Skip to main content

The wonder box

Its an amusement park packed into a small box really.
Holding it by its grip transforms the world around. At times, it turns me into a detective out to capture secrets of the world no one was supposed to known. Most other times, after clicking the camera on, I recede into inconsequence to the surrounding. Much like fishing, I do not stir and I consciously remove myself from the life of the world moving by. I wait and I move slowly. The act of anticipation is so beautiful, its almost meditative. But then the pictures I tend to take are anything but striking. While taking the picture, I do not attempt at crystallizing a metaphor of life in a frame, or even to depict a representation of some facet of life. I just try to remember through my camera how awesome the life is. So more often my videos are like photographs (still and intent) and my photographs are like videos (not restricted to just one element, context included).
With my camera, a sort of calm stillness fills me. I enjoy the heightened awareness locating me in my surrounding that the camera lends me.

But often, camera becomes the bridge for conversation.
I was walking one evening on Mui ne beach. I was wearing your average tourist attire of a t-shirt and shorts with a big black camera slung around my neck. At places like these, I become all the more aware that I am a tourist and so I tend to take photographs exclusively of non human curiosities such as landscapes, patterns, insects and so on. I have talked about my views about taking pictures of people or portraits here.
So when I passed by this gentleman here, I stopped for a moment. He was busy in his craft and enjoying it. It was an ideal opportunity for a good photograph. But due to my shyness I couldn't bring myself to ask him if I may, lest I disturb him. He looked up from between his brows and glasses towards me and noticing my awkwardness, gave out a genial laugh smile and started asking "indo? indo?" I said "no no" suspecting that he mistook me to be from Indonesia. (well, in Vietnam, I think, not many brown folks like me have ever gone. People usually thought we were from Malaysia. But turns out, he was guessing right, Indo is India in Vietnamese. Dumb me. ) And then he asked me about the camera. :D

Well, as I started to take the lid off the camera, he became a lot more conscious and less elderly all of a sudden. Its as if he didn't expect to be photographed ever. He was confused and started laughing in incredulity. He tried to get busy with his craft again trying to not pay me attention while I took his photo. It was wonderful.
Then this curious gentleman arrived with a lot of questions to ask and stories to tell.

He wanted to know where I came from, what do I do and if I would care for a smoke. :)
Seeing that I was curious about the boat and having seen me earlier observing them taking the boat to sea, he started to tell me about his boat. Well, obviously none of us knew a common language. All these talk was happening in dumb charades. So after a point when both of us were a bit tired of moving our hands and repeating words slowly we fell silent. He then struck a pose and asked me to take his picture.
Moving along the beach further up, I came across a few women and children. The mothers were trying to feed the little ones. Apart from one, the two other would just not eat anything and would run away. So when I passed by with a smile, the mothers greeted me and asked me to take picture of their lovely kids; partly to use that little time to feed them some more and partly because they were just so proud of their beautiful children.
At first, the kids were still in awe. A weird man, brown in color, talking in an alien language was smiling at them and pointing a big camera towards them. They were curiosity personified.
I had removed my slippers while taking the pics and while I was busy teasing the kids, ocean waves came and took my slippers away. I started running after them and when i got them back and was besides the children again, I found them laughing and being excited. Hey, making a fool of yourself always wins you friends. :)
This one wanted my camera. "with great cameras, comes great responsibilities mister." so i said to him in my head. :)


Popular posts from this blog

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously.

"Soma" of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India.

Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables.

Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us.
Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be religious gurus, party…

I am a salmon

I am a salmon. It's been a decade away from my hometown, and yet my dreams refuse to relocate along with me. When sleep hasn't claimed me yet, but neither am I awake, you may find me in Nasik.
My senses fall back into their default states of Nasik when in-between. The space is of my home in Nasik, the sight is of the things around it. I might be hungry and thinking of eating a laddoo and my hands reach out for the steel dabba stacked on an elevated wooden cupboard stuck on the left wall of kitchen. In my mind's eye, I grope for the dabba momentarily as the search yields nothing - poof. the image disintegrates. I am snapped back to reality with a mild jolt. My mind reminds me of the layout in my own kitchen. There is no airborne shelf, there is no steel container, there is no laddoo. It says, go back to sleep. and I do.


I shifted 3.5k km for a less polluted and less dangerous city a year ago.
And all was good. I get to walk and how I love to walk. I am truly happi…

Why I repair my shoe

I have 3 shoes. One formal, One sport shoe and another a mix of the two. The last one is particularly awesome, cause of its uniqueness. It looks like a formal shoe, but is as comfortable and flexible as a sport shoe. I bought it for my first job in Mumbai. I was newly rich and was expected to behave like one. I found this gem of pure black leather in a Colaba Causeway showroom. Quite a find. But its been almost two years now and the shoe shows its age. For all its awesomeness, its quite a weak shoe, to give out so early. I have stitched it, got new laces, and strengthened its sole. It doesn't look shiny anymore cause the leather has suffered from a few hostile trespasses. I think, like a man, things too should be allowed to carry their scars. Shiny scar-less men are just so... irrelevant. 

Since childhood, I have been used to using things for long times. Clothes, equipments, shoes etc. I can't just throw things away cause they don't look as good anymore or they don't w…