For months I’m spreading the word as much as I can, everywhere I can but I had the feeling that some people thought I was just a bad tongue… They couldn’t believe it.

– Francoise Callier

Some years ago, I was naive enough to believe his bullshit and laughed off his inappropriate FB messages as I was tricked into thinking he had some clout and connections within the photo industry. I was just starting my freelancing career and in attempts to not upset a ‘bigwig’ in the industry, I didn’t make much of his advances, trying to convince me to come to Delhi, to intern at Emaho, telling me about the Magnum photographers he was curating and the workshops he was teaching at. On the contrary, I had some of my work published on Emaho about three years ago, a couple years ago I stopped responding to all messages. It kind of makes me feel shitty right now but it is what it is. When you’re used to dealing with sexual harassment in India on a daily basis, this kind of seemed negligible to me. Many other women have had much worse experiences of which I only recently found out about. Whether you’ve faced it or not, it’s time we stand up for each other. There are many people in the industry who knew about it but said nothing, instead patted each other on the backs, jerked each other off and didn’t warn another woman about it. That needs to stop.

– Karen Dias

Good to see that people are finally speaking out against this asshole. He tried similar things with me, despite me shooting him down every time he said something that made me uncomfortable (which, to him, was ‘flirting’). And now that I go back to check my Inbox for the messages, it looks like he has deactivated that profile and moved on to a new one.

– Disha Raychaudhuri

12193631_10153681718760768_2373745277051903499_nHe tells random people on facebook chat how they have a “cute ass” and when they don’t take it as a compliment, he says ‘I’m a photo editor and so couldnt keep it to myself ” – Somya Lakhani

here’s a thin line between flirting and harassing, and I know it too damn well. In all honesty, Manik Katyal’s “cute ass” remark to me on Facebook chat didn’t offend me. It was odd and I could totally live without it, I must add. It was odd because he didn’t know me, we were just friends on Facebook, and after days of him saying “hi” and “hello” and “coffee” and this and that, and getting almost no response for me, he still felt he could comment on my behind, like it’s the most obvious thing to say to a stranger. Anyway, not offended. What did offend me, and still does, is the line that follows my displeasure in that chat — “I am a photo editor so couldn’t keep it in”. That is misuse of power now. You don’t justify a comment on my bum by talking about your profession, like your seniority should intimidate me, like this is a reminder to me that I should take it as just “banter”. Well, no sir. Is there a reason people say ” don’t get offended “? Because I sure as hell don’t get it. Just because you didn’t mean to offend me doesn’t mean I wasn’t offended, pointed out a cartoon strip on Facebook a couple of months ago. So, there goes his ” don’t get offended ” remark after the “cute ass” one. Now, why were we Facebook friends. I am a journalist with a daily, a features writer with them, keeping a tab on music, cinema, photography and so on. Emaho magazine and Manik Katyal are obviously names I have read, and my Facebook account is full of people who are part of my industry or a similar associated circle. I didn’t think twice when he sent me the friend request. I am explaining this because I know that a lot of people (the insensitive douchey kinds) will wonder why I call him a stranger and still had him on Facebook. Well here’s the reason. Unfortunately, since I posted Aritry’s incident on Facebook, three of my friends have come up and told me their stories. To be honest, Manik didn’t bother me in a similar fashion again. But it boils my blood to read other testimonies. I urge you all to come out and talk about this. This is obviously not limited to the photographer community, since I am not one, and two of my friends are running start-ups. It needs to reach a bigger audience. Power to you all!

– Somya Lakhani

So while ostensibly discussing photography and Emaho which had just been launched, he would send me playful (for me more like offensive) messages on Facebook like ‘let’s get drunk and see where this goes’ and ‘come over or invite me’. I would keep putting it off politely, being used to ignoring advances than dealing with them properly. I started ignoring him when he sent messages like ‘birthday kiss?’ – I remember making an emoji for a kick coz I couldn’t deal with telling him to shut up. He ofcourse said something on the lines of ‘oh so u like it wild’ and that he likes to keep trying. Finally I Unfriended him when he messaged me about my Hotel Room photo series (which I had put up on Facebook) saying ‘I’d like to be in those beds’ or some such.

– Niha Masih

Someone i knew had a French friend who was dating Manik Katyal of Imawhore Magazine or whatever i dont care. I was as usual at a party she dragged me to. It was actually at gk the earlier house of Ritika. Manik Katyal pretended to be fellow introvert and after he assumed enough time had gone past for me to be in senses (i was v bored that day and not carrying and not interested in asking anyone else.).

Anyway this ****face was observing me the whole time, trying to converse with me and another girl, as if the exchange had been a trilateral one including him as plainly as day. I said something. As per usual society, he manipulated my silence well enough to rile me up about why I’m not dancing.

Like a great motivational coach he insisted on me letting inhibitions go and just dance. The conversation like my 3rd that night, was about how I’m bored, and he invited himself to various assumptions. Anyway long story short, he just randomly fed his face to mine and before i had time to gauge what the **** happened, we were already on the level of him assuring me that it shouldn’t be weird. Then he asked (made me agree) to dance and i felt that i could hang about and escape to the loo. He started dancing with me in true indian boy fashion, literally making me struggle to make calculated moves like the insides of a lock, to get out of situation without being rude. Because of course. Then again in a room full of people i had met completely because my friend insisted that he would give a ride to the party prior, he locked me in what i shall describe as the worst feeling of suffocation a man besides the usual suspects who you trust to clothe, feed and rear you because you belong to them, has made me feel.

I told my friends about this second attempt in the whole night when he studied me, tried to isolate me from group by forcing demands on me to explain my personality to him.

Then of course there are other stories i have and well. He’s a cunt. Not everyone in your list is awesome. I know previous generations of indians just discovered sex but for fuck’s sake if you are someone amongst the string of people he’s violated and annoyed, speak up now along with sharing this post.

– RP

7 thoughts on “Testimonials”

  1. WOW

    Just checked my inbox and found a bunch of messages from this same Manik dude. He seems to have gotten way more aggressive and offensive with his advances with some of you other ladies.

    I brushed off his offers to hangout everytime he brought it up. Although, most of his comments to me were not sexually direct. Didn’t know he had victimised so many women on so many different occasions.


  2. hello, maybe you all can do something else about it. Like, denouncing it somewhere, to some authority in India, keep all those messages as proof, for instance? (I crossed his path briefly back in 2013 in Thailand, at a cultural center, all this comes as a surprise to me, and I’ll keep my eye open)


  3. The reason I am anonymous is not coz I want to, but when I confront him with this , I want shock and awe . I have been wary of him for 7 years now. He is ruining the name of st. Georges Mussoorie by calling himself an alumnus – a Manorite ; whereas he was there for just 4 months and eventually kicked out for neither performing in academics or sports ( that school is bloody cruel when it comes to student contribution) . I have such amazing friends from that school and this guy is like a blot on their alumni even though 4 months is not an alumni qualification .

    His likes on emaho are purchased . He stages his Skype interviews , he has rent outstanding for his house in the hills, I happened to visit a friend in delhi who told me his story . Doesn’t have a dslr not even a simple camera .
    He is the scam artist you should be aware about .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. this public slandering is extremely regressive and stone age behavior. You sound self righteous and hypocritical. Neither is it courageous nor feminist. This kind if severity is dangerously getting out of hand. This is not going to solve the real issue which is being aware and confident of your rights as a woman and empowered enough to stick up your middle finger and walk away.


      1. Your reply is a classic case of stupidity . I am smart enough to understand that you know very little of him. By the way I am not a woman, I am a guy who happens to have a common friend called Manik Katyal. Get a hold on your thoughts about feminism and rights and all that. You should take a first hand account of the stories from the friends who thought we all were close friends.


    2. I don’t think the point of this blog is to create shock and awe but to support those who have been abused and make sure that we deal with this as a community.

      Lets not try to create a spectacle but look into this as a real problem with real people. I have known Manik for a long time and I have had friends who have been harassed by him. We need to proud of those who come ahead and support them, not by being anonymous but by showing that we are not scared of people who want to take advantage of our friends and colleagues just because they have some sort of power to project.


  4. It’s so disappointing to hear the comments here. It’s high time he renders an apology to everyone here. Quite disappointed. will make sure he gets to know about this.


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