Nostalgia and the loss of Innocence

Nostalgia is the unending gift that childhood leaves behind. Memories of events that are so trivial in the big picture – but the joy of which, lasts a lifetime.  One such memory is of going to the Industrial and Tourist Fair in Chennai.  An annual event that spans 90 days and begins during the month of Jan and goes on till April. As a child, I remember hopping onto the front of my father’s scooter and spending entire evenings at the fair. The adults used to shop, and we rode the train and the Ferris wheel – fear permitting! We were a small family of four then, with a small income but a lot of joy.

Twenty years later the fair has been scaled down from what it used to be and I am a far more snootier adult, who sees the rusting age of the Ferris Wheel and the copious amounts of garbage on the grounds rather than wondering what I would be able to see if I got to the top of the Ferris Wheel. Now as I stand in front of those rides with a camera and tripod in hand, it’s a different kind of magic that permeates my soul. The wonders of something called a “slow shutter speed”! The world around me is spinning slowly at the rate of a 3-5 second exposure, blurring motion into a beautifully symmetric concoction of lights. Even the smells of the city’s open drains are quickly being pushed to the back of my mind. The maddening crowds that I abhor are now moving slowly in a blur to form a picture of fuzzy crowds at a fair ground. The gleeful faces of children who can’t wait for their turn on the tea cup, unmindful of the fact that those rides are a few decades old and have never been cleaned, are stirring up memories of a 7 year old girl in a sleeveless polka dotted frock and a pair of brown sandals, hopping along those same grounds a few decades ago, hand in hand with her parents, begging to be taken on the toy train. It is funny – that the same sight can induce so much joy in the same person across decades, for so many different reasons. I suppose there is always some wonderment to be had, irrespective of the loss of innocence.

From things that make you wonder to things that make you think – this blog post has run the gamut, and I surely hope that it makes up for the long absence. There have been a few projects that have been completed and come to fruition in the meanwhile and I am putting it up here for those who follow this blog and more importantly for me to blow my own trumpet, if I don’t do it on my own blog then where else eh? It’s also to document that I have been ignoring the blog for a while for good reason! Soon I am hoping that there will be some changes to this blog itself….but that’s for another blog post! In the meanwhile …..let me get to the part where I explain my tardiness with posting. This seems to be a pattern with this blog – I always come back to explain my delinquency with good news – so I guess it all works out well??

1. A friend of mine(Bishwanath Ghosh) who happens to be a top selling author in India (and a travel/City Editor for The Hindu newspaper) is releasing his second book in April about the City of Chennai. The book is called “Tamarind City” and will be available in bookstores and online in April. The pictures on the front and back cover of the book is mine, perhaps some inside as well ( not sure about this part yet). His first book is called “Chai, Chai – Travel in places where you stop but Never Get Off”, for those of you who are interested or have ever traveled through junctions such as Itarsi, Jolarpet, Shoranur, Jhansi, Mughal Sarai and the likes.

2. The magazine that I edit is for a community of photographers on Facebook called Wide Angle Academy ( and it is an online quarterly publication and the second issue was released in January with the theme of colors. The next issue is due out in april and I just finished drawing up my line up of writers in mid-Feb. But here is the link to the second issue – and here is a sneak peek at the cover.

All of these writers are incredibly talented photographers or post – processing geniuses and are definitely worth taking note of.

3. Its been a lovely year considering I began the year traveling to Bangkok and followed it up with a quick road trip to my favorite haunt – the Nilgiris. This place never fails to inspire. I got to shoot some amazing landscapes for a calendar- which is in the works for next year. The only glitch here is that right now I have some issues dealing with .CR2 files which is Canon’s RAW format and am a thoroughbred Nikonian…so dealing with that is taking some getting used to on my laptop, hence its taking a while to process these pictures. But as a teaser I have a couple of shots from the D90 and a couple from the 5D MkII, enjoy.

The whole series is in Black and white and one delves into landscapes and the other into flora. It helped that the mountains were constantly covered in a shroud of mist, makes for some interesting and dramatic Black and white photos.

All images and everything on this blog are copyright and cannot be used without the permission of the author. For information on prints, please leave me a message and I will get back to you.

Nostalgia and the loss of Innocence