Isn’t it absolutely true that a picture is worth a thousand words? This one does. The shot above has a nostalgic appeal to it. It also speaks a language of poetry. There is a bit of a drama and philosophy layered into the hidden folds. It tells a tale of a time when life was slower, calm and peaceful.
The above picture is that of my Dadi jaan (my dad’s mum) who passed away back in the 90s. I came across this artsy picture of her with one of my cousins. This picture was taken in England back in the 80s when picture taking wasn’t like it is today. Probably whoever took the shot back then didn’t think of it to be artistic the way I see it today.
While going through some very old collection of memories with family, this picture stood out and tickled my curiosity. Like all old memories, its nostalgic fragrance reached out of its texture.There are so many layers to it. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it really is deep. One look at it suggests nothing unusual, a regular room and a main subject in the frame. There is an old television set, and like is typical of Asian households, a number of things rest on top of it. Interestingly, my Dadi is sitting with her back to the box instead of being glued to it. While looking out the window, she has perched herself on the sofa’s arm. A little of magical light is pouring through the window, but barely reaching her.
It appeals to me on a number of levels. The picture speaks to me of longing of a lonely heart. I don’t know if she was happy or sad or just merely bored when this was taken, but there is a subtle hint of loneliness. At the same time, there is a flavour of warmth as the sun rays are filtering in, giving an interesting meaning to the feel of longing/yearning.
I would like to think that my gran was missing home. A sudden desire to be home, made her restless and she looked out the window, hoping to distract her thoughts. Having been to England, I know that the grey tones that dominate the days can make anyone a bit low in spirits. Explaining one of the moods of the picture.
A room with a view it is..but it seems like that my gran there doesn’t think much of what she sees outside. Her thoughts are flying off in another place and time altogether. This nostalgic picture tells the tale of nostalgia that granny was feeling. Perhaps she was rejoicing the golden days of youth past, the days of exuberance and laughter, high spirits and energy in bones.
Whatever may have been the thoughts dominating Dadi so many years ago, the secret has been captured in this one shot. This is perhaps the beauty of pictures and paintings. Something in them talks back to you of the time they were taken. Some part of the drama, some bits of the story escapes the confines of the pictures and talk to us of the time past…