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Namit280SHUNYA, a labor of love and lunacy, dates from Feb 2000. It hosts photos by Namit Arora, and writing by him and Usha Alexander.

NAMIT ARORA, the founder of Shunya, grew up in the Indian cow-belt city of Gwalior, famous for its fort and the first epigraphic evidence of zero. His training at IIT Kharagpur led him to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a masters in computer engineering, and a great escape to Silicon Valley in the early '90s. In his day job over the next two decades, he played a cog in the wheel of Internet technology at three failed startups and at Nokia, Cisco, and McAfee. This didn't make him wise, but did enable him to attend lectures of dubious practical value at Stanford and to live, work, or travel in scores of countries, including yearlong stints in London and Amsterdam. He quit this line of work in mid-2013 and moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Delhi NCR.

During a two-year break (2004-06), Namit traveled across India and created a photojournal. Over 15 museums, 30 academies, and 50 publishers have licensed his photos. His essays have appeared in venues like the Humanist, the Caravan, Philosophy Now, Himal Southasian, the Kyoto Journal, the Philosopher, and four college anthologies in the U.S. He has a column on 3 Quarks Daily and has finished a novel that he hasn't published yet. Namit's review of Joothan won the 3 Quarks Daily 2011 Arts & Literature Prize. His recent work includes River of Faith, a documentary film about the Kumbh Mela.

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Photo Licensing and Copyright

Namit's photos have been licensed by museums, academia, media & publishing, governments, individuals, NGOs, etc. If you too wish to use one or more of his copyrighted photos, please email to negotiate a sensible fee, file format, and resolution (images on this website are less than half the size and quality of the original). The license fee depends on your means and ends, and is usually in the USD 30-300 range (volume discounts available) — progressive non-profits (e.g., Amnesty, ACLU, ICRC, MSF, UNICEF) can get their licenses for free. Please always inquire before copying (fair use exception). To make an online payment, click on the Buy Now button on the right.

Selected Licensee Organizations

 

 

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"Shunya" means "zero" as well as a metaphysical "void". Zero and our decimal system arose in India some 1500 years ago, reaching the West via the Arabs and so came to be called Arabic Numerals. The city of Gwalior, in its Bhojadeva inscriptions, has the earliest known epigraphic evidence of zero in India. So for all practical purposes, Gwalior may be regarded as the birthplace of zero. It also happens to be the city where Namit was raised and he surely stands to gain a measure of pride from this association. :-)


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