Friday, March 10, 2006

Wide angle lens

Professor Shashi Nair surely had a point to make when he informed us that the human eye is perhaps the most versatile lens ever created. The flamboyance with which it adjusts and adapts to situations and settings is truly remarkable. My convictions on his statement received extensive support at the recently concluded written examination on Principles of Photography.

The cacophony before the test begins is inevitable. Last minute glances into bundles of xeroxes, nervous finger-biting, scaling margins, harried supervisors desperately requesting us to "Drop you bags..drop your bags!" and of course, the most motivating - good wishes and good lucks from fellow homies. The stage is finally set and examination is about to begin...

Little have we proceeded into the written test and this very versatile lens that I was talking about, is seen functioning in full flow. I've seen it myself, used it to the core with all the adjustments on my very own lens, but somehow the perfect image never registered on the recording medium (my cornea). Inevitably, every time this lens tries to focus, zoom in-zoom out, the incongruous invigilator obstructs or rather, dustracts my view. While I tried to focus again and zoom into the right places (heheh...), here's what my fellow homies were upto...

To my right was fellow-mate Gautam, busy trying to wipe his lenses and adjusting the extra-apparel that came along with it (read: his long locks). Focussing was getting difficult for him today. Why not? Extra-exposure all night and exhaustion can definitely take its toll on them. Rohit Gulati, another pony-tuned punjab da puttar was trying to use the versatility of his lens to the hilt. His wide-angle was trying to grab all he could from Gautam's sheets, but surprisingly for him Gautam's sheets were whiter than usual. I guess, the film got over-exposed on Gautam's part. Makhija on the other hand, was chewing on his tripod. (Whatever that means!)

Meanwhile, Ashwini, was desperately trying to focus. She had zoomed in perfectly alright, but her tripod was shaky and wobbly as usual. Her lenses unfortunately showed terrific affection for the developing medium and tried to make contact with it and when it did, a strange snoring sound emanated out of the entire process....

Gaikwad, today was clicking away to glory. Images captured from all direction - his strategic positioning, coupled with excellent incident metering, he was able to record useful images from various sources around him in the form of Ankita, Vasudha and Anushka. Hope he didn't make any malicious use of his surprisingly spot-on precision in focusing. I'd have appreciated a lesser zoom. Well, who cares? I'd better started taking prints soon or else, I'd have nothing to zoom into.

Its feels strange indeed when I looked at the examination hall in this perspective. It may appear funny to realise that I was actually going through such thoughts, when instead I should have been coolly taking photographs ....err....taking my own prints out of my memories. But there's a beautiful and meaningful thought-process that emerges when I look at the flip-side of it.

We are after all, the recording media, (media students) with in-built lenses. Sometimes, we do try shift, adjust and strain them a bit, but its essential that we take good care of these lenses and show an effecient and true picture of what we see. The human body is like an entire photography apparatus itself. Its only our prints though, which reflect of how we see the world around us. And the acknowledgment of those prints, reflects a lot of what the world thinks of us.

We as, media students, definitely know how our reflections (or prints, rather ;) ) are going to make a world of a difference!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blood on Holy banks

The bomb blasts at Varanasi surely have sent ripples through the nation. While the media has been keeping the us informed about the latest developments, by the minute, it is inevitable (We're India after all) that politicians are extracting political mileage out of the entire incident.

Interestingly, when I recollect similar blasts last year just prior to Diwali, there was a feeling of resilience that the average Delhi-ite showed to the entire incident. Even here in Varanasi, similar sentiments have been witnessed and the city has resumed its services.

However, one question puzzles me - Have the attacks questioned the the very secular fabric of the Indian society? The Delhi attacks were at a market-place and this one at a the Sankat Mochan Temple. Note the difference in the secular setting of the two blasts. One is a temple and the other is a busy bazaar. Hence, the general perception is that Islamic terrorists have battled it out in Varanasi to prove their point.

What point do they prove, I wonder, by such flutters in the daily life of the largest democracies in the World? Of course, they do claim lives - we cannot deny that. But is their larger purpose served - a purpose behind which lies the veil of Jehaad and its idiosycracies. Hilal Kohistani, Jackie's Shroff's character was perhaps right when he quoted in Mission Kashmir - Time, money and Jehaad wait for none.

What is required at such times of national alarm is a definite sense of composure and resilience to set back things into normalcy. It is with incredulous alacrity that politicians are flaring up communal passions by going on the record only to declare 'what they feel' of this incident.
L.K.Advani is infact has been using this opportunity to canvass and initiate a nationwide yatra along with protege Rajnath Singh! Somebody tell the old man, that good old times came to an end when he expressed his 'affection' for Jinnah. The Hindutva loyalist is only trying to scratch the surface harder within his party's echelon's of power.

Thankfully, we've been witness to an alert media in the last few days of these blasts. That's something that has been characteristic of the Indian Television scenario ever since the time competition ushered in, in the form news-channels. Competition should enforce accountability into reportage and thankfully, that has happened, although in bits and pieces.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Solution Seeker

There's a crazy energy all around the media. An energy which never dies down - its a world which is constantly upbeat and abreast with the latest happenings. And here's the worst part - there's always someone or the other who's going to get the piece of cake (read NEWS) before you do.

Dedicating an entire blog to the media wouldn't just be enough, I'd need to more than that. After all, being a part of this field, I do realise that this indefatigable enthusiam is at times like a trance, as things just seem to roll by - passing through like a montage of images.

Here's the debut of perhaps not just another blog in blogosphere but also a movement which will help bring bright minds under a common discussion forum, posting feasible solutions. The hunger for this blog comes from the fact, that the media is generally perceived to be a medium which observes and relays messages appropriately. Let us for once, try to put forward thoughts with a solution in perspective too.

Cheers and regards!