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August 6th, 2023


Photography and story by Uma Muthuraaman
Introduction by Melanie Meggs

Welcome to the world of Uma Muthuraaman, an Indian-born photographer, writer, brand strategist and mother based in Zurich. She has a special talent for capturing the forever in the fleeting and the magnificence of the mundane, telling stories with wit and wisdom. Her captivating photos take us on a journey through her Asian roots, Indo-European experiences and her vast globetrotting.

Uma has a deep understanding of business, analytics, and creativity, having worked in India, Singapore, and Germany in product communication, creative ideation, conceptualization, and storytelling. She is passionate about social projects which she calls, “heart work (because they tug at my heart and fill me with a sense of purpose)” — volunteering for social causes like homeless animal adoption via the Blue Cross of India in Chennai, literacy projects in rural India, and teaching meditation breath workshop on the weekends.

Her ongoing project “Where the Waves Meet the Ocean” began on her last trip to Chennai, India, where she was born and raised. With this series, Uma invites us to experience the unique patterns of a place and look at our surroundings with full awareness. Through this project, she explores the idea of finding in ourselves what we seek in other people and places — like waves searching for the ocean, being it, and not knowing it.

We invite you to join Uma on this journey of exploration and self-discovery. Set aside your digital devices, pause in the present moment, and let her captivating photos take you away.


Travel, for me, is a state of mind and photography - an open eye meditation. I travel every second, and every journey is transformative. In some journeys, I sit still; in some others, I move, often with a camera. Every time the shutter releases, the past and the future blur, enhancing the present – bringing into focus what I would typically miss with a screen in front of me.

The photos in this series are a collection of seemingly unexciting moments - mundane moments, as we say. But for me, these moments hold immense wisdom.

In the fleeting, there’s a forever;
In the mundane, there's magnificence.

This series “Where the Waves Meet the Ocean” is an ongoing project. It started in my last trip to Chennai, India - where I was born and raised. Having lived two decades in Europe, I return home every year with a new inner eye.

I see patterns that are ubiquitous yet very characteristic of a place and its people. I see stories I would have missed if I were looking at my phone - stories worth telling and rewriting from a new perspective. The camera allows for a natural digital detox bringing me to the present moment. In a fleeting second, I realise I am the wave looking for the ocean.

We experience wellbeing in the analogue life - not digital, yet we tend to seek it digitally when we are not aware. Like the waves searching for the ocean - being it and not knowing it. This realisation sparked an inner journey that led to this photo series.

Uma Muthuraaman is a truly inspiring individual who brings the world closer together through her captivating photos and stories. Her ongoing project “Where the Waves Meet the Ocean” is an incredible journey of exploration, discovery, and mindfulness. Uma encourages us to put away our digital devices, be in the present moment, and explore the unique patterns and stories of a place with a new perspective. Through her work, we can find well-being in the analog life and experience how the mundane holds immense wisdom. We invite you to explore more of Uma’s work by using the links below and join her in this journey of exploration and mindfulness.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author/s, and are not necessarily shared by The Pictorial List and the team.

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