The never -ending dialogue


In people photography I find it convenient to choose busy market places especially the crowded markets found in all Indian cities for capturing the poetry behind the activities of so many people who share the spacial consciousness of a moment.A never ending dialogue takes place in the shops linking humans in a complex web of transactions. A photograph captures the drama of human actions beautifully here . These dialogues never seem to end as though everything that is being said remains frozen in time (watch the woman in the picture wildly gesticulating to make her point with the shop-keeper). These figures become immortalised not because they are caught in a digital picture (which in any case is as ephemeral as human life) but because they remain as ideas hanging out open-ended in the time-space continuum.The open-endedness of the dialogue is delicious as it becomes a part of the shared consciousness.

Minimalism in poetry

Minimalism has been used in poetry as in other forms of aesthetic expressions in order to treat a single motif or a describe a single moment which can be recalled later in moments of tranquillity.In photography , like in poetry, minimalism can be successfully employed to convey something with starkness and without frills . A lot of course depends upon how you compose the photograph .In the photograph below I tried to pit a man-made light-bulb against the sun by eliminating all the other surrounding details .

In the following poem I have used the same technique to describe a moment in the early morning in the Grand Hotel, Kolkata .I have tried to create the moment without the usual ‘haze’ that a poet usually creates :


The morning crystallises
Pure and silver. At seven
The moment swells
To an iridescent event
Amid outcry of cutlery
And bone-clatter of china
Sparrow-love on the lawns
And aromatic hotel smells.

The starkness of the effect is because a single moment is described with economy of words eliminating multiple strands of thought and their expression. The stillness of the moment is accentuated by the use of simple visual and auditory images. The morning is “pure and silver” suggesting white light reflected by the silver tea tray- a visually effective image. The visual elements fuse with the auditory elements to create a composite scene of stillness which progresses, as the time moves to seven , to become an iridescent event. Actually the moment is not one of stillness but of growing and moving forward to become an event as several things happen touching the senses -“the outcry of cutlery”(suggestive of the medley of the sounds emerging from the clanging of the metal) , “bone clatter of China” (suggestive of the clattering sounds of the crockery) .Thus sensory experiences define the moment statically and at the same time suggest a forward movement to an intense experience.

In the dynamics of the moment is an interesting tabblo-that of the sparrow love which represents a dynamic aspect of the beauty of the moment ,suggesting the ephemerality of the sensory experiences which make the moment.