“The last class I felt really bad for the freedom fighter's photo. I laughed when my view point was only @ the ten rupees currency. I never saw the tear running out from his eyes and even today morning, I literally cried when riding my bike, thinking of his situation and even I felt bad myself for laughing, felt ashamed. I really respect elder peoples, may be this was a good lesson for my instant reaction. Pls. forgive if I had disturbed anybody, thanks!” – a mail from one of the weekend class participants.
It was the final day class for the weekend basic photography, I was sharing few pictures. And this was the picture of a freedom fighter in his advanced age saluting with the rolling tears for the ten rupees he received from one of our students during a photography tour. There was a spontaneous laughter from few of the students in the class. But once I explained the story behind the picture, the entire class was moved…!
As few of my 'full time' photography students were trying to take photos, this elderly person was begging in a temple at Kancheepuram, he suddenly burst in to tears and saluted the shooters. Moved by his condition and emotions, I captured him in tears. The condition of this old man tells about the values of life and freedom. For a flash of moment I realized the happenings of ‘Free India’ (Minister caught watching porn in Karnataka assembly, patient’s husband kills the doctor, 9th class student slits the throat of his lady teacher, supreme court verdict challenged, grand reception for the Tihar returned..!, bank robbed at gun point, 4th standard girl raped by the headmaster…. and so on) and the respect and reward we pay for the people who fought for ‘Freedom’. Only if we are aware about the struggle for freedom, we will value the constitution and understand our rights.
I told my students, “Photography is not only about beauty, it is also about hard and bitter truth. It is not only about the appearance but also about the values of life. Capture your feelings about what you saw… that makes a sensible picture”.
Now read the first paragraph….
A photo is made to be understood from a viewer’s perspective. But sometimes, if the situation of the picture or the story behind the making of the picture is told by the photographer, the viewer will truly understand the purpose of the photo.