November 25, 2010

i like it hazy

Everybody craves for perfection. Symmetry rules the world. Clean lines are the order of the day. But what is not perfect can be beautiful too. Like a hazy picture.

When I was young, I remember hiding such pictures behind the last good picture in the photo album. It was perhaps a reminder of the money gone waste in developing these good-for-nothing images and that such a mistake should never be repeated. At other times, it brought great joy to watch a hazy picture and try to make sense of the details it was intended to capture.

Today, when everything has gone digital, we no more brood over such pictures. There is no sense of loss really…for there are plenty that have made it to the finish. Now it’s just a matter of a ‘delete’ button that paves the way for the survival of the fittest.

But something inexplicable still draws me to these hazy pictures.

The shaken picture, often seen as a waste, appeals to me as an action in process. Its presence is liquid – oozing out of its definitive boundaries and seeping into everything that was not ordained. For me, it stands out like a rebel.

And in doing so, never mind by fluke, it lends a character to the frame that can seldom be replicated. Everytime you look at it, you discover something new – a little detail or effect that was left unnoticed all this while. In that respect, it becomes an art piece you never intended to create.

Tucked away in a quiet folder on my laptop, lie many such unwanted pictures which I know I can never part ways with. My mother calls me a maverick to be still holding on to these. But for me, these pictures are special too. They remind me of the days we were starved of good pictures from a manual camera. Of days when we celebrated every picture in our photo album – good, bad or ugly. Of days we coped with the scarcity of resources. Of days we were comfortable with imperfections.

For me, they serve as the thin line between the curious and the compelling. They are those captured moments that are unique in their own fashion. Or rather, those moments that could never really be ‘caught’ on camera; they just dodged and fled.


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