Youth is a time where everything moves at a speed faster than imaginable. Seems like some powerful force always keeps on adding momentum to changes and transitions, even to thought processes and decision making skills.
At a moment something feels righteous and absolute, the very next moment, it feels fitting to rethink. This time is like building a home while managing on rent of a temporary home; everything that passes by is temporary on the basis of which you build your permanent.
Everyday, I wake up to a new idea whether or not I get to play with it is a decision my priorities at that present moment makes.
One morning, I woke up with a similar idea. I always liked to capture the nature whenever we went out on a trip. I never thought of it as a hobby. Social Media is one big circus of show off and that is where I got the instinct of pushing myself into inculcating this hobby.
At first, I literally found myself thinking; what should I capture, how does this person on Instagram click such amazing photographs ?! All I knew is that even I want to click photographs. I started to see things the professional photographer’s way. I tried but I couldn’t really think that way. I tried to click a bird on a branch of tree and the sunset colour but had to edit it to my satisfaction.
I couldn’t really find anything beautiful enough to give it space in my phone, let alone the camera! I thought nothing around me can beat the beauty of the landscapes I’ve captured while on trip or for that matter the other photographers do. I had to look for something. I couldn’t understand portraits of people. Why, would you shoot a person on your camera unless you know that person and you want them for memories?!
I started following as many photographers as I found and each one of them had their own specialty. There is a YouTuber called Connor Franta, I don’t watch his videos, but the photographs he has on Instagram are amazing, he likes to play with colours and shapes and patterns around him, it’s awesome how he finds so much beauty in the world around him. So, I figured that maybe photos are not for being ‘useful’, what matters is aesthetics, and how the photo eventually looks.
So, one day I was just walking through the society and what I saw appealed a lot to me, so I just captured it. It was a photo of a place, which I thought was invariably an amazing attempt. There were brick walls, bougainvillea and a cycle leaning the wall, all the things that I liked especially the brick wall, so I just took the place home with me.
As my Instagram influences grew, my interest in capturing photos grew even more. Then, I came across local photographers who shot the city and the nearby places. I was awestruck how the camera had beautified the simple way my world looks. I had grown to appreciate my surroundings.
One fine Sunday morning, in the midst of some conversation, my father tells that, ‘Rujoo, you click good photos, you should do it more and if you become an established photographer then we can have all of them framed and exhibit them.’ Just this statement changed everything I looked at from simple and boring to simple yet fascinating. And to be very honest, Gujaratis have enterprising in the DNA so my father’s deal sounded like a very attractive offer to me.
That very same day, I happened to visit the old city. It is a haven for photographers. My mother has been telling me stories from her childhood in the old city, since I was a child. I always imagined what it’d be like to live in those years in a city like that. My mother is an amazing storyteller and can make you really visualise and imagine things and situations. All the tumbledown buildings and their windows, doors, the people and the temples of the old city, all tell stories, just like my mother does. So, I got myself into thinking, why don’t I take such stories home?
Then came a day, when I came across a photograph on Pinterest which was very beautiful and surprisingly it was a portrait. The name I saw was Steve McCurry. I searched if he had an account on Instagram. The photos he had captured can take anyone’s breath away! He has captured India and many other such countries in their rawest and purest form and yet beautifully.
Now I understood, that the photos were not just for aesthetics but could be used for documenting things the way Steve McCurry had. He has the finest portraits of the commonest people that ever lived, and that is the best part of it all! It turned out that many of his photos featured in the National Geographic Magazine’s as the cover page! No wonder they are so expensive, look at the way their content providers think and view the world.
The circus of Social Media is not exactly my place to be but I definitely found inspiration and that’s what I’m grateful about. I do capture photos, I’m not really sure how good or bad they are but just one thing that I learnt is to see the world beautifully. And I see that beauty in everything I see when I am upbeat: The venation of the leaves and how they look under the sky, the silhouettes and reflections of people, of roofs, of trees, the ripples in the water, the ombré sky, the green grass, the patterns, textures and colours that have been put together by God; the depth of a person’s emotion, the simplicity in the life of a street vendor, how indigenous a man in a colourful turban in a jeep with his family looked, the blend of minute elements to make them look heavenly together and man’s ingenuity to craft beautiful places to live in and around.
So, a lot transformed in the way I saw things, in the course of just a few months and that does not seem very ordinary to me. What I learnt was that:
You can view the things in your own way it’s your perspective that changes not the things. This is not a very difficult lesson or a new one, but I just realised I had found glory in this world, in the years that I am supposed to!