The Old Photo Albums
This time when
I had gone to visit my mother, I made an amazing discovery.
As usual we started chit chatting. The discussion routed through
many topics and it was while narrating something from the
past that my mother reminded me of the photographs. My daughter
was all too excited when she heard that granny had baby photographs
of her mother (me). Within a minute all the old albums
were dug out from the cabinet. Looking at those photos
of myself as a child, my mother when she was so young, her
marriage photos all in black and white print, a thought struck
I glanced through the albums totally mesmerized. So many moments
and events were all there right in front of me. The past was
practically staring out at me.
A few photo albums
had the effect of an entire life story. It was a nostalgic experience.
Each photograph had a story behind it. As my mother explained every
photo in the album to her granddaughter, my thoughts changed from
the past to the present. I had a CD for every occasion. Every trip
of mine was on a CD all recorded for viewing. A set of CD’s had
photos of so many moments and events. But I had very few photo albums.
I felt very poignant. On seeing the albums neatly stacked with so
many photographs taken 40 years ago and some even earlier I had
felt that progress had somehow reduced the sentiment of certain
Technology has provided us with so many options. My computer
has so many photos stored on them. But they lack the feel of the
albums. We use digital cameras and handy cams to shoot photos
and videos. All can be stored away safely. It is an excellent step
towards progress where we need not buy photo film rolls and load
in a camera like we used to do earlier. We could delete photos we
didn’t like with a click. So we are left with great photos with
fantastic smiles and brilliant expressions. But I miss the ones
with weird expressions and odd smiles which earlier we couldn’t
delete. The suspense of seeing the photos after getting them from
the studio has faded away…….
were clicked only on special occasions and then stored away
in albums for years together wrapped in covers so that dust
wouldn’t accumulate and were brought out on family reunions
where everyone would sit together and comment on each photograph
and relate incidents linked to it. No television, camera,
computer was required to show the photographs. No electricity
or battery was needed and progress had nothing to do with
it. The albums could be picked up and the photographs would
be right there in front of you. There was no clutter as albums
were dated and marked. It was as simple as that. It did take
up space in your house, but the memories it treasured was
Life is more
convenient and easy today due to the various inventions and
progress in technology.
Physical hard work
is less though mental stress has crossed all boundaries. With just
a click we can connect to anybody and the photos we take on the
camera can be viewed within a minute by a person staying anywhere
in the world.
But in all this I
feel somewhere the feel and essence of certain things have been
lost. I still prefer reading a story from a book than on the internet.
I like the feel of the newspaper in my hand while I read it every
morning. Similarly, the albums evoked an emotion in me which none
of the photos on the CD could. The not so glamorous black and white
print photos had made me realize certain facts.
Progress is essential. But, there is a security in the ancient
pattern of living. Though we step on and move ahead with the world
and with its progress our heart yearns for certain old and outdated
stuff because of the sentimental value they hold. I used to wonder
how old and outdated things could be precious or important. But
now I truly understand the meaning of “Old is gold”……. And
how progress can influence sentiments…..
Nair, Dubai, UAE. II completed my Post graduate education in
Mumbai, India and am presently residing in Dubai, UAE. Writing has
been my passion since childhood. I have been writing poems, articles
and stories of which some have been published in newspapers and