Photographic memory.

Week II (assignment 1)

INDIA. Mumbai. Students trying their hands at a portrait session at JJ School of Arts, 2010.

It was a cold winter morning, the Sun faintly cast a light into the hall, perfectly casting a shadow on the woman to get that perfect painting. This was one of those classes where you’d have to draw or sketch a live model, something I always dreamt of. While my colleagues sat there on those chairs and drew her as she is, I sat there thinking on how I could sketch her from a whole new angle. Time passed, I couldn’t think a way. Then it struck my mind, I closed my eyes and just trusted on my memory, this went on for quite some time. Finally, I opened my eyes and all i saw was darkness all around with the janitor just sitting there and staring at me to ask me to leave. Little did I know it was already late evening. It’s funny how time passes when you’re deep in you mind.

INDIA. Mumbai. A view of Marine Drive from atop the flyover, 2010.
INDIA. Mumbai. A view of Marine Drive from atop the flyover, 2010.

It was one of those days that reminded me of my childhood where I’d get out of my house and play until I caught a cold. But time got tougher as I grew old. It seems as though this scene is trying to portray my life in cumulation, as though the flyover is driving me downhill towards the sadness. And the clouds just seem to float around in the sky growing all weary and drenched due the wrong doings of humanity. The rain, sobbing it’s heart out hoping for the day the world turns all pleasant and peaceful once again. As I travel downhill, I stick my head out the window of my car as though it was some sort of an “emotional song”  wherein you’d see the world just passing by with a blink of an eye. At that moment I felt like a few of those tall high-rises, as though they were trying to mock me by standing there lifelessly. But alas! this was just a mere illusion.

INDIA. Mumbai. Children having a goat-drawn cart ride at Juhu Beach, 1971.
INDIA. Mumbai. Children having a goat-drawn cart ride at Juhu Beach, 1971.

This is one of those days that I remember whole-heartedly. It has been at least 47 years since I returned home (Mumbai). The first idea that clicked my mind is to travel to one of those well-known beaches in Mumbai, a place that I would call home. Also preferably called the Juhu Beach, as it is that one place that I know that is pretty clean and less crowded. As I walked towards the shore, I could feel the cold seawater submerging my feet into the wet sand, leaving behind my tracks. It feels as though the beach is trying to stamp your identity into the wet sand. it reminded of one of those days where I’d come running out with my sister just to make sand castles and chase the small crabs that would hide under the sand. Later that moment, I saw a couple of children riding a goat drawn cart, accompanied by the goat’s master. It was funny because I seemed to enjoy the kids doing their little crazy antics. Oh how I longed to relive my child hood again. But it’s such a pity that I couldn’t really enjoy my childhood as much as the kids are doing so today.

Photo courtesy: Magnum Photos. Rights held by photographer / Magnum. The pictures are used  for educational purposes only. Explore more photos:


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