We are family of photo-loving people. We always were. Sometimes when I go looking for something in the dad’s closet, I will find a very old picture of him – in black and white. At times.. I would find a pic of mom in her teens – in black and white, saved by dad. We have some small old albums, where the photos are stuck on to the paper in the album, on all four sides.. like being plastered in the center of a big paper. I can identify the faces and their expressions.. clearly though its all black and white. Parents wedding was not covered on tape, only pictures. Every time I take a look at those pictures in that small album.. I pay a close attention. Love to look at the expressions of different people there, apart from my mom and dad. Then there are these two or three small albums with all our childhood pictures.. Most of the times, like in difficult times – I keep staring a picture of my parents still in their twenties, beautiful or my sister.. a little doll in her childhood. Looking at the kind of clothes my parents dressed us and those accessories they felt would look good on us – I will forget all my worries and will be taken back to those beautiful childhood memories.. those days of no fear, no worries and no hurdles. Photos do that magic to me. I love looking at pictures, they take an important place in my life. I do love getting photographed too. Ask my family and friends, how crazy I am with getting myself photographed or having a camera with me all the time to keep taking shots and shots . My family takes the second place in that list. We all love being photographed 😀 My pedhanannagaru (dad’s brother) will dress himself up in a minute, if he sees someone photographing. He would ask the person to show him that pic, like a million times. See thats how the craze is. 😛
It all goes back to the days, we never had a camera. I mean the basic one that worked with film rolls and all that. The only one in my family to possess a camera was my uncle, who felt so proud of it. He had a big lens and stuff, he being a professional photographer too. He would always show off with his camera, taking pics of people or things that he loved only. Nothing wrong about it, except that my dad and pedhanannagaru would request him to take some family pics many times to which he would give a deaf ear. At times, I remember dad buying 2-3 film rolls for uncle so that he would take some pics of us. Each time, I look at our childhood photos – I think of what made dad to almost beg that uncle who never was humble? At times, I feel thankful I have my childhood pictures.. a whole lot of them to cherish. Being a photo-loving person, it makes a huge difference. Things started to change, when I and sister kind of understood what was going in background each time uncle agreed to photograph us. We put a stop to it, until we could afford our own camera. There is this period in my life, where there is no trace of how I looked – as we didnt request uncle for the photo session. Thank God I still have my annual school photos from every year 🙂
Dad used to get “festival advance/bonus” twice an year – Sankranthi and Deepavali it was. We used to make elaborate plans with that money. Camera would always be on budget.. we would dream of all the pictures we could click if we had our own camera. Dad used to surprise us on a Sunday saying we would go shopping. Yayyy!! Everything would be completed as fast as it could be at home and we would head towards the market, in our cycles. Yes, our BSA Ladybirds and Hercules loaded 🙂 Dad and mom would make us select our dresses – 2 or 3 per person and there, all the money would be spent. Without even getting anything for both of them.. they would get us as much as they could and camera wouldnt feature in that list anymore. We never complained. We just kept on dreaming. We had to make do with dreams only until we finally got a basic camera in my first year of college. We couldn’t afford a 1500bucks worth camera for those many years. My parents always prioritized their needs and so were we. The joy of holding the camera for the first time in my life, I really cant explain it in words. There are many other things which we possess in excess now. But we know the worth of each thing we own now, as it was once a distant dream. Whenever dad could afford, he used to get us a film roll and one should see the happiness in our eyes. Those pictures are priceless now. The most important thing being the look on my uncle’s face, when he saw us with the camera, of our own! He listed a really long list of what our basic camera couldn’t do compared to his. It was not important for us, all it mattered was how this camera belonged to us. I became the official photographer (with our camera) in the family functions. Pedhanannagaru would praise me, every time a picture turned out good. My uncle couldnt accept this in anyway, but it was his problem.
Things took a turn, when I joined work. In September 2008, we had a discount sale for cameras in my office, exclusively for the employees. Without taking a second thought, I went ahead and bought our first official digital camera – Sony, my fav. I also got a tripod as a free offer. My parents treasure it like its priceless even now. We have taken loads and loads of pictures with it and guess what, getting a family portrait is never difficult now, with the tripod 🙂 I will be loaded with my camera, for all family functions giving away free copies of DVDs later on. I dont even want to mention how my uncle reacted this time. It wasn’t pretty good. More than anything, dad loves taking pictures. He would give the professional photographer a run for his money, with him going any extent to take a good picture. In my best friend’s wedding, he gave the photographer a very tough completion by climbing on a chair placed on the table to capture of moment of tying the knot 😀 I am planning to get him a handy cam soon, as a surprise 🙂
I share a unique bond with my pedhanannagaru, in the love for photographs. We both would do whatever it takes to get pictured. He would never be satisfied with any number of his pictures and so am I. But he never could have a camera for himself. Two years back, I suddenly made up a trip to my hometown and thought of surprising him, of course with a camera. I reached his place at 2 in the morning and gave him his present. My 60-year old pedhanannagaru had tears in his eyes, first I made a trip all my myself to see him and next to hold a camera of his own. One of his lifetimes wishes coming true! 🙂
It all might sound very silly and petty, but camera and photos hold a very big place in my life and thus this post 🙂 Having said all this, I must also mention about S’s patience. He can spend hours to take a good picture which satisfies me. In this 1.5 yrs of married life, we have taken many trips – long and short. Trust me, all those picture folders have like 200 photos of me for 1 (just one) pic of his 😀 Am I not photo-crazy!?!? 😛
Leaving this post with my fav pic –