Charcoal on Paper (Our little secrets)

“For what now remains is only a fraction of what used to be. For our secrets seem like some myth and the characters in it like someone who I used to know long long ago. The little tender secrets of ours, best kept hidden deep within our hearts all these years, doomed only to be lost and forgotten for good, once our time comes…”

Charcoal on paper art by : Abhisek Pattnaik

Photographs

My mother(in the left) along with my maasi(Aunt).
Written by : Abhisek Pattnaik

I just love visiting my mother’s old photo album pictures whenever I pay her a visit. It always brings me a smile, when she animatedly shares her little stories of what she and the ones in the picture were doing, while taking those pictures; vividly and more importantly, fondly remembering her good old days.
Photographs: the rectangular pieces of paper, holding time frozen in it for individuals, with each of them having their own little stories to share. It continues to amaze me how such a simple piece of paper can have such profound powers.
They don’t use film-pictures cameras anymore. Do they? When I come across my old pictures in any of the social media sites, I don’t remember any story like my mother. All I see is the number of likes it has. Somehow we managed to find ways to compete with others even for a simple noble thing as a photograph, just for the sake of competition. (Competing for the sake of competition.)
This makes me wonder, if disruptive innovations are actually good for us or not? Haven’t we become blind in the race already? Change after change: happening so fast that we hardly sit back and appreciate what we already have. Do we actually need so many things around us, with many of them lying unused and disused for years?
I remember as a kid, I used to love plucking flowers in the morning, collecting them in a basket for morning prayers.
I remember walking barefoot over the dew dropped grass lawns.
I remember swimming with bare trunks in the river; sometimes scared of what now is popular as ‘fish pedicure’.
I remember the cycling sessions through the foot roads under the sun, when the sun was busy playing hide and seek over the coconut trees.
I don’t remember the TV but the act of watching it together with all my extended family.
But, growing up, somewhere and somehow I lost touch with it. I lost touch with the things that actually gave me happiness once upon a time.
When did you last stop and lovingly touched the things lying around you: as a simple token of appreciation, for them being there? Maybe that treadmill that stands tall in the garage. Or that juicer which lies still wrapped in the kitchen. Or that laptop that you use daily.

I ponder if it’s not too late already. I ponder how the story would be, if I simply take photographs of all these things around me; adding up my very own stories to them, building up my very own castle of good memories.

Addendum : She was 18 in this picture and was tricked into taking this by my Nana(Maternal grandfather), so that it can be shared with the family of suitable grooms.That explains the gloomy face.