Retired Captain Navtej Singh served 32 years with the Indian Navy, during which he clicked some of the most remarkable pictures, each with a story behind it.

1. The Meghwal Tribe The Meghwal tribe, residing in the Mewar region of Rajasthan and Kutch of Gujarat, is known for their peculiar albeit elaborate gold nose ring called the ‘velado’.

This elaborate accessory holds significant importance as it is synonymous with a mark of marriage in the community.

2. The Porbandar Fishing Harbour The all-weather port is such a great place for fishing that the catch from here makes up for 8.5% of Gujarat’s total catch.

“The water below will be dotted with these stationary boats, forming a vibrant mosaic amidst the monsoon rains,” says Captain Navtej.

3. Salt Evaporation Ponds Thrilling times at great altitudes mean Capt Navtej often has opportunities to capture shots from an aerial standpoint.

One such moment was witnessing the salt pans in the Rann of Kutch — a riot of colours determined by the different salinity levels of the ponds.

4. INS Vikramaditya The modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier was originally built in the Soviet Union in the 1980s as the Baku-class carrier, named Admiral Gorshkov.

It was decommissioned in 1996 and later sold to India in 2004. After a thorough refurbishment, the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2013, explains Capt Navtej.

5. Life At Sea Capturing the essence of what life is as part of the armed forces is not an easy task, cautions Capt Navtej.

“A missile is only fired once and you have a moment to get your shot. That moment won’t come back. Every instance, every picture has its own glory.”

6. Foxtrot-Class Submarines In 1967, India acquired its first Foxtrot-class submarine from the Soviet Union. Measuring 300 feet and weighing 1,500 tons, these magnanimous carriers had a top speed of about 16 knots and could dive to a depth of about 985 feet.

7. The Brokpas Community While one says they are descendants of the Aryans, another legend says they were the ones from Alexander’s army who chose to stay back in 325 BC while the rest retreated.

“The women wear striking head attire adorned with vibrantly coloured flowers along with heavy metal pieces, silver jewellery, sheepskin caps and sheep wool,” says the Captain.

8. The Havelock Islands A fascinating symbiosis unfolds between local fishermen and the fragile ecosystems of coral reefs and mangroves. This is a testament to the harmonious coexistence that can be achieved when traditional wisdom and conservation merge.

9. The Fisherfolk Of Visakhapatnam The fishermen at Visakhapatnam still rely on their traditional country boats. “The fishermen face the risk of capsizing or being swept away by strong currents. Inclement weather conditions can make it difficult to navigate and return safely to the shore.”

10. Semaphore Semaphore is a traditional form of visual communication deployed as a reliable backup method of communication when electronic systems fail or are compromised.