ONE GOD MANY FACES
So far, I behaved like a solo expert in the way I looked at the craft of photography, never aware of the mistakes I was allowing myself. Though quite devoted to my passion, I realized my excitement lacked proper professional guidance until I met the friendly lensmen in Hyderabad one day.
They made me realize that I have to change my language of photography, which, so far, I got used to distilling the beauty that surrounds me. My complaint, I said to myself many times, was that I seemed to be honest with my eyes, but the visual outcome, the images, cared less satisfying and more discouraging.
My friends fixed the venue and date for my hands-on assignment, and the primary purpose was to knock out the ‘photography block’ that clouded my eyes as soon I peeped into my camera’s viewfinder.
If we amass the devotion and faith of humanity in one place, the spectacle could happen in only one venue, and it’s at Charminar, the historic landmark of Hyderabad city. Added to the commotion, it was a Friday night, just three days before the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.
It filled every inch of the space with the hustle and bustle, big and small, and the crowds seemed vibrant with an unbelievable life of their own. I fell short of words to relate what I witnessed on this penultimate night of Ramadan.
Stalls of every make, size, and variety lined the streets that squeezed around the majestic Charminar decked in strings of festival lights. Men gathered at the tea-stained counters, makeshift kitchens serving different meats. Younger children tugged close to the parents, their hungry eyes on the ice cream carts and the display of colorful sweets and snacks. I saw women in traditional costumes draped in festival relish bargaining for the best discounts, and words flowed nicely and friendly before they struck the deal.
I found myself drowned, sweat dripping from head to toe, in the festive confluence while I learned a few candid photography tips where my good friends guided me. And it was past midnight as we got hauled, dragged, pushed this way and that way by the deluge of masses swelling every minute while being conscious of protecting our camera gear, phones and purses.