Monday, March 20, 2006

through the viewfinder..

i was rummaging though my drawer yesterday looking for something when i happened to look at a letter, an old inland letter, and it took me on a trip down memory lane...in december 94 we had gone to laksar, a small town in the sugar belt near dehradoon to attend the wedding of my cousin. two days before we left my brother in law gave me his camera, which also became my first slr camera (minolta x3oo...really beautiful), and fell in love instantly. most of the train journey was spent sitting near the open door of the train compartment. i would sit near the door looking excitedly at the passing landscape, constantly on the lookout for something to photograph, for some reason things looked diferent in a different way through the viewfinder of the camera, they still do...i don't know how to describe it...just different...and i just loved the whole process of photography, the sound of the shutter release, the sound of the film advance lever, composing the frame, eye quickly flying to all corners of the viewfinder just before releasing the shutter, even when i was not taking photographs i was spending quite a lot of time just looking through the viewfinder, which caused much amusement to the two train attendents who were there, whose job was to provide blankets and pillows to the passengers, their small cabin was also next to one of the compartment doors, where they used to sit and we would chat a bit, they would somtimes point out something that they thought interesting to photograph. we were to get off at delhi, and before that i took a photograph of them, i told them if the print came out i will send it to them, it was the first time i was using an slr manual camera and so i really had no idea how the prints were gonna come out...we came back, i got all the films processed and found that their photograph had come out, a wee bit shaky but it was there. i put it in an envelope, wrote down the address they had given, a place in kashmir, posted it and forgot all about it...after a couple of weeks i guess i got a letter from them, which shook me well and proper, the way they had written it, thanking me profusely as if i had given them a million rupees...i couldn't figure it out, all i had done was send a photograph, as i had said i would, but just that i had done as i had said was enough for them...and for me it was a lesson in human nature, one never knows in what way one can touch someone's life, what is small for you can mean much to someone else...and the camera was the medium through which i got this experience, little did i know at that time how many more things it was going to teach me, that i was also going to learn humility... and it was these two guys who had provided me with one of the lessons. i don't have photographs from that time because when i went through my depression in 2001, in my search to disconnect myself from my past i had burnt all my diaries and photographs...but this letter is still there, all worn out and yellowed and cello taped, but its there... i'm grateful for that.

3 Comments:

Blogger Amrit Pal Singh said...

Satbir ji , lets together achieve our dreams of providing gurdwaras photos and so many things for sikhs worldwide which will make our community united , prosperous and great. I am sure that we can do it.You have the creative instinct and are diffrenet and that is what i like. Lets become entrpreneurs man and inspire others to also do something about their life !

Regards
Amrit Pal Singh
(65) 9800 5015

8:50 AM  
Blogger simran singh said...

thank you amritpal singhji, this venture, though it is huge and will require tremondous amount of hard work, there is no reason why we cannot do it...
gur fateh.

9:31 AM  
Blogger damanjeet said...

gur fateh ji,
you have not written the changes that you felt in your life...i think you should share as it motivates others as well...ppl in other blogs write so much they experience then why we sikhs refrain from doing so...

Damanjeet Kaur

3:31 AM  

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