The Quarantine Roll

In the 20th year of the 2000th century occurred a great illness that forced the world inside their homes. Offices were shut, shops closed, streets emptied as Nations and their governments went about locking their citizens inside their (citizens) homes in a bid to save their lives. Billion’s were hospitalised and by the time it all ended million’s had lost their lives.

More than a billion photos were shot and shared across the world. Instagram and Zoom lunged to become the tools of talking and people actually found time to stick to one conversation for more than 7 minutes; because that was the only way they could hear themselves talk. Phone cameras proved their Godliness as photographers created bibles of phone photography. FaceTime found itself shooting fashion portraits. Everyone wanted to be live and kicking.

I too joined the bandwagon. And worked with my collective recapping our journeys as photographers. We re-saw each other’s work, our own work and rediscovered ourselves in more ways than one. Suddenly in 2020 mortality was awfully clear and a timeline had to be decided in which work had to be done. One day I realised how over the years I had built a small but significant body of work which could be dissected and discussed. Another day I learnt how to retrieve the film leader from a canister using double sided tape. I put 35mm film into my 120 mm camera and shot with a happy heart.

One day I thought my time is limited.

2020 promised to change my life forever. It was a jailbreak.

 

A Day Before The Turning Of Time

Photos from my travels
Waiting as ever ©Kartikaya Nagar

Open boxes and folded clothes. Much like memories.

He was a king at sometime. Proud he sat on his throne and on his subjects. They listened to him, prayed to his power and sought his counsel.

Love is unbound. Blind and eventful, it brought me here. I stand as proof of its madness. I was sane once.

When I looked at the world, it  came to me that I am the world.

Vanity Vanity – how much I love this.

Bring me the stars tonight. Nothing else would do.. my love.

What do you know of love?

Rush Rush!!! Take me there and take me here. Dont stop.. just take me anywhere. I need to be somewhere. I belong nowhere; I need to be somewhere. Rush Rush!!!

Happy New Year.

 

 

 

The Midnight Hour

When I made pictures as an amateur, there were some that just stuck to the heart. I had no words to explain why I liked a certain picture that I had created. I would just look (I still do) at the photograph first in the camera and then the computer screen and wonder what had made me take that picture.

As I made my way through photo school and the years there after till today, the answers came to me. They come again and again reinforcing something that was told many a times by a lot of our teachers and discussed countless times amongst friends. Shoot what you feel; the camera is a mechanism of capturing emotions. Once you pick it up and think about the power it places in your hands, there is no going back to the morbidity of the usual. Point it at life and life points right back to you, mostly smiling; though sometimes it does stick the middle finger at you; but it smiles alright.

Last week I shot two assignments commercially. One was a maternity shoot and the other was a classical Indian music concert. While shooting both I was, countless times, overwhelmed. Making pictures is such a joyous process and it makes me so happy. In that moment of clicking the shutter lies my happiness and I have no memory to deal with. Check out this video from the concert.

The sound of the picture is my silence.

I am also happy to report that I have refurbished my website. I love the midnight hour to make these announcements.

 

Weddings and Travel

I’ve shot over 12 weddings in the last 30 days. And amidst all this shooting I have travelled within Pune and outside – to Ahmedabad twice, once to Bombay and to a small town in Gujarat called Gandhidham. Gandhidham was the most interesting since it was full of businesses being the closest town to the famed Kandla port.

Anyhow, this note is to apprise all that photography and film making is now my full time profession. God save them.

And that travel will be full steam ahead now.

Turbulence

This is an old note – maybe 7 years or so. I wrote this post “full of turbulence” flights while travelling to the North Eastern Part of India. I reprise it here after another couple of turbulent flights last week. I read about air turbulence later and can assure you that am much more at peace now.  

I have been traveling continuously for the last 15 days and most of this travel has been Air Travel. And all the air travel has had one thing in common – Turbulence.

All the sectors that I flew recently had turbulence. Invariably the plane would get into either a cloud or a dust storm and rock and roll the passengers till such time that even non believers like me thought of a higher force. In a couple of journeys, we felt turbulence when we were flying above the clouds and in a true blue sky.

Around 50% off this travel was in ATRs – a small 37 seater plane with 2 huge fan like propellers on either sides. When an ATR starts, the fan on the left side works first. The right one starts working as the plane taxis onto the runway. After a 2 minute halt, which is used to bring the fans to full speed, the ATR makes a dash across the runway and takes of suddenly. As soon as it reaches a certain height, the engines are brought to normal speed – for the faint hearted or new passengers, it seems as if the engines have been shut down.

I have written earlier about plane journeys. The reason why I write again about them now is that my book of experiences just got richer in the last 3 weeks.

I understand that planes fly at a certain altitude which is given to them by the folks in the control towers. What I don’t understand is why cant they go back to the control tower and say that there is a lot of cloud here, give me another altitude. While the pilots & crew and the control tower guys might be ok with the bumbling tumbling, I was not & neither were the passengers.

By no means am I a guy who gets scared easily. But the fact that you are a certain thousand feet above sea level, and you cant see any reasons for the bumbling & tumbling and yet you are bumbling & tumbling makes me think of some questions that need answers. At every instance of turbulence a small “ding!!” sounds and everyone is told to fasten seat belts. Another “Ding!!” accompanied by a small word from the pilot about the impending disturbance and whether its normal or not would be nice.

Communication is the key. A week back on the Indigo flight from Guwahati to New Delhi, prior to de planing, the hostess informed us of the belt at which we would get out luggage. Simple & effective. Yesterday on the IC flight from Ranchi to Delhi, the AC was not working while the plane stood at the Ranchi Airport. As the passengers took their seat, the cry for AC went up. The pilot made an announcement that the Auxiliary unit had gone bad and now the AC would work once the engines came on. As soon as he finished, someone asked the question to the hostess and she curtly replied”Sir an announcement has just been made.”

Back to turbulence. So ATR’s or Airbus, all are hit by turbulence. Yesterday at dinner with family, I shot the topic and realised that everyone has faced turbulence recently. And all agreed that there was too much turbulence. My brother thought that I am scared. But he is neatly mistaken. I am not scared, I just look for answers. If I pay money for a smooth ride, and when the stakes are of life, I expect to be told that we will fly into rough weather & what it could mean.

On a flight to late evening flight to lucknow last week, the plane was in a clear blue sky and flew into rains and black clouds. The pilot did some circling, the hostesses were asked to return to their seats immediately, and the passengers just bumped and jumped. On landing did the pilot say something about landing from another direction because of the dust storm. Whats the point??? Hardly anyone listened to him.

I have another week or so more to travel. Lets see what else gets added to the already existing turbulence.