"Wow,, those were the days!!","Hey dont I look beautiful in this pic?","Please dont post that picture on FB, I will be finished, my friends will hate this look","Wow, wish I could visit that place", "Baby is chooww chweet"...there are innumerable exclamations you come across when you see photographs.
Why are photographs such an important part of our life?
Photographs has the power of making/breaking ur day, they can make u cry and laugh, they can make u love someone or even hate someone, they are ur past and your present and sometimes ur future too. Sometimes, photographs are your best friends, and other moment they are ur worst critics.
I got the photography keeda(bug) from my mom. My Mom always loved clicking our pictures and even in those days of photo studios and pricy photographers, there is not one occasion in our lives that we are short of photos(read memories).All thanks to my Mom. She is an artist, right from flower decoration, salad decoration, mehendi, painting, embroidery, gardening, etc etc, she has a click of all her art. Her albums are a bible for people who come to get ideas from her for various competitions. (On a lighter note, unfortunately I haven’t got 1 % of her creativity in me!!). Not only that, she is a social worker too, and amazingly she has captured every social service events in a proper scrapbook with pictures of every occasion. I used to find it very silly at times, that why is it so important for her to waste time on these useless scrapbook which nobody would be interested in seeing after sometime.
But today, when I am a little more mature, have seen a little more life, and finally learnt to put myself in others shoe. I know that tomorrow when she is playing her second inning in life, she will have a humungous treasure of memories with her. Right from her Neetu Singh style bell bottom pants picture clicked in Kashmir to her brilliant creations with inanimate objects. She will be proud of her social work and will always have something to remind her of her goodness in life. Pictures are so much a mirror of what you were, are and would like to be in life. Pictures will remind you of the good things you have done and never let you forget the lessons of the bad things happened in your life.
Recently I heard about a family wall, which one of my co sisters flaunt on her drawing room wall. She said that she has a picture of everybody in our family including me (newest member) on her wall. She says it is amazing to see the happiness one gets to see themselves on her wall. And in a way it reflects the importance of that person in her life. I thought its a wonderful idea, and why only family? I would like to have a Memory wall in my house with pictures of everybody who mattered in my life. And I am sure, each one of you who is reading this will be delighted to see your pictures on my wall.
Coming back to photographs, I know some people who are totally uninterested in photographs. I feel like an alien when I click pictures when they are around. It was difficult for me to digest initially why are they not interested in pictures? What makes them feel it is a waste of time when for me taking a picture of every moment I would like to cherish is so important? The answer lies in a small incidence which I remember when I went to Niagara falls for the first time!! Niagara falls are the most beautiful falls on earth and when you first encounter it, it feels blissful. (Not that I haven’t seen more beautiful falls than Niagara in India, but the idea of seeing Niagara itself makes it very special). When I had my first encounter with the magical falls, I enjoyed every bit of it. And suddenly remembered, ohhhhhhh,,I haven’t clicked it yet!! Not that it was going to run away, but the thought of missing that click, made me forget to enjoy the beauty of it and start clicking it. Not that I had participated in a competition to click Niagara, but instinctively it came to me. And there I was, clicking the pictures instead of enjoying the moment.
I think that is the reason some people feel that it is a waste of time to click pictures, who sees them later on and why bother to show it to others. And they make you forget to live in the present. Yes, in a way they are correct. But whatever said and done, I still remain a photograph lover!!
I always liked getting clicked. As a child, I had done some immensely foolish things for getting clicked. As stupid as coming in between the bride and groom in all the pictures of their wedding. And I am still embarrassed when I meet those relatives in a social function. As a normal teenager, I also had that phase of HATE being clicked. But it soon faded away when in college I used to get complimented for my wonderful pics. After that there was no looking back. Pictures on every occasion was a must. We had a group of 4 close friends, "Agrawal Sisters" as others use to call us in college. Though one of them was not Agrawal, still staying with us, she was tagged like us. And we had a photo session in the last year of our engineering. Those pictures are something which we still cherish.
The biggest boost to my photography skill was when I got a Sony digicam for the first time as a gift from Ashish. He knew about my fascination for photographs, so he gifted me that. And that really kicked my creativity as far as photography is concerned. I wasn’t working for 8 months in US, and Boston is indeed a very beautiful place. So I clicked every detail in my surroundings and enhanced it with various photo editors. I also thought why am I not into creative computing like animation etc. I use to work on editing for hours and never felt little bored or tired doing that. And owing to this my in-laws got to see every part of our trip to US with their own eyes. I had such huge collection of amazing pictures there that I started making a video slide of it. Every time I did something creative with my pictures, it was appreciated by everybody and that’s where I got encouragement to do something different every time. Taking pictures and editing them and uploading them on yahoo photos was the purpose of my life every weekend in US. :)..
Now, you will ask me, where are all those pictures? Alas, I lost all my creations due to a laptop crash before we came back to India. I still feel the pain when I remember that. And those days, USB or DVD burning was not that common. So I learnt a lesson after that incident that you should always have a backup of everything important in life.. :P..ofcourse not people.
After coming back to India, I have been clicking pictures here and there. I have a huge collection of pictures on all occasions. Going through them even now feels good.
And now I am a proud owner of Nikon SLR D5000, which I thought will change the way I click pictures. Though it is an amazing instrument, and I have been trying my hands on it very often, I don’t think I am doing justice to it. Using Auto mode for a nice click is good, but that’s not what pro photographers do :P. I still have to learn the shutter speed and ISO details. And somewhere I feel, I am better off being a spontaneous photographer rather than a technical one.
I have been clicking Khushi profusely everyday and in one year I had more than 10,000 pictures of her. By pictures I mean portfolio pictures! Choosing 40 pictures out of 10,000 was very tough job for me. But her scrap book needed only 40, so I did that tough job in about three months. For those who have seen Khushi's scrapbook, they know how much time and creativity I had put into making that masterpiece of my life. Some even asked me to make the same for their kids. But dear friends, its not only the pictures that you need to put together, it is much much more than that. That scrapbook is my motherhood expressed in pictures and words; it cannot be prototyped for anybody else.
Khushi is also very happy or rather obsessed by her own pictures. Her favorite time pass is to see her own pictures on laptop or on my mobile. She is ecstatic when she sees herself in the pictures and even poses with a plastic(plastic because it is for the picture) smile.
My desk in office has photographs, every room in my house is filled with Khushi's photos, my mobile, my wallet, and even my mirrors have photographs. To make her familiar with the people around her and with the people who matter in her life, I have made a special collage which boasts of all the people important in her life. And religiously, she will go after morning puja to take blessings from Nanu/Nani/Dadu/Dadi as taught to her.
So what are photographs actually? They are what you want to be, and also what you don’t want to be! They are memories, which will make you smile when you are sad. They have the power of rekindling the love and childhood in you. They are mirrors of your life. They remind us again and again that life is so beautiful. And they remind you that you are fortunate to have so many special people and special things in your life.
We throw away or burn the photographs of people who have hurt us, but as this poem suggests. http://www.promiseofgod.com/reason/ . Everybody in your life is here for a purpose. And their pictures will tell you their purpose in life later when you try to analyze.
So my lovely friends who are reading this blog. Don’t be shy of taking pictures, collect a lot of memories in life. Enjoy the present and create nostalgia for the future. Nothing in life is permanent but memories can be if you have captured the moment in a photograph. Those might not make a great pic on Facebook, but definitely down the line when even Facebook friends have forgotten you, you will live every moment again in those photographs!!