Friday, April 28

Kodak moments

Happened to read to posts here and here dealing with photographs and it got me thinking.

How magical those moments seem when you revisit them through photographs. It is not just your perception, it’s the photographer's perception, the perception of the other characters being pictured. Those small frames convey meanings and emotions that you probably never associated with the moment then. Those school group photographs, the birthday photographs, the wedding ones…….. Here and there you find that at a moment when you were so happy, someone captured at the far end of the frame was actually unhappy. Its like those movies where say during a wedding the couple and their parents are ebullient, but somewhere standing in a corner is that secret admirer who is secretly unhappy, and the camera shows us that. Looking at old photographs can likewise give us a new understanding of people and their feelings. It can probably just change the way we perceive that person.

Sometimes even after a long association with a person, a photograph might just say much more than all those years of knowing each other. I remember looking at some of our colleges photographs with a friend. There was timid kind of a girl, who hardly spoke with anyone, was always there but never noticed. In this particular photograph of a college fest, where some of my friends were dancing, this person could be seen sitting quietly in the crowd, body language not differing but eyes lit up unusually……. a distinct love for dance in them, a strong desire to be up there and perform. And slowly I remembered how she would always liven up at the mention of dance. How sad and hurt she looked when we participated in a dance competition and she happened to be left out. Sigh! How I wish I had known it before…..!

Of course I don’t mean to say it is always sad. You have your lovely memories. You can revisit that slight brush of 'his' hand while the photograph was being clicked and the sudden blush that was thankfully not captured. His fond gaze upon you as he apparently prepared to photograph you all, but you knew….. it opens up such a treasure of memories. Your childhood photograph, were you are atop a tree and even though trying to be out of the frame, your father's hand is just there to hold you if you happen to fall. That pride on your teacher's face (and you always thought she was as emotionless and strict as anyone could ever be) as you hold the trophy.

So many moments… many memories adding dimensions to our life and relationships long cherished or long forgotten. Giving a new meaning to our understanding of ourselves, a chance to stand back and evaluate, introspect and grow.


Shruthi said...

Had never thought of it this way! Next time I look at my snaps, i will look at the people on the periphery! :)
Btw, loved that image of dad's hand getting into the frame -- in fact, I have at least two snaps like that :D

Manasi said...

Shruthi: Thanks. Yes there are all these 'hands' and "be-careful" expresions sprinkled through our photographs and we find ourselves in the same position with our siblings or neices and nephews. And then you suddenly appreciate the beauty of that hand in the photos and not be irritated by it.

Anonymous said...

A very nice post. I agree with what you say. Infact i think we are so engrossed with watching ourselves in the photographs that we even overlook others and their role in making the moment special.

Manasi said...

Shalini: True. We seldom appreciate their contribution.
Thanks for dropping by.