There was once that moment. The one that can never be re-created. They being themselves, determined to defy all the oddities of Nature, decided to preserve that moment. I don’t differ very much, from those I wish to condemn. Yet there remains one stark difference that will prevail over all commonalities.

Last year, as I traversed those little lanes in Little Tokyo, I decided that I need this forever. Bound as I was to return home, shackled anew, I needed a dose of emancipation. Thus emerged the grand lens, and I clicked away to glory. Back home, they said, why so many? The Coffee Bean is my favourite. It’s fancy. It’s delicious, What right have I not to remember it all my life? Thus emerged the grand lens. They said, why this? An abandoned straw hat on the street, the camouflaged bird in the sky. The purple case with all the music within, the self-endorsed wedding ring—why must I not eternalize the material that perishes all at once otherwise?

Back home, they said no. My friend is a great photographer, he claims. So courteous that I am, I beseeched him to show me his prizes form of art. He promptly acquiesced. Like mine at home, I expected a grand leather-covered album to be brought out. But of course, I should have known! Show me the world beyond the cellphone, will you? I needn’t have asked, for he went on, soaked in pride. That’s me, he said. Oh, you’ve never seen my girlfriend—that’s her. This is us in my mom’s house. That’s my dog Cookie. They’re my friends from school. This is my friend who plays the saxophone. I would’ve asked, where is the saxophone? I remained quiet, but I managed to smile. A moment later he said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have exposed myself before a veteran. But you see, my camera—this cell phone camera—compensates for the lack in my skill. It’s five megapixel. You should know what that means.” I did. It meant, “you really never looked at the lens, did you?”

The point remains that there is beauty everywhere. Beauty that is probably the most omnipresent of qualities in the world, for it lies in the eyes of the beholder. Unfortunately, they confine this ubiquitous quality only to the “highest” beings. And also to the megapixel. Where had the basics gone? I wish I could ask Jonathan Swift.

You are beautiful. So is your friend. And the same goes for your dog. But not enough to remain so forever. After all, the picture is not beautiful. The mind is immensely shackled. Till then, everything you see is unphotographable.

Richa Singh
Lady Shri Ram College