“You have to take 8 to 10 photos of whatever you feel drawn towards…that is your choice.” Our photography teacher smiled as we all got up to run out.
“Remember to come back in ten minutes. 10 means 10.” His voice sounded like a stick, but that didn’t dampen our spirits as all the ten of us attending this photography workshop scampered out of the room. In fact, we leaped down the stairs and scattered in different directions, like children searching for Easter eggs.
“What am I drawn to?” It was not hard for me. There is a gigantic tree in the middle of campus and click, click, clickety-click. I got busy clicking the tree and then its little leaves – the macrocosm and the microcosm. Then some clicks of the flowers and I tried to catch a butterfly, but it flew away before my butter fingers could capture it.
It was almost ten minutes, and I arrived with my panting classmates back in the room.
“You four sit here.” Our teacher made me sit with my best friend and two unknown boys – one with curly hair and huge black glasses and another with a checkered shirt and long nose.
“Share your best photo, the one that you think was the best and discuss what it says about you.”
“You go first.” My best friend nudged, and I pulled out my flower pic.
“She likes nature.” My best friend took over the discussion. “Look here.” It was a photo of two girls laughing.
My friend looked at all of us and said, “I like happiness. Positivity. Now your turn.”
She looked at the curly-hair-spectacle boy, and he carefully held his phone out, and his photo was a staircase. Yes, beloved readers, you read that right. It was not elegant artistic brick steps nor modern architecture stairways; it was an old steel ladder-like staircase.
I looked at him and wondered why he had picked this as his best photo. Our campus abounded with green vegetation, striking architecture and diverse people.
“Wow! That’s amazing. Look here.” It was the other boy, and he too had taken the same old steel steps.
“Look at what is below the steps.” His hands kept touching the screen and shaking the photo.
“Trash cans?” The raised eyebrows of my best friend said it all.
“Yes, you leave the trash cans behind and climb up the ladder.” His eyes gleamed like a flashlight.
“Yes, and look here.” The curly haired boy seemed excited too now by this ladder coincidence.
“There is a ray of light, can you see it?” They both peered at the two of us, and we shook our heads in all directions. We could not see any sun rays but did not want to be rude.
“So, what does this say about you?” My best friend’s tone sounded a tad challenging.
“Growth.” They answered in unison.
I marveled at their perspective, at the miracle of human existence and aspiration.
I felt we are each a note in this cosmic symphony of life – each with our dream, vision and unique gift. Together we create the music of existence.
Sri Krishna Sharanam Mama
108 day Vow: Day 102