November Rain

At the sum of it all, photography is a matter of perception – yours and mine. I see something which arouses my sensibilities, I photograph it with the intention of capturing the feeling within me – that is my perception, and you see the same photograph with your perception. And of course, our individual perceptions are a function of our environs. But then this post is not a polymath’s thesis of such things.

I was actually thinking of what I’d mentioned in my last blog about failing many times in the past. Yes, I confess that there were occasions after such instances of failure when I would be despondent and dejected, all the while wondering how and why I failed and thought it to be the end of the world. For much time after that would linger the “wrong-side-of-the-bed” syndrome, feeling blue without realizing in the least that the world continued to be a wonderful place to be, resplendent in all its beauty and opportunity. I should have just remembered Richard Bach when he wrote in Illusions: “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” All a matter of perception.

I would be entrapped in a maze of doubt, thinking, feeling, believing that my failures, my problems, my sorrows were unique – but nothing could be farther than the truth. We all go through ups and downs.  What I never realized at that point of time is that what goes up must come down – so neither the good times nor the bad times last forever. Not any longer. I have now learnt that the path to success is strewn with failure. Before that singular amazing photograph, thousands will be iffy. Churchill said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Just keep the faith. And so along with perception, it is also a matter of attitude.

Quick example. Just the other day, I was driving to someplace in Delhi in peak traffic and those of you familiar with the traffic here would agree that rush-hour (or any hour) is not the right time to be on these roads. When I got back home, all of a sudden to my absolute surprise I realized that nothing had bothered me all that while on the road. I didn’t even notice the traffic. Not once did I cuss the driver in the adjacent lane, no one had affected me. Where I was had had no effect on me. I had great music going in the car and all the while I was thinking of the beautiful places I need to photograph, all the lost corners I have to travel to, all these yet unwritten words. I was effusive and buoyant and nothing else mattered. And in another post, I will write about where I am in life today for a QED to this point. You see it is, and always has been my choice to see things either as half-empty or half-full. My perception. My attitude.

We all are free to make choices of our own volition. Now these are all photographs made a few hundred yards of each other, within half-an-hour or thereabouts which I feel show how we can see the same sunset in many ways. All different perceptions of the same environment. 

As I photographed this, I remembered what Ansel Adams, the brilliant landscape photographer said: “Sometimes I arrive just when God is ready to have someone click the shutter.”

And my thoughts as I saw the sun go down: it is our choice to remember that the light of day will always be followed by the darkness of the night, surely as it in turn will be followed by the dawn – a new beginning. It is what we call the circle of life, the light at the end of the tunnel, when winter turns to spring.

It is just what Axl Rose sings:

So never mind the darkness,
We still can find a way,
‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever,
Even cold November rain.

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14 Comments

  1. Rohit Bhardwaj September 2, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Straight from the heart……very beautiful images and accompanying text…

  2. Barbara Chase September 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    I am constantly awe struck with your BRILLIANT work Debesh…I am a poet myself..and comment with verse when my psyche is impacted with an image that touches my senses..however your work leaves me breathless..I must inhale and take as deep a breath as possible..blink my eye’s..and then take another glance…then and only then am I able to put my words together to describe what it is that I behold before me in the image that you have presented my hungry eye’s with…Your words as well have the appetite that drives all poet’s..you are also among us..and for that I am ever so greatful…Your images are caught with the heart and soul of a poet..they are also born of the spirit that lives inside your psyche….PLEASE continue to thrill my imagination….you take me to a wonderful place with your vista’s!!!!<3<3<3..!!!!!!

  3. Kym Zwick September 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Wonderful again Debesh…. Great job!!!

  4. sonny September 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    i know most people compliment you about your portraits , that being your forte…and they ARE awesome….but to me ……personally , it is your landscapes…..that are out of this world stunning . the third picture from top , today…..its probably one of your best….[exif info please ..] , i could look at it endlessly .

    you write about what i think each one of us at some point or another has dealt with , gone through and pondered over and therefore reconnect to it…your ramble….which you do so honestly…with no frills attached…

    Every morning
    the world
    is created.
    Under the orange

    sticks of the sun
    the heaped
    ashes of the night
    turn into leaves again

    and fasten themselves to the high branches —-
    and the ponds appear
    like black cloth
    on which are painted islands

    of summer lilies.
    If it is your nature
    to be happy
    you will swim away along the soft trails

    for hours, your imagination
    alighting everywhere.
    And if your spirit
    carries within it

    the thorn
    that is heavier than lead —-
    if it’s all you can do
    to keep on trudging —-

    there is still
    somewhere deep within you
    a beast shouting that the earth
    is exactly what it wanted —-

    each pond with its blazing lilies
    is a prayer heard and answered
    lavishly,
    every morning,

    whether or not
    you have ever dared to be happy,
    whether or not
    you have ever dared to pray.

    —-its something called a morning poem , dont remember by whom though….seemed apt here….* soft smile

  5. Emily Mabee September 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Always nice to read your words and see your beautiful photographs. The feeling of an ever-changing world really comes through. thanks again, Emily

  6. Laxmi Kaul September 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Beautiful landscapes.. beautiful writing, every single time. You never go wrong with words..

  7. Nancy de Flon September 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    And the upbeat way Axl Rose sings those famous words–that’s one of my all-time favorite songs. My photography certainly helps me to keep upbeat–sometimes a necessary antidote to the hopelessness and negativity I encounter at the office. It’s too bad when people lack some sort of consuming passion to give them a different perspective on life.

  8. Leslie S September 3, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Debesh, I love these gorgeous and inspiring photos and your words of encouragement as well.

  9. steve September 3, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Great images Debesh. A lot of us have thoughts and ability but only some actually take the next steps and put it out there! Well done.
    I have been a photographer since I was 9 .. in the days in the Academy mine was one of very few cameras, a full manual Zenit EM that was made of brass, weighed a kilo + and took great pictures provided you did it right. In later years I was in some of the most beautiful high mountains and remote spots and have two trunks of images to show (but they are neither seen nor shown for too long now!) that is what I mean… we get busy in so many things and before you know it time and life has slipped away. Keep at it!

  10. Cyretha September 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Debesh, your photography and entries continue to remind me to stay the course. Your work is a true inspiration.

  11. Heidger Marx September 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Dear Debesh,
    Thank you for accompanying your beautiful images with these strong words! It is always greatly appreciated!
    One comment, if you allow: you mention the words “failure” and “to fail” quite a bit. I don’t believe that there is real failure in life, it is more of a lesson, no matter if we succeed or don’t (what we call failure…).
    But then it comes all down to perception…!
    Thank you for your continued blogs!
    – heidger

  12. Akshaya September 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    You, obviously, seem to arrive every time God is ready to have someone click the shutter…. Again and again and again! He’s got to love you!!! And then we get enjoy your creations that are godly – and mesmerizing and beautiful. And as a now aged rocker once said, ‘ you’ve gotta keep on rocking!’

  13. Shelle Budiselic September 6, 2012 at 1:30 am #

    Beautiful photos and heartfelt words! You are an inspiration to me.

  14. Debesh September 11, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Many thanks Rohit sir, and you please keep those photographs and words coming to satiate the soul!

    Dear Barbara,

    That you are a writer, is evident by your choice of words which indeed leave me speechless, or should I say wordless…you have been rather generous with your compliments, but I shall accept them with a big thank you and also not a small amount of embarrassment. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

    Many thanks Kym, I am most grateful.

    Sonika, for you I have no words – each time you write something, whatever it might be, I have to read and re-read and interpret those layers upon layers. Thank you most importantly for being you.

    Emily, thank you so much for stopping by…I always look forward to “meeting” you…

    Laxmi: Thank you for the inspiration! Need I say more?

    Nancy and Leslie: Many, many thanks. I do appreciate your time in not only reading, but also commenting. It keeps me going.

    Steve: Of course I remember “that” camera my friend – you were in big league. Pull out those photographs before they get all musty and molded, get them scanned, and share them – that is how photographs are meant to be. Thanks so much for coming here. Look forward to seeing you soon.

    Cyretha: Thank you for such kind words and for your lovely book which you shared with me.

    Heidger my friend, I so completely agree with you. All semantics really, so when I say “failure” or “fail”, it is with that yardstick that I set for myself. But even then, the whole act of “doing” isn’t a failure. So yes, you’re absolutely right in that it is not only conjecture, but perhaps a conundrum. And thank you, it is always so nice to “see” you here…

    Shelle, many thanks for such lovely words.

    Akshaya mama: Thank you so much. Yes, He does love me, as He loves all of us. I thank Him each day that He showed me the way to recognize His presence in all that is around us, and for that I kneel and whisper a silent prayer.

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