Friday, 27 November 2009

Such is life...

I took longer than usual at breakfast yesterday. I have become a little serious in my battle against the bulge – I now have the K Diet for breakfast – which goes down my throat after a bit of a battle with my taste buds. I mentally made a note on how I should blog about how useless facebook is. I quickly scanned the paper. I turned to page 7. I couldn’t swallow anymore. The reaction was instinctive. My throat became dry, my eyes moist and my hands cold. I don’t know how well I can capture the avalanche of emotions – a sense of guilt, anger, sadness, fear and helplessness all together. Check this ad.

Rewind. It seems like yesterday – I was looking through a 1500 line excel sheet when I heard of my friend’s loss in the Mumbai siege. No – she wasn’t even my friend – just an acquaintance – my senior at XL. I was stumped. A barrage of calls followed. One of my best friends had just finished a consulting project with the Taj and stepped out before the pandemonium. I remember being numbed for a while. How close was that?

Somehow, such incidents become real when it impacts the near and dear. For instance the Tsunami – another buddy of mine bore broken bones while holidaying on the shores of Mahabalipuram. I am glad she survived to tell the tale.

I wanted to write about this yesterday, but I was just too disturbed to be able to think coherently.

The candles have been lit, tributes have been paid, the martyrs have been remembered with reverence, and issues have been debated - some good seems to be coming out of it. But it is difficult to deal with the bitter truth - some questions will remain unanswered, some scars may not heal and some souls can never be comforted.

And the chilling fact that made me choke over breakfast is that life just goes on despite it all. Such is life.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Behind the lens

Colours have always fascinated me. The happy, the dreary, the simple, the flashy, the earthy, the bold. Maybe that’s why I took to painting. And maybe that’s why I am drawn to photography.

I look pathetic in photos and I am supremely unphotogenic. The term “Photographer” conjures up images of those grumpy guys behind cameras in studios where I go to get my passport size photos clicked. With all due respect to their quest for perfection, they are the most irritating people I have come across. A million instructions in a fraction of a second – Recude the width of your smile, tuck your face, lower your eyebrow, tilt your head, don’t show all your teeth… OMG – I cannot coordinate so many muscles at once! And the result is that I end up looking in between retarded and constipated in all my photos!

My perception of photography changed when I went to XL. Silly Cat gave portrait photography a completely new meaning! Broken Knee has a way with pictures - a landscape specialist if I might call it that? Totally inspired by these stalwarts, I took my first lessons during the Blore trip!

The amount of technical knowledge that I possess about photography is nothing to be proud of. I partially remember what my high school physics text book had to say about this marvelous gadget. I don’t know what shutter speeds, aperture sizes etc. can do, and I use the word “expose” with very little tact. But I do know that I have an eye for the unusual and make queer observations. I am just hoping I will be able to learn the art of capturing it.

I am so kicked with all the FB responses on the Oktoberfest weekend photos. And of course, one always needs that anchor to bring gloating spirits back to earth. Mine was Broken Knee who thought my photos were “just about average” - Thanks. Silly Cat, thanks for painstakingly answering my questions – I can get unctrollable when I start asking why, and more so when I am high on chocolate :) Thanks - all my photo subjects – Shrek, Supergirl, Rockstar, Jade and Saji who complied with my million requests and successfully endured the weekend with me!

I have been doing a lot of online photography lessons reading and I figured that I need a good camera. All you pundits out there – any suggestions?