#Update: New Photography Site – 35MM Thrills

I have finally managed to set my procrastination aside for a bit and do the unthinkable, I created a small site of my own displaying my photography. The website is called 35MM Thrills because I have always loved the look of analog 35mm film cameras, and with a lot of inspiring contents coming from Jason Kummerfeldt aka Grainydays (trust me, “it’s going to be a good time” 😉), I did make the leap.

I know it’s an extreme hypocrisy on my part because I always claimed that my photography is only for myself. But, this lockdown induced isolation (read ‘loneliness’) made me think that sometimes doing something I am not very comfortable with, can be a good thing.

It’s also a refreshing change to have my own photography page out there. I have received some very nice comments, a few people interested to get some prints for themselves, and some friends eager to collaborate with me for future galleries. I am thankful to all the well wishers and visitors of my page.

Anyway, the page is still at a nascent stage and I hope I will be able to update it over time and keep it going. And hoping that the site will also push me to go out and take more photos.

Here’s my website address, kindly visit my website if you have some free time to spare: https://35mmthrills.wordpress.com/

Hope you will like it.

#114 A poem of 12 months

Wish you all a very happy New Year.

I sincerely hope that this new year, unlike the one before it, brings you peace and happiness.

Here’s a small photo card from one of the recent photos I clicked using my new Fujifilm camera.

Absolute Stillness of Sal River (Kopai) Fujifilm X-T200 Viltrox 23mm f1.4 1/10000 ISO200

I have fallen in love with the Fujifilm system and the film simulations. I am constantly finding myself going to either Classic Chrome or the film recipe of “Eterna”. [Update: Fujicolor Superia 800 is now officially my favourite film recipe for my camera. Here’s the link to the amazing Fujixweekly.com creation. Just go check out the photos and the beautiful blue sky in them, trust me you’ll love the colour.] I’ll try and take lots of photos this year and I would definitely like to experiment more with Black & White and “Acros” film simulation. Hopefully I’ll be able to go out and find inspiration from things around me.

For this new year, I would like to share a poem with you which I had written thinking about how feelings themselves change throughout the year and how the passing months affect them.

This poem was written with a lot of love, inspiration and help from someone I consider very close to me, a friend from JUDE. I am sharing this with you in the way it was conceived without any changes or edits. This is one of the longest poems I have composed and I have shared here on my blog. Hope you’ll like this as much as I did.


A Poem of XII Months

JANUARY
Beginning is always the most difficult part,
Frozen remains and ghosts of last year’s recent past
Still resurface suddenly, then they vanish,
Hopeless for the new year’s journey is to begin.

The quiet of a full snow mars life,
Sweet apples taste stale,
Colours fade to a dull monochromatic,
Pen or life, refuse to move to a new calendar.

FEBRUARY
So many changes but nothing really changes,
Pretending to be the same again
Is how another Valentine’s came and went,
New hopes quickly dashed once more.

I wore my red and pink hues everywhere
While holding on to my greys and blacks,
Strolls in long coat with a feeling
The chill of almost living an identical life afresh.

MARCH
Just a peek, they jump in suddenly,
The sun’s rays tiptoe,
Dew stuck longing in the grass
Time to fade, but the day’s anew.

Vines trudged up, holding on to the last year’s vision
Celebrations befall their golden charm,
Accompanying cackles heard from Gerbera,
The passion of youth, my spring was here.

APRIL
Too tempting these days of restlessness,
Being lost on the roads, this life’s calling,
Just to be remembered by photographs,
Days of roses and wine.

Summer’s right around the corner,
With her bright blue eyes, piercing souls,
Scanning from coast to coast,
Looking to find her one true love.

MAY
A cycle bell, someone leaving home,
The newspaper is not coming today,
After a tiring night-long attention
Dogs curl and sleep, but the day’s starting.

The guarding trees stand slightly bent
Bowing for a new sun, the wind stroking their heads,
Merry chirps and colourful flights
Excitement that even a flight cannot paint.

JUNE
When the sky turned pink,
I sat there dreaming,
Wind whispered to me playfully
Are we made for each other?

The grass leaned on me, my hair ruffled,
Losing myself to the calming touches
I lay down my heart there, in the grasp of earth,
Where enlightenment dawns to a realisation.

JULY
The rain I had waited for, finally arrived,
Showers continued, lightning raged,
Scary thunders blasted my fears
As I stood motionless under the rain.

I was soaked, the trees swayed in laughter
A helpless soul trying to face Nature
Little they knew, I did not,
I was paying my debt back, I wanted closure.

AUGUST
In the visibile tail of a shooting star
Or in stars that remain far away looking down,
Moving gently from the complete dark, I desired,
Wishes even I knew weren’t possible.

White is the colour of surrender,
To a hope of renewal within the soul
Changes leading to an association of satisfaction,
Where I was alone, I now had friends.

SEPTEMBER
A month given away to old pages
Letters that never found their way to the hearts
Happy moments that never happened,
Wrong decisions with no regrets.

Remnants from a life of contrasts
These expressions were persistently sordid,
Where Shiulis were scattered in the morning
Tiny hands appeared to gather benediction.

OCTOBER
Sadness hides within our mellow Autumn
Cleaning the old photographs from an old April,
Stairs feel harder to climb this month,
The fireplace and squirrels find themselves busy.

Dreaming intrudes in an otherwise pedestrian reality
Where all the promises of friendship lay defeated,
In the stuffy weather flew in cardinal messages
From someone’s radio crooning sad old love songs.

NOVEMBER
We promised to see the first snow together;
From the frozen bridges
Last sunset looked too distant, solemnly
Bringing back unkind shadows of the year.

Even in the distance a soft music breezes
Catching a terrible beauty with surprise
Loneliness had to be sung to be felt,
For the few hours left to prepare for the winter ahead.

DECEMBER
It was an end to a beautiful day,
With the clock stopping its hands at XII,
Will a new year start with new pleasures?
Or it’ll form another day like the ones lived till now.

With a few things carried over from last year
Often the weight is more, of invisible memories;
Instead of choosing to forget, remember,
Yesterday was equally brilliant for an incessant single day.
*************


As planned, I will be taking a break from this blog for some time. I hope I don’t end up abandoning this blog completely though. I enjoy writing these occasional ramblings of a mad man and sharing some of them through this blog. I do not know if you enjoy reading them or you just laugh at the miserable old man who is losing his sanity and eyesight equally fast.

Let me share my new year’s resolutions with you:

  • This year I’ll try (and definitely fail) to focus on writing my thesis and getting some work done.
  • I plan to go on a lot of solo bike rides and click lots and lots of photos on my Fujifilm.
  • I promise to finish all the K-dramas I have been meaning to watch on Netflix since forever.
  • I won’t disappoint my burgers and iced tea anymore. I’ll wholeheartedly dedicate myself to them. I’ll also go out and try a few drinks I have been meaning to check out since last year.
  • I plan to (hopefully) not disappoint my close friends and spend good times with them. They have given me a lot of strength throughout 2020, and I owe them big time for everything that they have selflessly done for me. NO FRIENDS!!!

Let’s hope 2021 becomes a wonderful year for all of us. I pray that you find magic everywhere and most importantly in yourself.

#113 Tristitia

She sat there, a lonely girl,
Looking for her mother’s lap
To lie down again,
Her childhood framed, hanging on
The wall, locking her in her wish to be left alone.

The moon hung low,
Not oblivious to her loneliness,
She too forfeited her smile
To feel solidarity, and the numbing pain.
The friendly giants too, stood resolutely desolate.

Those empty black eyes transfixed
Outside the windows random lights scattered
Loud thunders bespoke of grim days,
But, nothing ever stayed. Her wait prolonged,
With every new song she learnt.

The street light shone woefully
Lighting up a lonely stretch,
Her home locked, the bell not rung in days,
Creepers come to cover her windows
Just as her heart had sadness weaving a blanket.
*************

#112 Fall Poem

This time of the year the shadows fall longer,
And the red hibiscus of your mother has bloomed again.
Having escaped your paintbrush after a lot of tries
Scattered fallen leaves on the dusty path, ready to run with the wind.

Do you know all the birds visiting you,
Sharing stories from all over the world?
Or the old cat from Murakami’s novels who strolls lazily
Into a shade, remembering the bygone days.

In your garden there is peace –
A wind-chime sings, tied to your favourite walnut tree
Life pacing on the busy ant-hills at day’s end.
Oh! How a few stars lost their way ending up early in dusk’s orange sky.

Melancholy is another name for the times gone,
But all tomorrows bring something new called happiness.
*************

#111 From the Pickle Jar

Another day, another late morning,
I am awake. But I don’t feel like waking.
Maybe a cup of coffee can help?
Or maybe my supervisor’s reminder
That shall get me straight to my work then!

There’s much to do, that shan’t be done,
Much to do, but none’s power in my hands,
Much to do, yet laziness is bred,
And still, so much left to do,
Perhaps, I can do it all another day!

I’ll rest on the perches of my pronoia
Having done nothing, I’ll still be content.
Bless the broken road that I took to reach!
Spending days one by one,
From the pickle jar of fermented dreams.

Not a special day, this is just another one
From a long list of days left desolate
Days I have reserved to suffer,
Days that have lost all meaning since,
Days when I am scared to dream.

But, there’s no reservation kept
Holding back on my sleeve
Nothing to lose, there’s a cup of coffee for everything,
An empty chair in the living room
And some unanswered texts, they too will wait for me.

Possibility of a magic resides in afternoon siestas
Where most difficult questions find their answers too,
The warm mellow wind enters curious through the windows
Spotting a child lying next to his paper planes still unfinished
Softly touching his forehead, his dreams are given a push.

Still stuck to a lonely apartment at slumber’s end
End of the tunnel brings no light,
Unanswered texts and sparing calls try reaching me still
I keep my eyes fixed outside the window
A beautiful sunset appears to brings me peace.

Evening arrives too fast, another day spent thus
Doing nothing but just smiling at the accompanying walls,
A cat meows at the stars coming out to play
The distant temple bells mock Destiny, having already lost faith,
Another day ends just as it had started.

There are a few questions in my head
Keeping me awake in my lonely bed,
Did the gerberas bloom in winter?
Did she find an end to her sadness?
Will Han Geng release a new song ever?

As I drift slowly to my sleep
One question stays on, repeating itself,
“Aren’t I bit too harsh on myself?”
At the end of 26 years I learn,
I had never known what self-compassion meant.
*************

#110 Stay the Night?

It’s time to get up and find our way
With watches past their usual rest,
Noises dead, a few cars out of silence,
Ours is a walk through an empty stretch.

Rain ceased a while back
The road is empty, still wet,
Familiar bend arrived too soon anyway
Your house just another turn away.

I had never seen the moon so big
Or so close, like sitting on top of the trees,
As soon as the clouds parted, in my life,
I’d never want this closeness to end.

From the regular café
To the walnut tree outside your home,
A short walk of holding hands
But, it feels like a blink is all it takes to reach.

Will you stop to light a cigarette under the tree,
Before you are hidden once more?
Even though the moon too goes missing for hours every day,
It’d not be difficult to choose who I pine more for!

My walk back is more difficult as I dream waking,
With every step a voice rings in my ears
Imagining my name called, you’d come running;
That you don’t! I walk back grudgingly.

Battle’s not lost till the white flag flies,
Even though I am ready to lose to you all the time
I’ll win over you and make you mine in this life,
Rescue you, breaking down your castle of solitude.

I pick up my phone, only one thought in my head,
“Every single day, you are all I crave,
Thinking about the love we’d make,
Why don’t you stay the night?”

On my bed there’s a faint lingering smell
And a memory of your fingers running on my face,
My floor an ashtray too, I notice scattered remembrances,
A couple of red lipstick stains.

I could never capture your beautiful dark eyes,
Sometimes I wish I could paint!
Instead I write for you these meaningless words,
I hold you in a name I gave.
*************

#108 গুরু, গম্ভীর, ঘটনা!

এই লক্ষীছাড়া কাব্য ফেলেছি ছেড়ে,
চৌকাঠ করেছি পার, ঘরের দরজা বন্ধ করেছি,
পথটাকে সঙ্গী করে, হয়ে যাযাবর,
প্রেমের ছন্দে লীন, ভাবে মত্ত-বিভোর,
হাসি দুর্বোধ কিন্তু এতেই আছে শান্তি আমার।

বয়স-কালে আরামকেদারায় বসে দেখেছি
ব্যাটা হতভাগা চাঁদটাও পূর্ণিমার রাতে একলা ঘোরে!
সুখ-দুঃখের গল্প ভাগ করে নেওয়ার মাঝে
ওই চাতালটাতে দুজনে বসে, একটু দীর্ঘশ্বাস,
আর মন খারাপের মাঝখানে সিগারেট-টাতে টান।

আকাশে বারবার তার পথ আটকে দাঁড়ায়
ওই ভট্টচাযদের বাড়ির নারকেল গাছ,
দুষ্টু বাতাসটা টিটকিরি মেরে ছুট্টে পালায়
ইউক্যালিপ্টাস গাছের পাতাগুলো সব দেখে হেসেই ফেলে,
প্রহর ঘুরলে চাঁদ বলে এবার তারও ঘুমোতে যাবার পালা।

আমার পথটাও বিশ্রাম চায় বাড়ির দোরগোড়ায় এসে
এত ঘুরিয়ে সেও আজ ক্লান্ত, পিঠ থেকে নামাতে চায় এবার,
কীর্তনের সুর ভেসে আসে দূর থেকে, পাখিদের কল্লোলের সাথে ডানায় চেপে,
মায়ার খেলার মাঝে ছায়ার লুকোচুরি,
মাথার পাকা সাদা চুলের গোছা নেড়ে আমিও বিজ্ঞ হবার ভান করি।

রাতটা শেষ হয়ে আসে, স্বপ্নের দেশ থেকে বাস্তবে এসে পড়তে হয় চিৎকারে,
ঘুম ভাঙলে মা বলে, “কিরে! অফিস যাবিনা আজ নাকি?”
আমি কাঁধে গামছা ফেলে বাথরুমের দিকে তাক করি,
রাতটা ছিল শান্তির, আমার নিজের মত করে কাটানো সময়,
শুধু এই দিনের বেলা যত রাজ্যের বিরক্তি এসে জীবনে হাজির হয়।
*************

#107 Praying

A beautiful starry night,
Story of a single soul, bit too happy,
To be here, to be home.

Between the days’ chaos left behind,
In the nights’ murmurs coming from the grasses,
Sleeping birds find their interlude.

Under an open sky,
Expanse of the green surrounding,
Idle mind, clouds going far.

Even in the mild wind
Tender boughs play an invisible music,
And feeling is faith restored.

Stories from memory,
Colourful flags of a distant place,
From attachments, a cessation of suffering.

Sitting in an extreme calm
Watching remnants float away in the stream of time,
What could have been washed away easily by rain.

In the myriad tests of life
This fear of loneliness is but a little thing,
And the smiling moon, a constant companion.

Surrendering myself
Seeing futility in contemplating paths ahead,
Peace in no knowledge of future.

Journeys that have been,
Reflections on my window are firmly painted,
Appearing on my forehead as wrinkles.

In the beauty of all things incomprehensible,
I only see reflected my own insignificance.
O’ Lord Buddha, with your affection lead me to wisdom.

I shall sing in your prayer, “ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔“.
*************

#106 “Dream-ghost”

Windy it was, and the night continued
Carrying such a ghastly feeling to it,
Dream-catchers hanging off the leafless branches
Yet, around lurked terrifying dreams.

Shadows too did seem grossly unkind,
Leaping up from every corner to scare.
Just like the pitter-patter chicaning rain
The ever-smiling moon, nobbled, remained.

Even the bushes came to frighten
As did the unheard-of cries, dogs or monsters?
With every turn equally blind,
The path just going away awry.

She finds herself completely lost
Her fairytale friends don’t come to hold her hands,
Her elusive Prince disappointingly misses this chance too
To win his darling for ever. Maybe, his horse broke down?

Running up the stairs, forming in my head,
An equally strange razzmatazz story to console
The girl who woke up, wailing, finding herself on her bed,
Petrified and unstrung, in need of a hug.

I say “it’s fine” but she still weeps;
The smell still lingers, ground still wet since it rained.
As I tuck my daughter in, I wonder,
Is the real world any less cruel than her nightmarish bedtime?
*************