Stop, and say cheese.

To parents and families; a quick question – how many pictures do you take in a month? I want to know because I want to know the severity of my own condition.

In the last seven months I clicked upwards  of 3000 pictures, using both cameras and phones, and that’s after deleting all the blurry and the bad pictures. This is double the amount of pictures from the time my eldest daughter was born. Two kids, twice the amount of pictures- the math fits. I guess I like taking multiple everyday shots of my children – eating, playing , laughing even sleeping and crying- many too cute to delete. You can guess my computer’s hard drives are bursting at the seams with pictures

When I was growing up, (in a lower middle class family and neighborhood in India) one camera film roll had 35 pictures which was to be used very wisely which meant only for special occasions like religious festivals, birthdays, picnics or outings etc…..and very few everyday shots. The Only people who moved around with cameras on them were either journalists or tourists. They were on the look out for moments and places to capture, not us common-folks. For the first two or three years of my life when my parents did not even own a camera, we have only one or two studio pictures to remember what our little family looked like. I am pretty much sure that many families in my neighborhood didn’t even have that. It was time consuming to take a picture- find a place to take a picture, gather the whole family, wait for the right expression. click and then a longer process to develop and wait for the prints and even then there was no telling what surprises lay in wait in the pictures. Copies of the good ones were made to be sent to my two grandmas and to family members who appeared in the said pictures. If you participated in school plays, you had your picture taken. If you got an award, a picture was taken. The more attention you could grab the more pictures you became a part of.

The point is some 25-30 years ago having a picture taken was very special. Equally special at that time was showing the pictures to family members, guests and visitors. May be it was because it was so rare to have a picture taken,and especially because it was so rare. Photographs were taken both as keepsakes and as mementos. To me taking a picture and printing it still feels special. It’s not hard to imagine then, how having a camera on your phone that you carry with you all the time, could escalate the picture-craze (that I have now) and how social media could become a showcase of family pictures.

That begets the second question, who do you share your pictures with? and how?

Social media was great platform for this once but now with the privacy concerns increasing, less and less pictures are shared and because of the inherent filters in some of these sites even less are viewed. Of course  I know no one has time to sift through the dozens of pictures I share and then I come across some blog post about how irritating food/wedding/baby/family cluttering the news-feed are and it makes me cringe. I am guilty of over-sharing. May be even Over-clicking.

Modern devices have made it really easy to take pictures. It does not take much time to take anymore to click and share lots of pictures but that interaction that comes from sharing is definitely lacking. I remember my aunt would complain if my grandma got a picture in the mail but she didn’t. Picture sharing was relational, relatable , it was about family and friends and how well you knew of and about each other.  To that end I feel while sometime pictures are shared on facebook for family in faraway places to see; most of the time they are not addressed to anyone in particular. Nobody is closer or farther, nobody is offended, nobody cares- social media is the great equalizer.

While most of the memories I have of my childhood are from experience, the pictures do their part in reinforcing them. I have a faint memory of walking and talking with my grandpa who passed away when I was five, even though I don’t really remember the exact moment that is captured on film. There are pictures although, especially ones taken when I was a little older,  that I remember about- when and where they were taken who was wielding the camera etc.

I have realized over the years I take pictures primarily for the audience of one – that is Me. Myself. Moi.

I take pictures and I browse through them regularly. Every anniversary or birthday. Now after two kids, there are some pictures which have seen the light of day, out of the hard disk and onto paper and in their scrapbooks. My hope though is that my children will be my future audience. That they will remember the there was an effort that went in -in taking pictures and in looking through them and when the time comes , most likely when my girls are teenagers, the time when they would want to know who they are, where they came from and what they were like ; these pictures will help them to do that and for that reason, I think it is okay to pause and say cheese – one more time!

Phir Milenge!

Making time to play

photo 3(4)This is not the usual scene that you expect to see on a busy day on a busy street- people stopping by to play on the swings- but then Montreal is not your usual city. These swing sets were part of an urban installation called 21 Balacoires and were placed along the Promenade des Artistes. This new urban space links the Place des Festivals with Le Parterre, along de Maisonneuve and Président-Kennedy.

time to play

21 BALANÇOIRES (21 swings) is an exercise in musical cooperation that is half street furniture, half game. It’s the work of artist-designers Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat. Luc-Alain Girardeau, professor of animal behaviour at the UQAM Faculté des Sciences, helped develop the concept.

swing swinging

Each swing is a musical instrument. Depending on how you swing, it generates different notes. It was a very novel idea and was really enjoyed by the people. Alas! I was rushing past it to go for an important appointment and only stopped by to click some pictures. I could not revisit this before the temporary installation was taken down. 😦


To see a video of the swings in action , click here

Related Posts:

Worpress weekly challenge: Fleeting

21 Balancoires

Phir Milenge!!

What does the sign say?

“Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” – Matthew 12:38

Are you the one who seeks signs? or are you among the ones who intuitively know the path you must take without the need of a sign ?

Not as serious as the signs asked for by the pharisees in  the Bible, the dictionary defines a sign as An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A sign in the mystical sense therefore holds a  great significance.

What are the chances that you will see a sign and if you do would you be willing to do what it asks of you?


Even if you do see a sign donot be too sure you will understand it.


and there are still signs that have not yet come in to being, but will in future.

A signage at the entry of a park that I designed as the part of the project I was working for.

A proposed signage at the entry of a park that I designed as the part of the project I was working for.

This post is in response to WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Phir Milenge!!

My lilac tree is bipolar!

Look at this …. a flowering Lilac tree (or a bush if thats what you’d like to call it). You’d see a thousands of those this spring.

Lilacs in bloom

Lilacs in bloom

but hold on a sec, here is the other half of the tree.


You won’t see any blooms this side. if you strain your eyes you may see the deadheads where the blooms were last year.

head on

And here is the tree shot head on …..the flowering and the non flowering side divided right in the middle.

I spent most of yesterday taking pictures of spring blossoms in and around my neighbourhood. When it came to the lilac in my back yard I noticed it had flowers only on one side.As hard as it seems what I am about to tell you is true. I have a bipolar Lilac tree in my back yard.

bipolar meaning

Oh ! about the spring round-up  of my neighbourhood…. you can find those images on my  Facebook page. Click here for the album.

Do you think plants have a personality?

Phir Milenge!!

Weekly photo challenge : from above

Find a subject and instead of taking a picture from in front of, at an angle, to the side, or from behind, take it directly from above!

For this week’s challenge I decided to keep up with the spring that has finally sprung in our corner of the world. We have had long and mostly grey winter this season and now that spring is in the air it is difficult to ignore.

Well the Actual ‘above’ shot is really not the most awesome or breathtaking photograph to look at but what is happening here is pretty neat. A new plant is just emerging out from the soil. However fragile we consider it to be it has the life force to push through the seed shell and the frozen compressed ground to raise its head  from under the ground.

jjb fern 1

jjb fern 2jjb fern 3Some tiny plants have come up.But let’s just have a look at what it looks from the side just for the sake curiosity. jjb fern 4


jjb fern 6 jjb fern 5

Looks nice right? It is so intersting to see the leaves uncoil and soon this little corner of my garden will be full  of thick fern leaves. 🙂

jjb fern

Phir Milenge!!