Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BRAVE MOTHER SON DUO

I have known Aaditya from the time he was a tiny tot. He is my neighbor and friend Tasneem’s little boy. They are the bravest mother and son I have ever come across in my life.

(Better Days: Aadi singing`Country Road' along with mom Tasneem)
Aaditya is afflicted with a rare and fatal childhood disease called Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). Frequently referred to as `Childhood Alzheimer’s,’ Niemann Pick Type C is a genetic lipid (cholesterol) storage disease that causes progressive neurodegeneration of the brain just like Alzheimers, Parkinson’s or ALS does to adults. Only 500 children worldwide have this horrible condition.

Aadi was slowly but steadily going down hill, even as his parents ran from pillar to post trying to find a cure for this disease. There's no known cure for NPC.
Two months back Aaditya seemed like he was losing the battle. He lost his ability to speak. It was toughest on mom Tasneem to come to terms with the fact that she might never be able to hear her son speak. Aaditya lost the ability to walk, sit and even swallow food.
Then came the breakthrough....

(Aadi - a week after his operation)
Last week history was made as the first ever intracranial stem cell transplants ever conducted on children was performed on Aaditya at the BGS hospital in Bangalore. The procedure was approved by the Indian government a few weeks ago. This treatment is not available even in the US.

A few weeks ago we were losing Aaditya. But today, after the path-breaking procedure we can see slow, but definite signs of improvement in his condition.

(Mother and son sharing a quite and precious moment)
I have been filming Aaditya for many months now for a documentary on NPC. I remember asking Tasneem, “Why do you allow me to film such personal moments of your life? Why do you permit me to film your son’s life ebbing away?” And she replied: “I know and hope that my son will get better and lead a normal life one day. I also know that His will be done in our lives. But amidst all this I shouldn’t forget that there others like me out there.... There is a bigger purpose here….I’m sure it’s not just about Aaditya and our family…definitely not.”
(Tasneem -the activist mom and caretaker)
She and her sister Duriya are relentless in their pursuit to reach out to as many NPC families as possible from around the world. Here’s to the brave mother and son… Let more NPC afflicted families benefit from this path-breaking medical procedure.

MERITS OF A KERALA TOWEL

My friend Sujin is an experienced amateur photographer. He faithfully and patiently tries to drill into me the nuances of photography. And he's beginning to understand that it's not an easy task. Yet, he courageously and generously plods on trying to make a good photographer out of me. "Try and use a Kerala towel to diffuse harsh light. It gives a `soft-box' effect," he said. So, I promptly went and borrowed (without her knowledge) my mother's fine cotton, meshed, kerala towel (she is fanatic about it) and tried to experiment with `Sujin's Soft-Box'...but there was no way i could clip the towel, so I held the towel in my left hand and shot the picture with my right hand. I don't think this is the photographic effect Sujin had in mind when he asked me to do what he asked me to do. However, I should say that the towel infact forms a fetching background!

SUNLIGHT

For me there is nothing more exciting than shooting in natural light. You cannot dictate to the Sun. You just got to be assured that he will give his best. And he never fails. It is exciting to see how sunlight is constantly changing by the minute and gives a different hue to everything it shines upon, again by the minute. The following photographs are a classic example





Tuesday, December 30, 2008

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Street Photography opens your eyes to the world around you. Everything around you becomes meaningful and alive. It teaches you to surrender to the unknown; it allows you to draw from the energy of the unknown and create something that tends to stay with you for long. Seen below are people who are experts at turning your dream home into a reality. They eat, drink, sleep and live under blue plastic sheets while they build your Palace. Then they move on to build another dream home. These temporary shabby shanties also double up as their boardroom. Here you can see the workers gathered for an early morning meeting, in the backdrop of a foggy Bangalore morning...



(Click on the photo to see it the way I saw it when I shot it)

FASCINATION CONTINUES

The Rose. And the Sky. I'm in awe of these two creations. Their perfection and beauty humbles me. Their power and grace fills me with unexplicable joy. Over the years I have learnt not to try and decipher them, instead I've learnt to enjoy them and to lose myself in their mystique. They are just WOW!


Friday, December 26, 2008

IN THE NAME OF FRIENDSHIP

She is a true friend. She lets me train my camera on her though she hates it. She generously becomes my scapegoat in the name of friendship. How will I learn to capture sun rays on a beautiful face, with my tiny camera, if not for her! Here's to friendship...CHEERS!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

DIFFERENT HUES

I love colors. And light. And shadows. They are capsules of life.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

PARAKEETS

Most of the days I wake up to this scene outside my bedroom window. And to think that I live in a concrete jungle, should I say I'm BLESSED or what....let the green parakeets flourish!

LIFE

Sometimes, I come across things in my life that I'm absolutely certain about. I'm sure that the following three portraits will remain my all time favourites till the very end. Three photos which can be captioned the very young, the young, and the not-so-young. To me these photos represent: On the threshold of life; Living life and Lived a bit of life. You decide which one is which.

Monday, December 22, 2008

SMILE PLEASE!

My mom is a very jovial and `smiley' person. But put a camera in front of her and she can give an iceberg severe competition. A weekend, I turned adamant, shoved the camera in front of her face and asked her to smile. She refused. And I did not give up. What ensued was a stalemate. During which, various emotions flitted across her face and I captured some of them. Finally she relented and cracked a smile -for my camera. My precious mom with her precious smile!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Windows -a gateway to heaven

With skyscrapers taking over our cities and buildings packed like sardines, one doesn't get to experience nature'sanity!s beauty as one would like to. Sometimes, especially those living in apartments experience little slices of heaven only through their apartment windows. The window is an urban gateway to paradise. An absolute necessity to keep one's sanity.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

IT'S ALL NATURAL

Glorious sunset. Untouched, unblemished.

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