Life is how you see it. Lets look at it together.

Life is how you see it. 

A long time ago, when I used to look at life through my eyes wide open, I saw it all at the same time. The order, and the clutter. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Something changed over the years as I started looking through the constraining frame of a camera viewfinder. The world is suddenly a different place. I am beginning to see things I didn't know existed. I am able to find beauty in strange things. 

There is so much to see in this world. 

Lets look at it together.

The fiberglass roof over an open area in our apartment complex in Bangalore, India, was light blue. At least, thats what it was when it was first installed. Many years passed. The roof withstood monsoon rains, unrelenting sunshine, inclement weather and pollution. So, one day when I looked at it after years, it had grown strange patterns in its troughs and crevasses. There were dark colored matter that had found home in there. Ugly, said most of those who saw. It was decided that the blemishes will be removed by next Monday. I quietly fetched my camera to record the unwelcome dirt.

Walking by a concrete bench in distant Coonoor, India, on a rainy day, I was mesmerized by the pattern painted on the bench. I thought it was strange that someone decided to paint a bench in yellow and blue-green. And, on top of all that, was the blue stripe that ran vertically across it. The bench was old. The paint had fallen off at places. There were leaves scattered on the bench. I thought it made for a beautiful photograph. So I closed in on the pattern. Glad I did. It had a story to tell ... of all those who found a few minutes of rest on its hard concrete exterior.

The metal floor of the now defunct lighthouse in Point Reyes, California, was painted bright orange. Neglected for years, the paint had peeled off at places, leaving behind a surface that was more interesting than the fully painted floor, I imagined. I stood there and waited till the tourists had dispersed, fleeting in and out in their purposeless hurry, scarcely looking down at the masterpiece they are walking on. When I finally found a gap in the tourist inflow, I captured the beautiful floor for me to remember for ever.

In the farmhouse we stayed once in Chikmagalur, India, there was a large copper vase kept near the outdoor kitchen. It looked weathered, having suffered monsoon rains and heat. The drops of water and other chemicals running down its aging body had left visible scars, but she was all the more beautiful for it. The chemicals in the water dyed its patina various shades of grey, brown and orange. The vase had character in its old age, which, I am certain was lacking in its shiny and polished youth. I marveled at the colorful lines for a long time.

The tree was on its side, having been left for dead long after some winter storm in Yosemite National Park, California, had uprooted it. The dampness of the forest was the perfect ingredient for the colorful lichens to build their home on the bark of the dead tree. In the fading sunlight of the day, it looked amazing; orange and white lichens colonizing the tree bark, giving the dead a colorful coat of life.


mita mahadevan said…
Amazing! Insightful metaphor of focus changes how you see things! enjoyed reading your narrative and the photographs of course.

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