Archive for March, 2017

21
Mar
17

War legends: Shoot at sight!

The idea to write about this topic came to my mind after I saw the film “The Bang Bang Club”. It is one of the most recalled and famous films because the biography of four war photographers and how they became legends is still intriguing. Everyone remembered the famous photograph of the Sudanese girl who was about to die and a vulture was waiting for her death. This particular picture was clicked by Kevin Carter for which he won Pulitzer award. That particular picture brought him fame and also shame. At last, when he became so overwhelmed with the media focus, he finally killed himself.

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Such tragedies always happen with war photographers. They risk their lives to give us a view of the extreme situations. Most of the time situation becomes so horrifying that they never get over it. If you read about these photographers you will know that many of them have lived a traumatic life. The projection of the situation to us is much lesser than what actually happens. One of the famous war photographers named, Robert Capa once said “War is like an actress who is getting old. It is less and less photogenic and more and more dangerous.” He was arguably the greatest Hungarian War, combat and adventure photographer of the history. He died a tragic death at the age of 40 by stepping on a landmine during the first Indo-China war. Needless to say that his pictures are still very much appreciated and observed as a case study for the aspiring photographers.

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Like him, many have lost their lives while capturing the image. These photographers are not celebrated like others but they have also done great job. Not only men even women war photographers needs to be mentioned as they have also left their mark boldly. Photographers like Catherine Leroy or Constance Stuart Larrabee lived in extreme conditions and terrifying situations to capture the image. War photography is not an easy job, it requires a lot of passion, sense of adventure and most of all the courage to face the horror live.

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Not many of us can imagine what could be the real situation, no matter how many movies we have watched or books we have read. Always living on the edge of your life without any protection or claim is the greatest sacrifice. Photography is a glamorous world and today with the availability of cheap DSLRs we all know how to click. Seriously, how many of us actually have any idea about these photographers? We all bask in the heat of fashion world but don’t you think that these photographers also deserve the equal limelight.

As I am writing this article and reading about these legends, I am moved and also feeling ashamed that before this I have never read or taken any interest. As I read, see and learn about them I think my life is much simpler, easy and comfortable. These people must be way too passionate, crazy, daring and open towards life that they took this job without any questions asked. I hope after reading this article my fellow friends will shed some light towards these legendary photographers who are constantly putting their life at risk to give us a glimpse of the situation.

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01
Mar
17

I love basking in the ancient ruins, tales and things…

Since childhood like any other kid, I too loved listening to stories. I remember my grandma used to narrate stories every day after lunch. The stories usually contained gods-goddesses and their triumphs over evil but once a while on a very nostalgic moment she used to tell stories of her childhood. She used to reminisce the memories about the places she belonged, her childhood, peoples, battles, her journey from one country to another and of course about the society. Most of the time I used to picturise them on my mind and later enact the same in the backyard garden. I always thought myself as a warrior or someone going on a tremendous risky adventure.

Being a shy child, my childhood was mostly away from people and spending time alone. And precisely I liked it very much and still do. I was born and a part of my childhood was spent in a very small town of North Bengal, to me it is a blessing as I have witnessed and lived a lot more than any big-city person. When my family finally moved to a big city, I was sad and unhappy for a very long time. I missed my backyard garden, I missed my favourite tree branches and mostly my adventure stories which I enacted and my audience silently appreciated.

Time passed and I grew up coping with the situation. It was at that point of time when I started going out alone in the city and that’s how I discovered solution for my solitude.

I have lived major time of my life in a metropolitan city called Kolkata, it’s a fascinating city. More than 300 years old, this city consists a mini world inside. On one side you can relish the history and on the other hand, you can enjoy all the new age innovations. This city is a perfect balance of both history and modernism and now I can say that I love this city with all my heart. This city has a soul and I am proud that I belong here.

Speaking of ancient ruins and Kolkata is synonymous. Each lanes, by lanes, roads and walls bear the mark of every evolution, revolution and growth this civilisation have ever seen. There are several houses still present in this city which are more than 300 years old and believe it or not, people still dwell in these houses happily. If you visit any of these houses you may not be very impressed by its outlook but it has its own beauty. Every brick in the wall will tell you stories and the journeys of every generations you learn is mesmerising. There are certain lanes in this city which remained the same since ages and when you walk down those lanes a sense of pride automatically comes to you. As many legends have walked the same path as you’re doing.

There are several shops which still hold the same old custom of greeting a guest. Now comes the best part, food-the food which is served in those shops tastes equally mouthful as before. Sadly most of these places are now under the archaeological society and they are trying to modernise it in every possible way. May be it is a good decision but somehow I just love the old ruins, the freckles, dusty pictures and mostly the faded colours of the walls.

I believe, when you are renovating an old place, you are not only destroying its originality but also putting a cover on all those unheard stories, struggles, glories, emotions and moments. Its simplicity is gone forever with the newness of modernity.

I feel sad for these but I am helpless. On a practical note, this is the right thing to do but I am an old soul who loves basking in the crevasses of ancient times and finds solitude in the silent music of the walls.

Now I stay far from my loved city, in a new city which also have a heroic past. No matter what, I will always love my Kolkata and for some reason, I know that when I will return, my city will be dawned with modernism. All I wish that hope my city will keep a single place as it is, just for me to visit and be in solitude one more time.