thought of making bajji - an ordinary egg snack in India. In Singapore we would eat it with Chinese garlic chilli sauce. I always see my grandparents from India using video call, but we don’t have a group photo. Now that I’ve learned photography, I want to take photos with my grandparents. I need to do that.

About Shoban

Having recently migrated from India, Shoban Sakthivel’s family is still adjusting, seeking a sense of balance in their lives here. In this quest, they have made some unexpected discoveries. One finding was truly a match made in heaven: the Indian street snack Baiji paired with Singapore garlic chilli sauce.

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Have a listen to Shoban's reflection in this journey of documenting his mother cooking egg bhajji or read on in the transcript below.

Interview with Shoban
00:00 / 02:21

Shiyun: What was your experience like telling your mother about this project?

 

Shoban: My mother first said no, then after that, AJ came to our house, then talked to my mother about the project. Then my mother think about it, then she said okay. But she was like “I have a lot of paper correction”, I cannot do, but I do for you. She said like that.

 

Shiyun: Can you tell us more about the whole preparation like for that day, because your father also shaved, and seemed like everybody is prepared for it.


Shoban: That day, we thought to do vadai, but then the auntie, our neighbour, gave us so many eggs. So we thought, like, an egg snack would be better. So my mother prepared that. This snack is so ordinary in India. It’s very easy to prepare. Even I can also do. 

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Shiyun: Do you feel that you will fuse different elements - some things that you eat in India, some things in Singapore, then you put it together?

 

Shoban: Ya! In India they give a separate chutney for this dish. But we use the Singapore, the Chinese garlic, chili sauce. It was nice. But we only find the combo that day only. We don’t know the combo before.

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Shiyun: Do you feel like you’re inspired to learn more about photography or pick up more cooking?

 

Shoban: Ya, I thought just buy a simple camera and take about our family, put a group photo like that. Because before that I was just talking with my family, my grandparents in India with video call, we never took a group photo before. So now I’ve learned photography, now I want to take separate photo of my grandparents. Because my father side grandparents are already dead. So my mother’s side grandparents are only alive. So need to take. I want to.

 

Shiyun: So you feel that the photograph is important?

 

Shiyun: Yes, it’s memory.

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