My first memories of being captured, on a photo film that is, consist of me being rushed to the terrace, followed by a change of clothes and a brief touch up, which is followed by introduction of two more kids almost the same age and then one of my brothers clicking the picture. That was around a decade back, more or less. How times have changed!
The first camera dad bought was a Kodak. It was silver-grey in colour with one of the fancy shutters, drag it to the left and the camera lens will present itself. It came with a tripod, which I somehow never managed to fasten to the camera. There was this timer option which, well in those days, was not common. There was no zoom option however. You couldn’t waste the reel on pictures of sunflowers or bugs or drops of water, either. Each reel meant thirty two pictures, thirty five if you were lucky. Hence each frame had to be perfect.
I don’t exactly remember the year when the camera was bought. I must’ve in the fourth or fifth standard at that time. Can’t be sure! And hence, like every 90s kid it fascinated me! As did the TV or the radio or those game stations we had. Ah good old times! I was as I was saying intrigued by it, also I wasn’t really allowed to touch it. I had once opened the back compartment that housed the film, destroying a good ten-twenty pictures in the process. So yeah, there’s that!
How times change!
Fast forward to the turn of the century, or sometime around that. Say hello to digital cameras with their megapixel ratings, lenses that extended past the width of the cameras, crazy zoom options. Times changed and how! The Kodak was dead, my sister had dropped it on her Goa trip and well sand did some stuff which I wasn’t able to deal with. I had by now established my superiority in all things digital or mechanical or electrical. Next we bought a Sony. Since then we’ve bought a couple more of the Sony digicams. The one I currently own is a DSLR.
And that, right there brings me to the party philosophical question.
Granted that the quality of pictures has improved, granted the ease with which you take the pictures has also improved. But haven’t we also lost some stuff. That excitement when the camera was brought out has vanished. That anticipation over the trip, that excitement, that preparation for the perfect pose, it has all gone! Nobody says “cheese” anymore! If it’s not perfect you simply erase the previous file! Phones have cameras! Facebook is filled with “photographers” showcasing their “photographs” which usually involve a watermark which goes like this ” photography”. The photographs well they usually involve some bugs, some plants, some birds, some animals or some stuff. I’m not saying its all bad, irritating yes.
The novelty has gone missing. That I do think is bad. If you ask me to go back to the photographic films, I won’t, but there are times when I miss the good’ol times!
Oh! And on that note do check out “Sajal Photography” !
Wait, that can’t be right!
We make mistakes, quite often than not; mistakes with people I mean. Lack of conversation is the most prominent one. There are many reasons to it. I’ve written earlier about one, expectations, that is. We expect people to behave a certain way and when they don’t things go downhill from there on.
Where do expectations arise from?
We see people in our molds; what we don’t see is our mold fits us and only us. Comparing one man to other is just wrong, wrong on so many planes. It’s a common mistake which I, for one hope all of us make; not because it’s a good thing to be making the same mistakes all over again, but because I do this.
In my circle, I’m the only person connected to literature, not exactly though, but it’s a good approximation nonetheless. So, when it came to making plans for the upcoming Jaipur Literature Festival, I as expected went ballistic. It was the last year repeating itself all over again. I for a moment, failed to realize none of them had the slightest interest in literature. I for a moment wanted them to be me; or at least a part of me.
After a certain time period you wake up, distraught. (the said time period varies from occasion to occasion; from minutes into the sleep till the very end of your sleep cycle)
You find your specs, or simply get off the bed (depending on whether you have Myopia, Hyperopia, or none)
Grab hold of your laptop/tablet/diary/pad and start typing/jotting down immediately with an unexplainable cheer (even if you’re off killing someone in your writing)
I find, quite helplessly in fact, myself in the above scenario. The result is usually a beginning to a story, a half-written character, or, if I’m lucky/sufficiently-driven a complete piece.
I’ve noted, inspiration usually strikes when we’re least expecting it to; with our guards down; in my case, when I’m fast asleep, floating amidst the many possibilities of dream-space.
I’d be in one of those scenarios/places (my childhood home, some relatives place, school, college, moon, mars, etc.) indulged in totally harmless stuff (well, not exactly that) and then suddenly, out of nowhere, the landscape would alter and I’d find myself in a particular enactment of some scene. Then, someone will hit the play button, the whole charade would be set in motion; characters would start delivering dialogues, I’d get a hold of the plot (in partial) and then, I’d hear a voice (my voice). It’d usually something on the lines of the following, “Dude, this needs to be written down”. I’d soon realize I have to wake up; to which the other part would say, “Oh C’mon! Not now, we’re actually enjoying this; aren’t we?” This part usually ends up on the losing side though.
There’s also times when a bitter me ends up staring at the empty paper/screen wondering, ‘What was so awesome about the idea that you had to wake up from a supremely awesome dream sequence?’
Today was one such day. I had slept at 15:00 hrs, at around 16:30 or so, I got up; inspiration had struck! In the dream sequence I was at my grandma’s place, fooling around when suddenly, the scenes changed a multicultural group surrounded me. My relatives had vanished. We started moving out when suddenly I tossed my katana and said, ‘Oliver, you’re up! Everyone else, secure the perimeter’. It had all the effects camera panning, slow-motion and stuff. This was when I heard the voice, “Dude, this needs to be written down!” What I failed to figure at that time was that I wasn’t a comic-book illustrator or a movie producer. It’d have been cool if I had been one of the fore-mentioned; I ended up checking FB, twitter, my blog, freshly pressed, and then writing this post up!