The Irrelevant Photograph

The last time, I was passionately involved was 19th of March 2006. With my camera, I hastened to add! That was the last time I was trying to photograph a deadwood tree in the background of a neighbourhood church - somehow it told me a story that I was trying to capture.

It was telling me about the futility and barrenness of life. The church stood tall in a sort of eternal uprightness. I knew that church was closed a few weeks back for financial scandal of some sort, but its structure hardly betrayed the shame. The sky was clear and a tinge greenish, providing the perfect background to the eternal church and a dead tree, embedding the irony that there was little hope for this closed church while the dead tree waited for its spring!

But then I gave up taking photos on the 20th morning. I lost my mother that morning. Since then, I was pre-occupied with life. With goings-on. I tried to take the cameras out of the shelf and shoot, but it seemed that objects stopped talking to me. Irretrievably. Completely. The world has become a deadwood, betraying no hints, spilling out no whisper.

In that silence, I lived. I scratched out days on diary, spending time to spend time. I did not give up living, but I was waiting - I don't know what for.

Two years hence, to the day, suddenly the same deadwood tree near the neighbourhood church spoke to me - as if time froze since my last photo and started again just now - and I stopped by to gasp and gather the moment.

The church has reopened since. I did not notice the tree intently for a while to know whether it has now irreversably died. I suspect the sky was a bit more blue now, a little less green. The roads were busier, and there were a couple busy cuddling each other in the church garden who thought I am trying to photograph them.

But the story that tree told me now is so different. It told me about momentlessness. It told me that nothing is lost in the universe ever. The equations and the particulars do not matter, perspectives don't matter too - a story looks different but essentially remains the same whenever we care to look.

I did not take the photo. It made no sense.


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