Where time has no meaning

I usually don’t photograph with anyone else – I go alone because then I am free to wander wherever I want, explore those nooks and crannies that I see. I can take my own time to stop, pause, stare. The act of photography is meditative for me, most times there are no thoughts in my mind – just a stillness that absorbs all that is around, sees what is often ignored. Those times I am even anti-social. But I prefer to say I am reflective. Most of all I am quiet. I enter a zone. People can’t understand this about me.

I realize I am monochronic. I can’t multitask. Or perhaps I won’t multitask. Is that surprising? When I tell people that if I am working or am busy with photography or editing my photographs etc., my phone will either be on silent or switched off, they find it incredulous. I find it better that way. It allows me to be in that moment completely. For instance, when I photograph someone, I am not with you, I am with them. I am not here. I am in the moment when the shutter release button is pressed; my fingertip at that point of time even senses the temperature of that button. And at that point of time then, I am lost. I am there.

Where time has no meaning.

And my phone being switched off reminds me that sometimes (or maybe most times) I find this hyper-connected world intrusive, claustrophobic, stifling, suffocating. We write a blog post, concurrently send a Facebook message, drop a text, and call someone else. Is that the way it should be? Isn’t when I am with you and only with you right now as I type fair to both you and me? Isn’t it better that I focus on each word that I write to you here rather than try and do it with one hand, eating breakfast with the other, thinking of what the day in office has in store for me? Why are we valuing superficial beyond exclusive? I still remember those days when the ring of the postman’s bicycle bell every two weeks or so meant a letter (yes, snail mail) from my grandfather and I used to be thrilled to bits. I didn’t need a mail from him each day to realize he loved me.  It was simple then. I miss simple.  This is what I am doing these days – making my life simple, perhaps emulating the people I photograph in some way. I am happy. I am at peace. I’ve never felt this way. I see this change in me. And people who know me personally also see this. This is what photography has done for me. I am exhausted today. I’m still writing. Nothing else matters. I love photography. I love writing. I am there.

Where time has no meaning.

I am reminded of all this when I more often than not talk to people I photograph. These are people who have influenced not only my craft (I still don’t call it art) but also me significantly. I have this affinity to stop and converse at length with those I place within my frame. They are simple. They are my teachers. At that point of time they are only with me. At that point of time I am only with them. They are me. I am them. Which is why those brief moments with them continue to linger in my mind forever. I remember each of those thousands of portraits that I made of people. I can’t tell you the aperture or the shutter speed, but I’ll tell you exactly where I stood and how and what I felt. I was elsewhere. I was there.

Where time has no meaning.

This is what happens when you fall in love.  Follow the silent whispers of your heart. Listen to it. Dream. Don’t be afraid of dreaming too big. Dream of the impossible. Chase that impossibility. Make it possible. Find what you love. Fall in love. Love with abandon. Love as if there is no tomorrow. Then you’ll know where I go to.

Where time has no meaning.

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21 Comments

  1. Payal September 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    your writings are so genuine and from the heart…you definitely know how to weave words with emotions…love to read what you write…

  2. Marcie September 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Wonderful thoughts. You can see your dedication to being there in the photographs. They continue to tell a story after you have left. Wonderful, Debesh. Just wonderful. A good avenue to pursue, I hope to be able to be “there” someday.

  3. Mauverneen September 20, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Excellent!

  4. christoph September 20, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    Well said and pictured

  5. Anu September 20, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Yet another blog where I was holding on to every word written – seemed like we were having a conversation face to face. Simple concept with an amazing effect if followed through…..keep inspiring us with your blogs Debesh, so that we can all dream our dreams and make the impossible, a reality !!

  6. Sandy September 20, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I know how that being in love completely in the here and now is like. I also know how it is being right there and not having anything else interfere with your here and now.
    Thing is, now that one knows it, nothing less will do.
    I love the fact that your posts, your pictures speak of that in such depth that it cannot not touch the soul. That is so important.
    When you speak, I know, in the depths of where I truly exist, I know.
    Thank you for allowing me these little journeys into my soul. It heals it.

  7. Roy September 20, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    To be able to slow down time, hold onto each of its fleeting moments, share oneself with them is what makes this life feel even more full-some. In this world of trying to stay connected we do end up being quite the opposite and lose out on the subtler nuances. If you have been able to experience this connect with things around you, you are blessed my friend, for that is why this beautiful world was made in the first place. Good going Debesh.

  8. Laxmi Kaul September 20, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    and yet again..you say each and every single thing i feel when i’m with my camera!
    So simple for you..

  9. Greg Buck September 20, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    As usual the work of Debesh Sharma is world class.

    Enjoy every post that this extremely talented and passionate photographer presents.

    Thank you Debesh.
    Greg Buck

  10. sonny September 20, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Funny how Einstein spoke about relativity and that example he gave of spending time with his favorite woman….how fast time flies …..and how much meaning time has then….and yet relatively….time has no meaning…..when you are doing what you love ….
    jeez….i hate my head …it thinks too much …:))

    as a loner and a psycho perfectionist …..i absolutely get what you are saying about not being able to multitask……whether i am writing , exploring, out photographing or baking a cake…..i am good with silence… mulching in my own thoughts….which in any case come out much better when i type than from my mouth…:)

    as to love…..there is no ” I ” or ” me ” in love….it becomes a “we “…..falling in love is only the first , miniscule , easy peasy step……..enuf said…

    interesting blog ….:)

  11. sonny September 20, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    @ Sandy……..love how your mind thinks….

  12. Paulomi September 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Yet again, a simple yet beautiful thought, and some beautiful photographs, put together mellifluously.

    Waiting for the next one, now!!

  13. MAHENDRA PAL SINGH September 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    great, real shoots !!!!!!!!!!

  14. Avijit September 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    you do find the words and they flow very nicely along with your shots…..

  15. Cyretha September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Debesh,

    Thank you for keeping us focused (no pun intended) and motivated. Recently, I read an article on street photography. This is a genre that I have not really tried. I am afraid to be intrusive into someone else’s life. After reading your blog today, I want to try it. I just want to capture their world and not be distracted by anything around me. I want to be the silent observer and let my camera photograph that moment.

  16. Heidger Marx September 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Dear Debesh,
    I can’t thank you enough for putting words to the feeling that I have as well when I am in the zone, when I am completely immersed in nature, culture or just a certain situation with my camera. It is this place beyond shutter speeds, apertures and ISO values…
    I have been there many times, and yes, I had to justify myself for being so “asocial” and not being able to multi-task. I think you have written a very “Tollean” blog and I can only congratulate you and stand in awe how you find those words and accompany them with your superb portraits.
    Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!
    – heidger

  17. Sandra Gibeault September 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Debesh – This is what I love about photography, capturing single moments one frame at a time. How we connect with our subjects, (be they people, animals, landscapes, skies, etc…) comes through in our photos. Sometimes we make awesome connections and other times, not so good. But I see a quality in your images that speaks volumes of your connection with people and your world; such a connection is quite a gift you possess. Your words truly inspire me and your photographs allow me the opportunity to see pieces of this world that would otherwise be unknown to me. I look forward to all of your posts! Thanks for sharing…

    r/sandy

  18. Debesh October 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Thanks so much Payal for your lovely words which I appreciate deeply. I am glad you enjoy my musings of and from the heart.

    Many thanks Marcie. My friend, I can assure you that you’re already there. If it matters, I see that in your beautiful images.

    Thanks a lot Mauverneen and Christoph; I so appreciate your kind words.

    Anu my dear, perhaps I am just expressing all that we want to say but are afraid to say, all which we want to confess yet are apprehensive about. Keep dreaming those dreams and I pray that they come true for you.

    Sandy, I really don’t know what to say. Your deep words touch me within. For this I am really grateful. We all heal – it is just a matter of time…as I wrote earlier – this too shall pass.

    Roy my friend, how good to hear from you again. And what wonderful words…Thank you for writing in and please stay in touch. It is always great to touch base with you. All the best.

    Thanks so much Laxmi – you inspire me.

    Greg: Sir, thanks so much for commenting. You’re a wonderful man and it is always nice to read what you have to say

    Sonny, I’ve never known you to be at a loss of words…thank you for commenting.

    Many thanks Paulomi! I’ve just been slightly busy with work and kind of preoccupied, but I hope to write something either today or tomorrow.

    Thanks Mahendra and Avijit.

    Cyretha, try it please – I can assure you that you’ll meet the most fascinating people ever who will teach you more about life and its beauty and the simple pleasures it offers than anyone else ever could. Do let me know how it feels after you begin this journey…

    Dear Heidger,

    Thank you so very much my friend for never failing to read and comment on my blogs. It is strange how we’ve connected such without even meeting, yet I feel I know you. I hope you manage to make another trip across to India real soon and allow me the privilege of shooting with you. And yes of course, that “zone” is such an enviable place to be at (or in)…

    Sandy, as you rightly said: “Sometimes we make awesome connections and other times, not so good.”; Well I can say for sure that I’ve made some great connections of course with people I’ve photographed but very importantly I’ve also connected with some lovely souls such as you and many of the others who have made time for me. So I am blessed for that. Thank you.

  19. Leslie S October 25, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Debesh, after all these months it just occured to me to ask you if you use HDR? I know you want to keep things simple, but your photographs have such fabulous color and clarity. I just had to ask…Leslie

  20. Debesh October 25, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Dear Leslie,

    Thank you for the compliment! No, I don’t use HDR. I have experimented with pseudo-HDR in the past (there are a few photographs in the Delhi and Jaipur albums of those), but none of the others are. I bump up the saturation and contrast perhaps more than usual – is that why these appear so? I’d be happy to chat with you and tell you my post-processing technique. Anything for friends!

    All the best.

    Debesh

  21. neelam November 7, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    I love your writing your art your passion for it…I seek time when I can read your writing and witness your work/art. As a mother I literally have to steal time but it is mine alone while I read your thoughts :)..so I am in my zone while getting to know you…..

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