Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Of old photos and the lines behind them...
i have been going through old photo albums for the past few days.one of the few things my mother brought from her father's house is an old battered photo album with small square black and white photographs.the ones that you paste onto the black pages of the album.
ma's album has many photos of very beautiful women-they were all her friends in college.i figure,it was almost a custom to give your friends a pic of yours before leaving college.some of them even wrote a few lines behind the picture.my mother almost had tears in her eyes when i fished out this album and showed it to her.
one reason behind this sort of an attachment with these pictures is,probably, the fact that a photo wasnt a very common thing then.it involved an entire ritual of wearing a pretty sari,visiting a studio/calling a photographer home (not many had personal cameras back then)and holding a smile till the box camera agreed to click.
today we have photos of our friends everywhere-on our phones,in our computers and even ipods.and maybe that's why we dont attach an emotional tag to photographs.
but picture this,twenty years from now...your child fetches out a photograph and comes running to you and that happens to be the only memory of your college best friend that you can touch,see and feel.there's absolutely nothing else that you own that will remind you of her or the last few lines she wrote to you.
the picture above is of a woman called Shakuntala who was my mother's room mate.she doesnt know where her friend is or where she did her masters from...for my mother,her room mate's memory are the few fading handwritten lines written with a blue inked fountain pen behind the photo:
"Tobu mone rekho jodi dure jai chole,
Jodi puraton prem dhaka porey jay nobo premojaale...
Jodi poriya mone,chholo-chholo jol nai dekha daye noyonkone,
Tobu mone rekho..."
(Remember me if I go faraway,
If new found loves take over old ties...
Even if tears dont gather in your eyes when I'm gone,