Monday, March 7, 2016

Pictures

There I stood, restlessly shifting from leg to leg, as my aunt and uncle browsed through the family album. Why the sight of my sulky face glaring into the camera should hold any more fascination than the same sulky face glaring live at them I will never know, but so it was. Or, rather, maybe it was not MY face but the faces of the rest of my family that held their attention. If only they would look up, I could do the formalities of saying 'Hello' and vanish into my room with my book but...

"Ooh! Look how cute she looks!"

Well - that, obviously, was not me, considering the pronoun. But, then, it obviously would not be me considering that adjective, either. 'Cute' has very seldom been applied to me, though my mom swears that someone said it of me when I was a baby. You know how moms are...and going by my dad's expression when she said it, it was the sort of thing that only a mom would believe. The chap must have been cross-eyed and actually looking at the next crib.

THAT, though, is the reason why I hated these album sessions - and pictures in general. I mean, I can understand my sis being interested in the goings-on - SHE would get to hear things like 'cute' applied to her face on the picture and walk on clouds the rest of the day. Me...the closest I ever got was when someone said, 'He actually does not look bad in this", but the effect was totally spoiled by the disbelieving note in his voice and the three times he looked from me to the picture to ensure that it was not really a changeling in the picture. So exactly what did I have to look forward to in these picture album sessions?

Age has only added reasons for my hatred of any art of portraiture. I mean, yes, these aunts and uncles also used to dig out old wedding albums and start an impromptu quiz session. 'Guess who this is?" the rotund uncle would ask, pointing to a stick-thin figure grimacing at the camera as though he was planning the murder of the cameraman. Even the God who made him could not have found the resemblance but practice had made me perfect. There could only be one answer to THAT question! And, of course, that sylph-like figure gazing like a deer caught in the headlights is the one asking you to make the guess - a comfortable auntie who needs a king-size bed to herself, if she is not to fall off it at night due to inadequacy of space.

Age has added reasons, did I say? Yes - for, if it were to be now, I would be that rotund uncle surprised to remember that I was a stick-thin youth AND the chap with a skating rink on his head wondering if that head of unruly hair really belonged to me. Bah! I do not want to be reminded of these things.

Thank God, albums seem to have died out. Wait...they are ALL over Facebook. Ye Gods!

Now you know why I do not like...err...'Like' them. I HATE pictures!

20 comments:

  1. Finally, the mystery revealed for your non-Liking! Haha....good one, Suresh.
    I for one am really thankful to all the digital devi-devatas when it comes to photos. Given my husband's passion for clicking we had amassed way too many physical albums - all thick ones - during the non-digital years. Almost a full closet was dedicated to the albums and photo-boxes alone! And before we moved back to India 8 years ago, we literally threw them away after shredding tons and tons of pictures (no, we didn't even digitize the pictures, just too many to work, only saved a few which can fit into one shoebox).

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    1. I am now custodian of MY family albums :) would have taken a fortune for my sis to cart them off to the USA, though it is she who wants them around :) Me - well, what's in it for me? :)

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  2. As I keep saying, I am running out of adjectives. So, will content myself by saying exquisitely done. Almost Wodehousian, if I am allowed to make the comparison. But isn't bald beautiful? Did you have to make the skating rink analogy?

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    1. I like myself bald. Beautiful or not, it is most convenient - no shampoos, no dandruff issues and no combing :)

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  3. Oh thus your aversion to pictures. I have saved a few digital albums and do enjoy going over them once in a while filled with nostalgia. But yes, being asked to pose for pictures at the drop of the hat is very lame. I don't mind if someone clicks candidly. These days I prefer not to upload too many pics on any social media.

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  4. At your self-deprecatory best! I am not a big fan of albums myself! Especially ones not featuring me in the best light! Or for that matter albums of strangers with virtually nothing in common besides being part of the same species! I particularly grimace at the recollection of being sandwiched between an uncle and aunt, enthusiastically urging me to appreciate and comment on each and every picture in a voluminous album with a sharp eye out for skipped pages!

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    1. The worst times of my life were spent when someone thrust a photo album into my hands and looked eagerly at my face for commentary :)

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  5. Ha Ha Ha. Even I hate photos. I used to hold back an exasperated sigh when someone used to pull out those albums. Now things have gotten worse. Earlier it used to be only when you visited their home. Now they hunt you down virtually with their Whatsapp albums.

    And my hatred for being photographed is legendary at home.

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    1. In my case, the photographers developed a hatred for photographing me :)

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  6. Ha ha. I actually like "forgotten" albums and dont like going through the same again and again and wonder how horrendous I managed to look. FB albums are just like FB that way, once posted, they soon get buried under so many other mundane stuff and nobody cares to dust them out and show them again.

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    1. People must have called your pics 'cute' and all that in childhood :) What else can explain this fascination for albums? :)

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  7. In my case I had a relative who looked at my photos and said " actually u are quite good looking in photos " and the way she said it had a silent " of course not in person though " attached to it.... Hi hi

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  8. Reading you after a long time Suresh and also enjoying it,but i have to contradict you-i love family albums and i suspect secretly you too are fond of them.

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    1. Not really, Indu, but different strokes for different folks!

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  9. Ha ha:):D
    Your post resonates my views over MY pictures:)
    'He actually does not look bad in this'...is an overheard quip in my case too;)

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  10. That quiz of guess who it is... is scary indeed... Enjoyed the read... Long time!

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