RASHMI OBEROI | 17 JULY, 2020
The lockdown had all of us pushed into circumstances that were different and unique and beyond our control… Something new and challenging… Life style changes for some… Including dealing with harsh facts of life for others and the ominous clouds of a falling economy threating nations. The worst disaster that struck home being poverty and starvation that fell upon the under-privileged through the lurking shadows.
The pandemic is here to stay and we all have to learn to live with it. Change is constant and with the variations in the lockdown, we all have to go with the flow. Time to move along with the prevailing forces…accept the predominant forces – with choices being limited.
Social media has been interesting to say the least with people showing off their new skills and hobbies - churning out exotic dishes…cooking for the first time…even doing chores as lassitude was shoved out of the door and complacency took a new avatar. That smug look of achievement learning to manage on your own…or even help others…or share…or being mindful that you have people dependent on you – Self-reliance could not have been better-timed for many!
There has also been that unexpected joy of taking up new hobbies, learning something new, testing the waters so to say in a tentative but ready to explore exterior. People have also used the time to learn new skills through online classes or rekindled old talents that had been in a permanent lockdown of their own.
To be completely honest, I fell into my love for photography during this time at a slow and steady pace. I always enjoyed taking photographs but they were a simple technique of: I like… Click and Shoot! I paid no attention to detailing…aperture size…shutter lag…focus etc. All that jargon went over my head. My best friend and I always laugh at my pictures because I just aim and shoot…sometimes randomly in various directions…even towards the sky and surprisingly the end result is quite satisfactory and a memory to treasure. Our trip to Angkor Wat holds great importance because of the photographs we took together with no clear aim or focus but moments that were special to us – including lopping off heads of ever-enthusiastic tourists that come by bus-loads to all these attractions.
Of course, I am the butt of all jokes with my kids – who cannot fathom why I take such boring and dull pictures. To make matters worse, my husband is an ace photographer in his spare time… so that left me with a short rope to work with. I was also told that my ‘state of the art camera phone’ was a waste on me for I was quizzed on all the features and I came out with an incredulous look at best!
I have this one good (bad) quality – that if I am pushed back into a corner… I push ahead at a speed that is ten times faster and so I was determined to learn the fine art of photography…and no better time (lockdown) and place (my mother’s garden) to learn and sharpen my skills. So I clicked away from dawn to dusk at every leaf, fig, bud and flower that came my way and zoomed and focused and fine-tuned and adjusted the lighting and the length and the breadth and what not.
The result was capturing photos for the sole purpose of my imagination and their aesthetic value. My family as my critique I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Learning is always purposive and you are never too old to learn as the saying goes.