Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's their crime?

They could have been like any other children but for one reason – they are refugees from Sri Lanka. These are students of IGIA and should I add a school that barely manages to survive.. 370 kids, most of them orphans, live and study in the same place. Lunch is provided by ISCON but breakfast and dinner is always a question mark. They don't have electricity for years (they owe 10 lakhs to BESCOM!!) They are even discouraged from talking with anyone from outside or venturing out..The gates remain locked.. Like any other kids of their age they would also have dreams about life after school, hopes of a better future.. But the only thing I see in their eyes is a sense of frustration and longing.. When will their miseries end?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Remembrances of Times Past...

I love photographs and can easily get lost in the pile of photo albums that I have.. I used to spend hours and hours looking, arranging and rearranging them, much to the annoyance of my mom.. These are the photographs of my childhood, of old friends, of school and college, of family functions, of exciting vacations, of beautiful places,.. The moment I pick an album, I will be taken back to that exact place and time,recollect the beautiful moments, recalling fond memories, replaying conversations, smelling the fresh air,..

There are some of my childhood snaps - the old black and white ones taken in studio or by a photographer who was called home. And there I was with a toothless smile, or with the corners of my mouth curved down and eyes clouded with tears, or with a smug grin on the face (probably coz of the new dress).. I can also see my grandparents who are no more now and remember the stories they told me, the special dishes grandma used to make,.. The carefree days..

Then there was a gap as I had mentioned before. I have very few personal snaps during this time..Still there are some snaps from the family functions where I'll be with my kutti cousin gang, all in pretty frocks and hair full of jasmine flowers arranged as a bow and of course everyone beaming at the camera.. Or the school photo where all the 90 teenagers (yes we were that many in one class) in blue skirt and white shirt, with hair neatly platted on either sides, trying to look serious.. Then the colorful college days, light moments with friends , joyful class trips , excitement and turmoil of a first timer in a Saree , the painful send off parties ,.. Each of those photographs speak volumes..

I bought my first camera after I passed from school. And the shutterbug bit me and it bit me too hard.. I wanted to capture anything and everything around me..Yes I clicked people , places , buildings , flowers, trees,.. Now before my friends pounce on me - mine was only a very basic camera with absolutely no overrides. But it did the purpose. It helped all those moments, places,people and settings stay forever, which would have otherwise faded with time.. Yes that's the whole beauty of a photograph.. It freezes the moment from running away, making the finite eternal..