Let Go

I have never really felt the need to write as much as I feel at this moment. Photography and writing are a form of catharsis for me, a purging of the soul, an introspection; and I know by the end of these words, I will feel calmer. It is one of those times when you feel the need for someone to listen without interruption, without judgment, without suggestion, with nothing at all, but to listen with a realization and recognition that I am flawed beyond compare, I am human, I have many fallibilities and failings and that I err more often than most. That’s just me.

I am writing this because somewhere I feel this tumult and turmoil deep within. After a long, long time. There is uncertainty on more fronts than one. Many reasons really, but its not the reasons that matter as much as what I feel. I feel as if I am unable to express myself, I feel as if I cannot say whatever I want to say without being judged, and I feel as if I cannot be silent.  Paradoxical but true: I cannot say, I cannot be silent.

Silence. What a beautiful experience. To be quiet in solitude. I believe we don’t understand the need for solitude. I believe we don’t understand that answers to questions which lie within, are not found outside ourselves but inside. I find these answers when I write and photograph. Alone. Not with you. Or you. Or you. As I stare at this photograph, the words of Bei Dao come to me:

“In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence”

Kathmandu_Debesh Sharma-0233 copy 2

However much I love being alone in the mountains photographing the raw, unblemished beauty there, I prefer photographing people. Being in the mountains is meditative, being with people is pensive. Subtle difference in the act itself. I photograph strangers whom I meet along my travels and my journeys, and by the end of the day, they no longer are strangers but their faces are etched in my memory forever. I see their eyes, and then I see all else. Those eyes for me are a mirror to the soul, and in almost all the eyes that I have seen, I see loss. Which is what I feel right now. Loss. And being lost.

Kathmandu_Debesh Sharma-9596 copy

But then I need to remember that as sure as we gain, as surely shall we lose. I need to remember that what is born must die. I need to remember that the sun rises to set again. I need to remember that winter is always followed by spring. This is the circle of life. I need to remember these words of Siddh?rtha Gautama, the Buddha:

“In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?” 

Yes. Let go.

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  1. Kate November 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm #


  2. Jayaraj November 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Hi….that is a nice post….do keep writing and photographing as you go along…Jayaraj

  3. Heidger Marx November 24, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Another beautiful post, Debesh! Congratulations, my friend!
    You and I, we both have letting go as one of our major life lessons, I can only congratulate you for hitting the nail on the proverbial head!

  4. Anu P D November 24, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Been pondering upon that for a while now — “letting go”.

    And then the child in me nudges aside the thought.

    Leaving behind the deep sadness that marks a random point on the circle of life, one smiles at the thought of spring. :)

    Smiles for you Debesh.

  5. Debesh November 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Thanks so very much Kate.

    Jay sir, indeed I shall. Thank you for your time in reading and also leaving a comment.

    Heidger my friend, absolutely. The key to happiness is to let go. Slowly, steadily practice detachment. It is difficult but yet needs to be done. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words as always.

    Anu, you my dear are too kind. Thanks so very much for writing those words – they did truly bring a smile to my face. Hugs for you.

  6. Marc Thomas November 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Once again an inspiring post. I do hope you keep them up. I admit I always look forward to seeing what is on your mind.

  7. Caroline November 25, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Again that is beautiful and inspirational. What we see is what we are…..
    I wish you a glorious journey both in life and in photography.

  8. Debesh November 25, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Thanks so very much Marc! It is always so good to hear from you my friend. This is the tough balance which needs to be made – between work and photography as we’d chatted about, between silence and speech; it is the yin and yang of things. I hope you are well. All the best.

    Caroline, thank you so much. You, I am sure, know that I wish you the best as well. It is fascinating for me how I believe I know so many people “here” without meeting them. Hopefully and God willing, sometime soon.

    • Ellen Doman November 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      We are all the same, connected to everything in the natural world including each other. We need simply to be here and know that we are one.

  9. Sheila Archer November 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm #


  10. Tanja Jensen November 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Love your words! They make a great deal of sense to me!! You wrote so beautiful what I was thinking! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Cyretha November 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    What a profund post!!!! Yes, sometimes it is very hard to let go, but as you say “winter is always followed by spring”. Gorgeous portraits!!!

  12. Joseph Crachiola November 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Excellent post. I found this at the perfect time. Right when I needed it. Thank you.

  13. Barbara December 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi Debesh, your posts are truly refreshing among all the photo blogs where photographers talk mostly about gear and how to make better photos. I love your honesty and simplicity and to tell you how much, let me say this is the first time I comment on a blog post! Keep going and thank you for inspiration.

  14. Debesh December 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Absolutely well said Ellen! Indeed we all are connected to each other and are just the same spirit. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Namaste Sheila, and thank you for “being” here.

    Thank you so much Tanja; it is wonderful to be connected with you.

    Many, many thanks Cyretha. It is so nice to hear from you. Your words always make me smile my friend.

    Thank you so much Joseph. Serendipity, should I say? But then there are no coincidences ever in life.

    Barbara, thank you ever so much. Your words are really kind. This has been an amazingly beautiful journey for me and I have “met” many wonderful people such as you, for which I am blessed and grateful .

  15. Arlys March 3, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Thank you for another beautiful email. I am always touched by your words and photography. I agree with you in that silence says so many things. Arlys

  16. Anshul Sukhwal November 15, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Very well written article, Debesh. Loved it when you expressed “I feel as if I cannot say whatever I want to say without being judged”. It’s very true in today’s world.

    Keep writing, Debesh. You write really well. I have a suggestion to make : please reduce the size of the images. It takes quite a long time to load in the browser.

    Anshul Sukhwal
    Travel photographers in India

  17. Debesh November 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Thanks so much Arlys for your beautiful words – I am touched. And allow me to also apologise for the delay in replying to your comment – I have been off the blog for about a year now – far too much travel to Iraq (of all places) and some others. Hopefully I should post something in a few days. Take care.

    Many thanks Anshul for your compliments. And I appreciate your feedback about the size of images – I shall most definitely bear that in mind when I post again. Look forward to being in touch.

  18. geetisri patri January 31, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    its really..an. inspirational… post …!!

  19. geetisri patri February 1, 2015 at 6:36 am #

    admirable writing… n shots as well…

  20. Debesh February 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Thanks so much Geetisri. Much appreciated. I need to get down to writing more often – it has been more than a year that I have written something, and I believe it is time to set that right! Look forward to being in touch.

  21. pritesh June 12, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Really wonderful pictures, your photography complements your writing..keep it up!

    • Debesh June 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Thank you so much Pritesh – much appreciated.

  22. Fineday Photography January 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    Nice blog. Keep writing.

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