Category Archives: Testimonial


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

Breaking the silence – Aritry Das

Breaking the Silence: Sometimes we repress our experiences because of trauma. This one day I was running out of a homestay in Dover Lane feeling violated. Much later I had managed to forget what caused that and lock the memory up in a distant silent box. A certain event has brought back those silenced memories now and age has taught me to see them in a new light.
Almost three years back I was interning for Emaho Magazine. I was recruited by its founding member Manik Katyal who was a facebook friend of mine. This one time when he came down to Calcutta for some work, he wanted to meet me and had asked me to go to where he was staying (in Dover Lane). Even after I had let him know that I was not comfortable going to his place as I did not know him much, he insisted that I do so. Being a timid, young girl at that point, I did go. Did not want to offend him – I took him as someone superior to me in rank.
When I was in Manik’s room he offered me a drink. I did not want to drink, but he coerced me into drinking anyway. Then, without asking for my permission he started to get physical with me and chose to ignore the fact that I have said NO a several time. A NO is a NO is a NO. But I gave in after a while. I failed to fight back in a strong manner back then. Do I regret it? Yes, I do.
I managed to stop him after a while and left his place. Later on whenever I thought about it I felt disgusted. I knew something was wrong about all of that. Then I was enlightened by the concept of “CONSENT” and structures of sexual harassment and gender oppression.
All of this came back to me with a critical understanding as I saw Emaho has now created a committee to prevent Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. The hypocrisy of all of it is just too much and I have also got to know that fact that he has done this shit to a lot of women. I was not the only person. It just pissed me off and I decided to share my experience.
Sharing the story of your oppression, I believe, only empowers you, and others who have faced the same. I am writing this for all the women whom he has done similar things to, and this is to let you know sister, we all stand together in this and we must stand tall. There’s no shame. However, there is much anger and let’s spread that anger.
#SurvivorsAgainstEmaho #ShameManikKatiyal