Again. And again. And again.

I write about photography, and I write about how it has influenced my life. But you could just about substitute anyone or anything that you love for “photography” and whatever I write will still be equally true.  And you and I both know that often I don’t write about photography at all. I just use my photographs and juxtapose them with words to say what I have to say. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say. But I know that there remains something to be said – you know that feeling deep within your heart of unsaid words bound and shackled by reason, yet overwhelmed by passion we let them escape. So I let them out, I allow myself to say whatever comes into my heart, I create photographs that hopefully reflect my feelings, and use words that describe how I felt. Maybe there will be a day when I’ll quote Ansel Adams and be quiet: “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Until then, I shall photograph, I shall write.

When a musician tunes his instrument before a concert or performance he touches it gently, longingly, almost as a mother would hold her child, that same expression, the same caress, wondering what next? That is just how I feel when I touch my camera. Wondering what next. Wondering if I’ll ever be able to say what remains unsaid within my heart. It is a feeling of unspoken words, it is a feeling of falling in love. It is a feeling of being in love. And you know it is true when each day you feel more in love.

It is a feeling that even with all my words I find it difficult to describe. I can’t define love. I can only feel it. But the closest was when someone questioned me as to how would I describe a photograph of mine which I really love. And I said that I love a photograph when after I make it and step away, I feel as if I have left something behind, an indelible part of me, and ironically, paradoxically, contrarily, that is when I feel even more complete and willing and ready to leave a bit of myself yet again with someone, someplace. Isn’t that how love is?

Allow me to explain. About a week back, I’d gone to Old Delhi to photograph and in one of the many lanes that crisscross that part of Delhi I came across this man who was sitting in a shaft of light in the morning sun, in an otherwise dark, dusty, dingy lane. As I always do, I chatted with him for a while about what he does, made a couple of photographs of his friend who was also there while talking to him and then finally asked him if I could photograph him. Getting a yes, I made this photograph.

Now I might be wrong but to me he looked dejected, sad, forlorn, lonely, tired early in the morning and I wondered why. It touched me. So I sat down again with him, shoulder-to-shoulder and spoke with him a bit longer…and then after a few minutes he reached out for my hand, held it gently in his surprisingly soft hands and whispered: “God bless you”.  He meant it. And I felt love. I can tell you honestly that I would tradeoff that moment and those words from a “stranger” for every photograph I ever made. And then he smiled and I stepped up to capture that frozen in time.

I could describe all of this in more words that could possibly fill many pages, but if you close your eyes and reflect, you’ll feel just what I felt. As Einstein said: “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.” 

So I open myself each day to give love – unconditional love, because it is only then that I am loved. I am not perfect, but I promise I try. Because it is only then that I fall in love.

Again. And again. And again.

This entry was posted in General, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

16 Comments

  1. Katie October 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Lovely.

  2. Mauverneen October 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    You capture these moments with love. It shows.

  3. sandra gibeault October 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Debesh pairs photographs with words like no other. His focus reaches far beyond the lens of his camera…

  4. Anu October 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Your photographs always seem to tell a story and you translate it all using words, that seem to come straight from the heart. LOVED reading this blog.

  5. Michael Clivner October 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Those last two images so touch the human spirit as I know it touched you. I really think of the writings of Rabindranath Tagore when I see much of your work.
    Thank you

  6. Heidger Marx October 16, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    I don’t know how, Debesh, but I do think that your style is getting better and better by each new blog!
    What a touching, wonderful blog, kudos to you, my friend! I remember I always said “if a scientist could explain love in a formula, he or she would be awarded ten nobel prizes in a row, for sure”.
    Thank you so much for sharing! heidger

  7. jaitri acharya October 16, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    As ever loved reading your blog…..Again……!!!!! :-)

  8. Atul October 16, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Lovely thoughts Debesh Sir….as usual, the pics are brilliant

  9. Paulomi October 16, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Loved It!!!

  10. clarence October 16, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Beautiful

  11. sonny October 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    i always let your blogs mulch around in my head and peruse through when i am sitting down with a mug of coffee ….
    stunning portraits that come alive….because of something that i cannot quite put my finger upon…the way you capture them ? or maybe the way you weave them in your heartfelt words…..?
    …all i know is that they touch one ‘there “.

    thanks for sharing your special moment….just the light in his eyes, in second portrait is enough testimony of how you both touched each other’s heart.

  12. Narendra October 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Text and images…both very poignant.

  13. Emily Mabee October 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Beautiful in all ways.

  14. Shaikat October 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Faces speak in myriad languages…they speak words that are yet to be formed.
    Let them speak these unknown words through your lens.

  15. Debesh October 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Thank you so much Katie!

    Mauverneen my friend, I love being with these folks – they influence me and teach me about life, and after leaving them, I come back home as a better person – I truly believe that. Thank you.

    Sandra, thank you so very much for your lovely words.

    Anu, as always I am grateful to you for having read my blog and commented. Thank you my friend.

    Michael, these passing moments, I suppose, make us who we are and we are blessed that we have had these times and experiences in our lives. I am sure you have felt the same else you wouldn’t have recognized my feelings. Thank you so much Michael for your kind words.

    Heidger, I always feel so happy to read what you have to say. “Meeting” you has been wonderful and you bring forth positivity and all good things – the words you use when you write, the photographs you create symbolize beauty unblemished in all its form. Thank you my friend.

    Thanks a lot Jaitri.

    Many, many thanks Atul my friend.

    Thank you so much Paulomi and Clarence.

    Sonika, our discussions are unending – so suffice it to say “thank you”. It is really very nice to read what your thoughts are when you read my blog – you express them beautifully and profoundly. You have a gift and I think you should know that.

    Narendra: Thank you so much sir – much appreciated.

    Thank you so, so much as always Emily.

    Shaikat my friend, thank you for your words of encouragement which are really appreciated.

    May God be with all of you my friends.

  16. neelam November 7, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    and that is why Debesh I am intrigued..intensely..I have never known of a person who I could communicate with… who is so open with their love, you share it with equal passion..it will always be yours…but at the same time I bask in its glory too…that feeling is fantastic..:)

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