The girl at the end of the bookshelf

The first one...

This photo is very very special to me.

It was the year 2010, sometime after August, when the college’s Photographic Society (fondly called Photosoc, it helped me make a ton of friends besides pushing me further into photography) was already done with its traditional fresher’s exhibition, they had another one themed “A picture speaks a thousand words”, a library related photo exhibition as a part of some mini-book fest.

This photo was an entry. Another friend and I entered enthusiastically and forgot about it, never dreaming we’d score anything.

After a few days, someone came running up to me, “Hey congrats! That picture was great!” Then some more. It took me ten minutes to remember what I had done to deserve those congratulatory hugs and handshakes and together with aforementioned friend, I rushed to the library lawns to see my photo, all glossy and un-digitized, pasted with many others, on cardboard make-shift stands in the middle of the library lawns, a blue ribbon on it shining at me.

I guess I can say now, that it was among those “happiest moments of life”. No, the money I won (which was quite enough for a poor college student) wasn’t what thrilled me.

What this win did, was make me believe I could click. That for the first time, someone other than me thought Iwas worth something. And this is what makes me click on even today…that little motivation here and there.

Also, this picture was clicked in an era preceding my dSLR.

It was not staged – I found the girl sitting at the end of a bookshelf in the college library, trying to read in the little sunlight that was proliferating through a window. I propped my camera on a stack of books on the other end of the corridor and shot it in B/W. I saw that girl off and on for three years after this was taken…never knew who she was though. But without her, my photo wouldn’t have been a photo. And without this photo, I probably wouldn’t have worked in Photosoc.

Though now when I look back, the picture ain’t all that great but it made me feel something for photography and that I guess is what’s more important.

P.S. I lost my digital camera a year after and I still feel sad about it. It was my first after all.


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