Instameet – The Slave Island Chapter #wwim12.

What's an Instameet, you ask? It's basically a bunch of Instagrammers getting together, using each individual's username to identify each other, and then gallivanting around the neighbourhood (which would have been decided earlier on) and clicking pictures of stuff that catches each person's eye.

It's a beautiful and simple way to keep in touch through shared hobbies and interests, and to improve one's Instagramming skills. It allows you to discover new places in your country, encounter new things, and meet like-minded people.

Plus, it brings forth a ton of generally amazing pictures — pictures of the same object or characters, sometimes — through different perspectives.

This year's Instameet was held over the weekend of 3-4 October, with the venue being Slave Island. The starting point was the Castle Hotel at 3.30 PM. As many a curious and utterly bemused local looked on, the dodgy bar at kompangya veediya gradually filled up as around 50 people walked in between then and 4.30. This year's meet was slightly different because we didn't begin walking and clicking over-enthusiastically as soon as we'd convened, but had a sit-down and panel discussion of sorts.

Discussions happening right now at #WWIM12SriLanka #InstaMeetSL

A photo posted by Nazly Ahmed (@nazlyahmed) on


True to Sri Lankan form, we hobnobbed and kacha-kacha-fied a bit before actually getting down to business. The discussion (with panelists consisting of @Amaliniii, @Colombosensei and Menika van der Poorten ) touched on the topics of narrative, contemporary, and film photography in today's context.

Well then, let's forge onwards shall we?


#WWIM12SriLanka #InstaMeetSL about to kick off in a Puddle of Mud. Expect some #Puddlegram s.

A photo posted by Nazly Ahmed (@nazlyahmed) on

The next couple of hours saw us sidestepping puddles of water and mud, while walking into street performances made of animal abuse. Not pictured: the crankiness and cruelty of this old man bullying his dogs into performing tricks. I know he needs to make a living, but come on.

Let's make this as quick as possible because, to be honest, there were a ton of interesting sights and including them all here is going to take forever to type.

To put the interesting events in a nutshell, we walked through a watta — a catacomb of homes and structures standing shoulder to shoulder in a higgledy piggeldy line on both sides of tiny lanes — saw a group of old men dancing a jig on the middle of the street while women and children peeked out of doorways and hung over stoops. We also met this group of absolutely delightful little kids. Aren't they darlings?

No, not really. They weren't. Darlings, I meant. Shortly after this photo was taken, they ran straight to the guy holding the small carton of icecreams and surrounded him and, as Kinita said, ran off into the sunset. We met them again a short while later, and they proudly brandished their stolen goods brazenly in our faces.


Posers on a Sunday evening #wwim12srilanka

A photo posted by Thyagi (@thyagir) on

It wasn't all dancing dogs and daylight robbery though. Further in, we found droves of doves and pigeons, rickety old apartments which had become so one with nature that there were trees growing all along the outer walls, and a well-kept grassy area bordering the railtracks and the 'posher' side of Colombo which the Slave Islanders jokingly refer to as the 'New York' park. We also found a cat nursing her rather large kitten inside a tuktuk with seats that matched the occassion.

Towards the end, we followed the tracks back to the Castle Hotel and discovered what a beautiful place the Slave Island Railway Station is.

That's about it, folks. If you'd like to see more photos of the walk and learn a bit more about the atmosphere of Slave Island on a not-too-sunny Sunday evening, you can check them out here 🙂 

Until next time, then. Have a great week ahead!

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