My Fellow Indian

The choices we make are critical. I will have to make choices as I edit these images
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The Choices We Make

My Fellow Indian. The Young Boy

Life is full of twists and turns, and we always must choose. The choices we make are critical, and determine the way we live our lives, our approach to projects, and how we present ourselves. I know this sounds philosophical and grand, but when you weigh my words, you will agree (please do!) that there is a grain of truth in the words.

I don’t recall if I mentioned this when I wrote my blog called “My Beloved Olympus-2”, but for years after I found myself on the wrong side of the corporate door, I spent considerable energy trying to get back in. Then, a tube light exploded inside me, and I realized I was wasting my energy chasing the wrong horse. So, I made a choice: follow my heart and soul and chase the photography/storytelling horse.

Seven Cities

When I did my “Seven Cities of Delhi” project, I made the correct photographic decision of presenting the images as digital simulations of 19th-century image-making techniques. However, I made the wrong choice in book size and paper type when I self-published my work. Further, I did not give myself sufficient time to craft the text. Therefore, when I look back at it now, I consider the prose turgid and stiff. The choices we make are critical because they affect the way we use our time.

Now, I am at another critical phase in a project, and I have not yet arrived at a definite direction. However, let me first explain my project. I have two, but I will only talk of one, the one occupying my thoughts nowadays.

I haven’t picked up a camera to do photography in the last two years, but this will change within March. However, I have been editing many old images, and I am happy with this. A few months back, I decided to edit a bunch of images I made of people over the last fifteen years.

My Fellow Indian

I call this mini-project “My Fellow Indian”, and I am aware this mini-project does not represent Indians from all the regions of the country. However, I possess these images, and I am editing them.

My Choices

At the moment, I am going through the Lightroom edits, but I am in a quagmire. Do I do the final edits in color, or in black & white? Or shall I split them into color and monochrome? Within the world of monochrome, I will need to consider the final toning options I have–a cool selenium, or a warmer coffee, or ambrotype.

If I go for the color option, shall I stay within the realm of ‘normal color’, or do I opt for a stylized cinematic kind of approach?

The choices we make determine the path we tread, and I fear time will compel me to decide soon.

Two Years & Inequality Has Written

Young Boy. Bombay

Now that I have reached this point, I must ask you if you are wondering why I am doing all this. If I may assume you are bursting with curiosity, then I will answer the unspoken question.

We’ve all lost money over the last two years, apart from the rich and powerful. They are accumulating more power, money, and prestige. We witness it in India, and you see it in the way the ‘tech titans’ are acting on the global stage.

Yet, there are many of us who are going to be left behind in the geopolitical drama being played out on the national and international stage. These ‘humble folk’ will be the first to be affected by public health disasters, pandemics, or climate change disasters.

So, when I edit these images, I think of them, and the way their life stories are playing out. Unfortunately, they face a paucity of choice, and may be compelled to confront a scary future.

The choices we make affect them as much as they affect us.

A Parting Note

I made the image of the young boy many years back, when I was living in Bombay. One evening, I went across to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, and photographed him as he sat in the dying sun. He looked at me with a direct look, something I didn’t always see during my corporate career. Soon after the policeman chased me off, saying I had no business photographing the bridge. Evidently, he has, or had, no idea of satellite imagery. I wonder what he will think of Elon Musk and Starlink.

What do you see in the boy’s eyes? And, what do you think of Starlink? Think deep.


Published by Rajiv

I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.

7 thoughts on “My Fellow Indian

  1. Mick Canning – UK – Creative writer, blogger, and painter, now with one novel and one collection of poems and short stories. If you want to know more about me, well, my personal mantra is 'Be Kind'.
    Mick Canning says:

    For my money, I love your B&W images, Rajiv.

    1. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      Thanks for that!

  2. davidoakesimages – DERBYSHIRE. UK – Freelance Photographer and lover of the Countryside and Wildlife.I gained my Photographic qualifications in Manchester and then started my career as a Photographer with a North West Regional Newspaper. From there I moved onto an Engineering Company then a Publishing Group. This appointment created an interest in Sales and Marketing a disipline into which I moved. 25 years in Sales, Marketing and General Management at Director level with market leading and multi-national Publishers was both exciting and fun. But like most things, a time for a change came along and I opted to start my own Freelance Photographic business and Photo Library. We specialise in Landscape, Travel and Heritage plus photographic reviews of new Canal Boats for the magazine of that name....a great way to earn a living whilst having fun. More oftern than not I have Carla our Director of Greetings and Buster our Head of Security with me, both like to chat and the occasional biscuit will bond any friendship....just don't touch the Nikon's..
    davidoakesimages says:

    You don’t have to go one-way….. a mix of colour and b&w can work. I am pretty sure some images will lend themselves to a monotone. Life always has many paths, we don’t have to follow just one. 😃

    1. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      true. true!!!

  3. Very Deep, Rajiv. You have captured the heart. Kudos. …Give up on starlink.

    1. Rajiv – I have been around the block a bit. I've lived in four countries, and in many parts of my country. I have been fortunate enough to meet some really good people, and some really lousy ones, all of whom have taught me much. I am passionate about photography, writing, Indian history and continuing on this grand journey towards death.
      Rajiv says:

      Thanks! Very much!

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