Friday, January 27, 2012

In My Own Defence...

…I believe in magic. And angels. And butterflies and bigger pictures. Universal plans. Maybe I do it just to keep myself occupied, happy and sane. Otherwise God knows this world can drive anyone crazy.

And it is because I see all these things around me that I believe in them. From the very beginning we have been instructed over and over again in our classrooms to believe in things we cannot even see…atoms, neutrons, protons, electrons…just ideas. I spent four years studying engineering and solving problems based on our imagination of an electromagnetic wave, of vectors. In fact, just this morning I was in class again trying to imagine infinite dimensions and acting like it was the most natural thing to do. I based my understanding of this world on mere concepts. We studied pattern recognition in artificial intelligence…I am sure Nobel Prizes are being given out for that kind of thing. But patterns in real life were not meant to be recognized. Isn’t that unfair?

Today, I am fondly remembering an angel who came up to me on an afternoon when I was down in the dumps, wondering why an insignificant person’s remark about my abilities had left me so deeply affected that I couldn’t get myself to so much as pick up my camera again. It was after more than two months that I had picked up my camera and I still felt dead with that machine in my hand. But I was forcing myself to click that day. And a pair of bicycles on St. Marks Road had caught my fancy. 

It was while I was shooting these cycles that a man walked up to me and started asking me questions about my photography. And I thought, could he not have chosen a worse time? Of all days he picks the exact day when I am feeling the worst about my ability to capture anything decently well. But I made polite conversation and he left me with his email id so I could forward my Flickr “portfolio” to him. And I did, for whatever reason.

But his reply said very little about my photography and a lot about life. He did call my pictures visceral and I remembered why I had taken to photography in the first place. It was something I did for myself. I don’t even know why he was telling me all these things. He had read my blog and he said, “I remember you writing about coincidences...and I truly believe in them...sometimes it happens to me too...and I wonder how everything connects…only if we could SEE...right...and you do.” He closed it with the following words:

And remember there is always happiness and it is a beautiful world..and beautiful ppl..who will remind you all is well..till then aurevoir..

And I cried. Sobbed. Why had this man even come up to me to talk? And why was he saying all these things without an iota of an idea about what I was going through that day? Why did he pick coincidences among all other things I had written about on my blog? Why exactly had he turned up that day when I was inches away from packing away my camera just because somebody I cared nothing about had been so horribly insensitive? I am sure it was mere coincidence but it saved me that day. A part of me would have surely died had this person not said what he said. Because the world IS beautiful…and magical…and so are people, except for a few. And there is always happiness. And I had forgotten that.

He never wrote to me again. Ever. In the last two and a half years I have read his mail every time I have felt low because there is something magical about a stranger sharing such a beautiful thought with you for absolutely no apparent reason. I don’t even know why I connect with that mail so much but I cry every time I read it, no exceptions. It reminds me to always look at beautiful things in life and wait for happiness, because it is around. And to believe in people and their goodness. 

I opened his mail again today because I needed someone to tell me that all was going to be well…that in fact all was well. And the words of a man whose face I hardly remember were all I had, but it worked…it always does. Because there was no past to our encounter and no future. In a few moments of two human beings interacting with each other, he chose to tell me the purest thought there was and that is why I know that it’s true.

In a world where fanatics are out to slit each other’s throats and humans are systematically destroying all means of sustaining life on this planet in the future, if it is people who believe in finding magic in everyday life who are labelled as crazy, then yes, I am crazy and proudly so! 

But I know that there was a reason that man was standing on that pavement that day. He was sent. And he committed an act of kindness that fills me with gratitude every time I think of it.

And that is exactly why I believe in magic. And angels. And butterflies and bigger pictures.

1 Thinkers Pondered:

Manish Mattawar said...

Glad that good thing happened to you. Well not sure exactly what to comment cuz to be honest I dont believe in it and pretense is something I could never do. I feel happy cuz people I know are happy and since it is the happy moment I dont care how they are happy. And yeah the bike pic is really nice.