கொடைக்கானல் (Kodaikanal)

Sometime in May 2005, sitting beside the Silver Cascade waterfalls in Kodaikanal, this was one of the first poems that I’d tried to write in classical தமிழ்! With all due apologies to the stalwarts of the ‘Language’, I dedicate this one to the teachers in School who taught me தமிழ், which was once a ‘subject’ I hated the most!

அகிலி னங்கள் சூழ்ந்த மலையை
முகிலி னங்கள் மூடும் – வெட்பத்
திகிலி னங்கள் மறந்த உடல்கள்
துகிலி னங்கள் சூடும்!

கோடைக் காலம் ஆனால் என்ன
வாடைக் காற்றும் வீசும் – இந்த
நாடை அதனின் அழகைப் போற்றி
ஓடை ஒலிகள் பேசும்!

ஏரி அருவி அதனில் உள்ள
நீரின் துளிகள் பறக்கும் – இங்கு
நாரி இருக்கும் மலர்கள் கூட்டம்
ஊரி லெல்லாம் இருக்கும்!

கானல் என்னும் போதில் சொல்வர்
காணும் பொழுதில் மறையும் – கொடைக்
கானல் என்று சொல்லும் பொது
காணாமலும் இனிக்கும்!!

நினைவில் காணாமலும் இனிக்கும்!!!

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The Joy of Photography

Photography – in these days, I share a synonymy with this word…in MAD HYD circle, with LPD, with the T-Gang and among my colleagues. Backtracking a few years, this term was not even acquainted to me…even in the slightest sense! Now it feels so good to take a trip down the memory lane! This is a story of my tryst with the lenses… a story of evolution from nothing to a something like this!!

This journey that I began with a minuscule significance, parallel to many other giants in comparison (like Physics and Music), dates back to the year 2003 when I was in my 11th standard. I was going on my first school tour to south Tamil Nadu, visiting Kanyakumari. Carelessness and lethargy were my infamous attributes then (and to an extent…even now!) and I was denied the right to take my dad’s camera…and was, owing to my dubious resilience, granted permission to take one of my dad’s friend’s vintage piece, with manual winding!

‘At the end of the day, all that matters is what’s on the film!’-I consoled myself and took that Yashica and randomly started clicking some scenes, people and moments that I thought I should treasure! One such ‘moment’ was the sunrise in Kanyakumari…and I was pretty impressed with the way I captured the streak of the first golden-red goblet that was about the ascend the horizon.

Murphy was always right…especially when things work against me! Needless to say, the winding knob of the camera chipped off the setup…and that was enough for my parents to bestow more laurels on those infamous attributes. I knew I wasn’t gonna get a camera for the rest of my life!! But photography was not quite etched in to my emotions as Physics and music were… and so I just decided to ignore it.

The next year came too fast…and I knew I was not gonna see some of my friends ever again on a trip like that. I asked my parents for the camera, hoping for the worst…and by some strangest forces that conspired for me, I got the camera… and I decided to safeguard it like a baby…maybe something even more precious than that!! (Sometimes, Murphy might go wrong…you know!?!)! It was again a Yashica, but with automatic winding and a wide-angle of view…really wide angle!

I was now beginning to amateurishly understand a few finer elements of photography like wide-angle, exposure, using flash and quite a few others… and I started to feel a sudden inclination towards this new art…but again, it died out with the tour, not before some of my photographs were appreciated!

Then came the college years, and my good ol’ Yashica was not every eye’s cynosure, as it was the age of digital cameras and I was still sticking to the film roll one… that was when I realized that 36 was not at all a great number when it comes to photographs…numbers like 200 were the order of the day. But still, my camera stood proud because of the wide angle.. and the best group pics were taken on my camera…and by me!!

This small exposure to digital cameras helped me learn a lot…especially about ISO, which I had no idea what it was until then. Thanks to Evan Josiah, Chitra Gautham and Sowmya who’d entrusted their cams in my hands!

Then came the Google days, and I had one person who’d equipped me with a considerable amount of knowledge in photography…and she’s none other than Loveena Moses! The pics that were snapped in Khandala, Hampi and Darjeeling were largely on hers…and I now had enough experience and a li’l expertise in digital photography!

2008 – five years flew by, and now it was my bro who was in his 11th and heading for tours – sounded like a nice excuse to get a DigiCam. It was 16th of April, and I still cherish the silent moment amidst the bustle of Burma Bazaar, when I was holding in my hands, my very own digital camera…and all this build-up for a Nikon L10! The camera was working wonders in my brother’s hands who, I still think and I still cannot confirm, is an inborn photographer. Then came the L16, which came the following year, along with Lumix FX33 and now photography was beginning to evolve…from a mere interest, to a hobby…and now a craze!!! Flamed by narcissistic greed of Joe and Jasper, and appreciations from my colleagues, and the rich, natural environment around Chengalpattu, and the fraternity of craziness that goes by the name ‘Loco Por Defecto’, photography was beginning to take a new dimension now!

I realized that, in spite of all this, I was a bit of a handicap when it comes to crucial, finer elements of photography like apertures and shutter speeds…too much of knowledge is dangerous they say! I was beginning to feel the greed for a DSLR, which finally came to my hands on the first of July 2010, on the same Burma Bazaar where I got my first camera about two years ago!

Passion acts weird!! The more it consumes, the more hungry it gets! I realize that I have a DSLR now, and I can count my laurels in terms of the number of Facebook Profile pictures that my trusty Nikon D3000 has clicked…but still my fingers yearn for a D90 or something of that level…and I am sure I will get it! Now that photography is on my list of priorities, I hope and wait to do better in this new interest and scale greater apertures and match to the fastest shutter speeds!