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,
Remember me...)

17 comments:

Discovering M said...

:-) my mums got such pics too - most of them had to be salvaged and scanned in - but she still treasures that battered album..

Revived Angel... said...

U r rite...evn my mom says dat pics r no more 2day a view to behold n cherish..its d easiest thng u cn gt hold of newhr..n dat it used 2 b one of d few priceless thngs in those times..evn albums hv ceased to exist 2day..courtesy technology.

Btw,this is my favourite among all Tagore songs..creates ripples..

Neel said...

exquisitely put! Such memos are priceless , innocent! Your piece made me a bit sad. Not because of anything else but just that 'boyesh ta bere gelo'! How I long to be back to my university days!

when silence speaks said...

:)
reminds me of a song from yaadein

Yaadein bus yaadein rah jaatey hai...very truely

Sriram said...

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will drop by your site often.. Do find time to visit my blog and post your comments..
Have a great day.. Cheers!!!

~Moo-lah Buz!nezzz~ said...

Very touching.

Rahul Saha said...

old analog cameras are great. proper cameras they are.

Sphinx said...

got goosbumps reading this.

Magically Bored said...

The picture is lovely. :)

solo said...

old pictures are always a wonderful thing :)

Pongy Papaya said...

:)

farustar said...

damn touching it is...

sujaan said...

wat a lovely post...and what an amazing line ... "maybe that's why we dont attach an emotional tag to photographs"

keep it up!

Pari said...

oh it's beautiful. simple and touching. loved it.

Sumit said...

the magic of a picture. they tell a thousand words, and I have a preference for hard copy, except if I start doing that, I would end up with too many albums to carry around :) A nomad cannot afford that!!

the lines are very touching!! i get the feeling, i have read them before or maybe something similar!! can't remember where or how, though!!

little boxes said...

@all:thanks :)
@sumit:if you're talking of the last few quoted lines,they're lines from a song of Tagore's

Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

Our generation doesn't know how to respect or value anyone or anything. Now that might sound harsh but truth seldom isn't. Oh, I can go on and on.