We met after a long time, eleven long years to be precise, almost as your dream come true. Now that I am here, I see that you keep me safe and protected most of the times. While I understand your concerns for my safety, I would also want to not stay in my comfort zone and sit snugly in your camera bag. I want to come out and explore the world with you, feel every emotion that you feel before the world calls it a photograph. I have not seen rain yet nor have I found myself in a winter wonderland. I would love to see this world through your eyes and play around even when it is drizzling outside and the temperature outside is too cold for your hands to hold me tight and give me some warmth.
I see every day, in the tiny space of time you get after your office and family commitments, you dedicate all of it to me, trying to learn and imbibe my ways, behaviour, even the silly ones so that I can utilize my true potential. I also notice, you often spend few extra hours in the night learning from stalwarts and educating yourself to shape not only my career but also carve out my unique path as a traveller.
When I am with you, I know you love me so much that you would always want to talk to me and let me play with your fingers. But, I also want you to no forget the ones who matter in your life and be with them when they need your mental presence the most, particularly when you travel with them. I know, you love me to the extent of obsession, but I would also want you to give yourself a personal space because I do not love you any lesser. I want you to spend some time away from me to get a larger perspective of the world, reading books, watching movies, listening to songs and poems, talking to people and touching their lives in ways that help you grow not only as a photographer but also as a human being. And then when you feel right, share those stories, poems, songs and experiences with me. This will help me not only understand you better but also enrich my knowledge and subconscious mind to create soulful images that reflect who you are.
I learnt from your past self that you have your own insecurities as a photographer and sometimes you long for validation from social media, awards, publications and external world. Today, I want you to flush out all your insecurities and the constant urge to seek validation. I just want you to be truly honest with yourself without trying to prove anything to anybody. I want you to tell stories that speaks to you, that touches your senses and whispers something to your heart. I want you to be with me and let me be the voice of your soul and eyes of your visualization. I do not want you to feel overwhelmed when you see photographs of the great visual artists. They had their own journey, a life full of learning, experiences, perseverance and patience, unique to them. You have your own and it has just begun. Just hang in and stay on your path without comparing your journey with others’ and give it the ‘time’ this journey truly deserves and above all stay true to yourself. Commercial success and creative pursuits are two different paths which may or may not always run parallel, but when you are on a path, give the best that you can and stay true to yourself always.