Photographs: the real storehouse of memories

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind

Pictures do really speak for themselves, don’t they? They’re the only way of keeping memories with you, right in front of your eyes so that you can glance through them whenever you feel like. Nothing can refresh a good memory like flipping through old photographs does. Not even having that person right in front of has the same effect. Because the person may remind of you what happened, but it’s just those hazy flashbacks in your head, there’s lack of clarity in that memory. And pictures bridge that gap, it’s almost like living those memories again.

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Today pictures have found a new meaning amongst the younger generation, my generation as a matter of fact. It’s a way of making you feel good about yourself and putting your beauty on display for the world to see and envy you. Dressing up in shimmer and putting a bucket load of makeup and pouting in front of the camera today accounts for a good picture. I am not against that. You’re allowed to take any kind of picture of yourself that makes you happy, maybe ten years down the line you’re laughing at it at least when pouting and self clicked pictures are finally out of fashion. Unless and until you’re totally alien to concept of socializing you’re sure to be familiar with all of this and you’re probably very likely to indulge in this too. But you know what pictures I love most? Those really really happy pictures where you’re just laughing like crazy with your head buried your best friend’s shoulder, or those where you’re kissing your sister out of love, and not for the picture, genuinely out of affection, or those on the last days of your school and college life. Yes, we all pose in those too and try our best to look pretty but when you’re going to look at them later you won’t look at the attire you’re wearing or how you’ve done your hair.

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You’re going to look at the people who made the journey of your life worth looking back at. Those people you could once see yourself in, and you couldn’t see yourself anywhere without after all those years. You’ll be looking at the crazy times you’ve had troubling your high school teachers or bunking your college lectures to watch stupid movies. Checking cheap early morning shows, and totally disregarding the idea of spending a penny extra on those pretty sandals, but hogging endlessly at expensive restaurants and robbing your parents shamelessly during the sale season. You wouldn’t even realise what you’re doing when you’re doing all these things because you think it’s never going to end, like this is forever and as much as you may complain then about not having a love life or not being pretty or hot enough, you know somewhere deep down that you’ve lived the best life possible and been blessed with the most amazing set of people you could’ve wished for. Pictures are sure to capture what you looked like then, but more so they’re likely to remind you of the person you are.The person you lost somewhere on your way to becoming the person that you are today. Or maybe if you’re lucky it’ll just remind you of how you managed to retain yourself despite of all the changing circumstances, people and the challenges; the story of your survival or your rebirth.

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You remember how Facebook made a video of our facebook journeys on their tenth anniversary, like everything that has happened across the timeline of our lifetime on it. I saw so many things in that video that I don’t do anymore, so many people that I am not in touch with. Pictures are a living proof of how many lives you’ve touched in different ways. You’re in the background of the pictures of so many people who you probably never even think about. But when they look at those pictures, they’re sure to think of you. They’re where people live long after they’re gone, in your memories, because human brain can only contain so much right? At a certain point you’re only likely to think about stuff that’s currently going on with you or the people who matter right at this point in your life. You’re not going to think about old friends randomly at midnight someday because we’re all in a rush today.

There’s so much to do, so much to keep us occupied that we just lose track of time. But when on lazy weekend afternoon, you open that old album that’s lying crumbled in some corner of your cupboard, drowned in heaps of dust and under piles of important paperwork, it’s like reliving a lifetime of cherished days, crazy nights when you danced till your feet gave up, laughed till you lost your voice, or the day you met the love of your life. You’ll see, it’s all there, it’s always going to be there. Just how you want it; your own little sacred bundle of joy. And once again you’ll smile when you like did when you were seventeen, because you may run out of time, but you know you’re never running out of pictures.

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