From day one, Arun has been focussing on the micro and macro views from his home, which he has not left for greater than 55-plus days. “It is a question of perspective. There is so much happening in the world around you at any point of time but most of the time we are oblivious to it. You have to learn to look and observe. Without stepping out of the gates of my house in Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram, I have been able to capture images of life around us even when we are in a kind of hibernation,” he says.
Arun says although we is likely to be caught in a place, as a substitute of panicking or feeling trapped, now we have to see it in a new mild and that may have a calming impact. When he started sharing his pictures with a couple of mates, he seen that they had been additionally getting used to the concept of seeing their place with new eyes. His deal with pictures, Arun says, has made him upbeat and hopeful of overcoming the challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
“When the lockdown was announced, one of the first things that struck me was the uncertainty connected to the length to which the situation would extend and also the definite possibility of people developing a new pattern of existence, bordering on boredom and laziness. I have always been interested in dealing with people and doing whatever I can to cheer them up and inspire them to do better. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I took up the certification to be a life coach,” he explains.
Instead of observing a display screen, Arun determined to scent the flowers and to face, stare and click on the drama of the pure world. So, together with pictures of an empty room and home windows, there are dramatic snaps of the skies other than frames of geckos, crow pheasants, squirrels and pollen-filled flowers.
Story in each body
Once the lockdown is lifted, Arun plans to carry an exhibition of his picturesque journal of pictures. Arun has enriched each picture with a tiny story as a result of he feels there’s a story in each body.
“The idea was to shoot one unique image per day, from within or around the house. The images have to be catchy and also not repetitive. As a person who loves writing too, I added an additional angle to it wherein I created a small story focussing on hope or strength or some positive aspects,” he says.
Thus, the snap of a solitary drongo perched on the uppermost reaches of a tree, clicked on day 15 of the lockdown, has Arun stating that after two weeks of the curbs, “we are all getting used to our solitude and isolated perches. It is high ground and all alone but it is also a vantage point and an opportunity to look around and assess yourself and your life too”.
A photograph of a butterfly sipping nectar, taken on day 21 of the lockdown, has this little story to it: ‘Our shopping trips are restrained and our consumerism is at an all-time low. But, the natural dwellers seem to be having a free run and having a happy tour of every available natural resource that they can feast on without being disturbed or harmed.’
And so it goes on, each day documented by one photograph. He says that though he might need clicked many on a day, for this documentation of the lockdown, he would choose just one image from the lot.
“My mother, a botany professor, has a small garden and plants in her balcony. There is enough inspiration in both the places and the terrace gives me an amazing view of the sky at different times of the day. It might be the light falling in a certain way or something moving that inspires the lensman in me and I might click a number of photos. I might use the photos not included in this collection for another exhibition,” he explains.
As a coach of images and a life coach for youngsters, he muses aloud if images could possibly be used to enhance the statement and a focus span of youngsters.
“My take is this: we all see the same world but how you see it makes a difference.”