Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bare Beginnings II

Seems it’s been a while I was here! Feels good though. Same old me with some new escapades. I was not lost but then I didn’t get the chance to venture into one of my favourite escapes. Don’t know where to start and what to write as my mind is going through a myriad range of emotions. But yes, there are lot’s of things to write and I shall again head to this escape of mine, soon! For everything else, there is Himalayas. 

Last few days have been emotionally grinding or rather drenching. I was hoping to start the new year on a happy note, just like the way I have been since last 6 years. I remember, 2011 was one year I wanted to get rid of in hurry. It came with a lot’s of hiccups but then it gave me many savouring memories as well. Last 5 years been very rewarding though (I shall come back soon to reveal some tiny details about them). But then yes, 2017 so far has tested my patience like never before but at the same time, taking all the positives out of it, I stand here…Upbeat! Spirited!

Just to kick start and break the shackles I’m jotting down these words. 2011 to 2016 to 2017 …it’s been a great transition. Let me tell you a few things that inspired this journey but with a warning that I can draw inspiration from tiniest or strangest of things and I am glad, I can. 

July 2011, it was the beginning of my fightback as I saw a struggling Indian Cricket Team going down. What inspired me there was a gentleman named Rahul Dravid who stood still in between all the ruins and defied defeat as long as possible. Talk about patience, perseverance and focus or may be poise, grace and determination? Talk about this man. I knew I could never replicate his cricketing talent or feats but I also knew what I could learn from him. 

August 2011, Jill! Her arrival changed many things as I found a new meaning of the word Zeal. 

November 2011, the Movie Rock Star and it’s Music. I was reading an interview by A.R. Rahman where he mentioned how he struggled to get the Music right as it had a lot of pain involved. It was about how he drenched himself emotionally to get the Music right. Talk about passion? Then talk about this man. Ever since it’s been ‘Sadda Haq Aithe Rakh’ and ‘Nadan Parinde’. 

December 2011, another incident of Indian Test Team struggling. This time it was Australia. India lost 0-4 and ended the year 0-8. What was positive there was a man named Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Talk about staying calm, staying composed and dealing all the pressure of a losing team and being aggressive? Talk about this man. He’s someone very contemporary, yet I look upto him for being level headed and witty at the same time. 

Probably all these won’t make any sense to many of us, but then I think a few would take the positives out of this just like I did. The journey of last 5 years have been very intriguing also very very struggling at times. It’s not so easy to be 'Arpan' (A few would surely understand what I mean here). 

Today as I start 2017 on a happy note, I would like to thank every person I’ve come across, the good, the bad and the ugly, the old and the new ones. Also the ones who came with vested benefits and the ones who came and stayed back forever. Thanks to every organisation I have been a part of, Enajori, Metropolis, Photography Club of Assam, WildTrail for being the integral part of this journey. I must mention, Muse & Memories, my teammates both past and present, it’s because of you all MnM is spreading happiness today. Keep shining in all you do. 

As I promise to keep coming back to write a few (mis)adventures, I hope that the days to follow will have bright lights ahead and life will keep smiling at us in all we do and deserve, here’s to a Happy 2017. 

Unleash! Let’s celebrate all we have and say yes to ‘Life’! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

...onset of a story

They say each friend represents a world in us! A statement we all can vow for and have experienced throughout our lives. Little did we knew this the first time we four met, that someday we all will be a part of something that will be probably a topic of mass affection, love and discussion ( for good reasons of course).  And as every story has a story behind it, here is my part of the story...

When we met for the first time, all we had in common is the passion for photography and the hunger to make it bigger. And what we had uncommon was lot’s of if’s and buts’, different backgrounds and different genres (of photography). I clearly remember the conversation I had with Nandini during the Wall Art Project for Metropolis’13. We had a deal, that if I get any Fashion related query I shall forward it to her and if she gets any Travel related query she will forward it to me.

Then a few things happened coincidentally. A friend calling me from Delhi to ask about a good Wedding Photographer in Guwahati, Nandini uploading photographs of a wedding they were covering in Golaghat at the same time, and that smile saying, aah! My friends (acquaintance then) are so talented and the lazy me deciding right then to meet up, discuss and plan if we can do something together. By then it was in first week of February ’13. Soon, three of us met (Me, Rejaul, Nandini) and tried to decide on something, Rj (our little Rup) entered the scene but one question still remained, what we are going to do. One thing we were sure that it is going to be something with photography, but what? Again four different people, different genres and one common passion! Photography? Ok, Final! What next? Who will do what? If Nandini, Rejaul and Rj are comfortable shooting people, or with people around, I prefer shooting in a calm environment. So? Finally we zeroed into a plan. Nandini will shoot Fashion & Wedding. Rejaul will shoot Wedding and Concerts. Rj will shoot Wedding. I will shoot Products and Concerts.

Next Step! Probably the most rigorous phase of this story! What will be the name? We tried to search small words, to be paired as two which will be easy to remember and have resemblance with what we do. Many words were taken into account, but again the fact that four us will work in different genres made our task quite tough. Finally we zeroed into the words Muse & Memories for it being easy to remember, easy to pronounce (ask us how tough it is!) and for both the words having relevance with our work.  If the word ‘Muse’ would reflect something that we want to ponder or that would reflect on something we do, then every wedding, fashion portfolio, product or concert we will shoot,  will be our muse, the word ‘Memories’ would always keep people feel special with the memoirs they have with them as photographs.

Then came the moment of creating the identity! It all happened suddenly, in the evening we finalised the name, and by night I created logo options. And by next evening we finalised and agreed to disagree that we will have two logos, as two of us liked one and other two liked the other one. That was the inception of Muse & Memories. And the rest is a fairytale!

The making of Muse & Memories was one fun part, we agreed, we disagreed, we agreed to disagree and vice versa. We still do, at times we are so rigid and times soft. We fight with each other, we fight for each other. We laugh, we cry together and most of all we love and celebrate what we are and what we do. From the very first like on our page to the 6000th (probably we already have added many more till now and we want it to keep adding), every single like means a lot. Every single message we got from you, every call we received; every smile we could feel when we say, “yes! we are available.” or every disappointment you have shown when we say, “sorry! we are booked.”, made our journey so unforgettable. The journey started by we four, is today companioned by a 6000 plus more.

And as we turn One today, thank you for the warmth and love you have shared back. Thank you for believing in us, for making us a part of your life, your memories and Thank you for making us, Muse & Memories, what we are today. So, we Dream On and wish to continue what we love to do, creating memories and spreading smiles the Muse & Memories way! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Big Leap!

Questions!!! Questions I ask myself, questions others make me think about.
Am I Good? Am I Bad? Is my work hated? Is my work loved?

It’s obvious; we try to imitate others, whoever they are. We fear elimination, we also fear being mocked. Definitely, may be, the scariest thing in the world, is to love yourself; to believe enough in who you are to stand tall and proud and to tell the world, 'hey, this is who I am’.

They say, ‘Hold the vision, Trust the process!’ and while all these apprehensions tried to cloud my mind, I silently kept pushing myself, to my own limits. Then came the time for the big leap and back were the questions. Am I good enough? Am I ready? Being me, even though I kept my calm, I also wanted the answer. The big leap should be big enough and also timely. The brainstorming during this phase was actually more mind-numbing than walking in the wild with the backpack. But then, I came out smiling, well I don’t know, its strange feeling. It’s that happy feeling which will not let me sleep; will not calculate my dreams and won’t let me limit myself. This feeling is something that will linger with me for a long long time.

And while I celebrate this little success of mine, I also want to make sure to thank each and everyone who made this journey wonderful. Yes, I’m no celebrity and neither I have a podium for a speech, all I have is a heart filled with gratitude and a promise to be better in due time. Though a plain ‘thank you’ is not enough, am honoured to be blessed with the best bunch of people.

Probably I’ll play safe here and won’t mention names; you people anyways know whom I mean. Firstly, thank you almighty, for the wonderful gift of nature and for blessing me with my best bunch. This is for you my little angels, Jill, Mamunu, Pakhi, Barbie, Buki, Suki, Tora and Jiya for being my dream catchers, for I could look up to you, smile and set sail for new dream. Dita, Maa, Baa, Sasanka Da for all your love and support, for never stopping me from going to any trip and for always welcoming me home with a smile and the eagerness to see what I was up to. Also sorry, for the all your altered plans because of my travel schedules. Cousins, Family Members, thank you for being there and also understanding my absence during family functions! For you, friends in Pune, who made this effort more winning, it was because of you all, everything went so smoothly. Each and every one of my Pune friends, roommates, seniors, juniors, I wish you all were there. Pune was not the same without you people around. For you, my school friends, where ever you are. For you friends in Assam and other parts of North East, friends in Delhi (East, West, North, South, Gurgaon, and Noida), Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and every other part of India, friends in US, UK, UAE, Singapore and everywhere else. Thank you for your companionship, your stamina, your wisdom and the smiles, delivered right at the doorstep. Thank you everyone in the photography fraternity, elders, friends and young ones, for all those awe inspiring clicks of yours. For you, my partners in creative crime, for all the fun time, it’s actually fun to commit those crimes with you guys around. My gang, as I call it, thank you for always egging me up, for all the love, and sorry for you had to face the wrath of seeing every click, and to answer stupid options I used (which I will continue)  to give for selecting photographs. And off course, my ‘Bachha Party’, thank you for all the liveliness, the love you spread around. For all my critique, without your valuable words, my work would have been incomplete, thank you! And last (also the least), big thank you to all you people (you know whom I mean) out there, (I know, am not meant to say negative things here), this is for you, for all your mockeries, for all your behind the back discussions, and for your belief that I’m actually nothing. I won’t claim, I’m the best, but yes, I’m something.

Thanks are in order, thank you everyone who flocked in to the exhibition, everyone who couldn’t coz of geographical limitations, everyone who stayed glued for the tiniest update, everyone in the media, everyone at Grubshup, for making things so comfortable. Thank you everyone for making this journey of last one and half year so memorable. While the feeling of contentment refuses to fade away and I’m almost about to leave for my next voyage, take a bow! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Citing Sublimity!

Singing, working, walking, dreaming, laughing, learning! Life is always about running madly, in a crowded schedule, into a confined enclosure.
Everyone sees, whom I appear to be, but only an odd few know the real me. Everyone see only what I choose to show.  There’s so much into my life, where I celebrate me, a world, far from the madding crowd, far from the stardom. Only a few friends, conversations and lot’s of untold fables.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Operation Pendulum

Quite often I have faced this question, about me being calm, patient and me facing almost every situation with a wide smile. Today, am on my way to reveal that secret of mine, also a little tribute on my part to the man to whom I owe this quality. A man admired and idolised by a huge part of the world for some other quality he acquires, I opted his patience to be admired (I do admire his most known quality too and believe I can remotely be an ounce of what he acquires).

It was not very long ago, I was very young then. There was arrogance in all I do, and there was impatience and impertinence. I remember that day very clearly, January 17, 1997, one of the most special days of my cricket playing days.  It was a match day as we call it. We were divided into two teams to play against each other for selection purpose. And before going into the match, it was made clear to me, however good or bad I perform, my selection is impossible, I was ripped of my wicketkeeper’s slot, asked to vacate my no 3. position and bat down the order to make things more clear. A lot of things were running in my mind, I didn’t know, what was the feeling, all I knew is, I have to go in and play. At the end of the opposition innings, we were needed to score 173 runs within a day and a little to bat on.  Our innings started, and within 7 over’s we were reduced to 28 for 2 wickets.  And that same moment, my impatience erupted again, so much so that I went in to bat without even looking at who is in next. Thankfully we tackled the rest of the day without any further damage, and I could remember the ball hitting me twice on my wrist, the pain (it was a January afternoon) and the tough looks at the dressing room.  The pain was horrible, and the discussions were such that I would not go in to bat the next day because am injured. At that point of time, I started to think the same.

And that was day, while at home, I put on the television, I saw a legend emerging to trigger a change of scenario of Indian Cricket for next decades to come.  That was the second day of 3rd Test between India and South Africa being played at Johannesburg. I saw a gentleman named Rahul Dravid, scoring a patient; gritty and hardworking 148 against a scintillating South African pace attack and change my life forever. For I started to believe in the power of patience and hard work. Next day was my day probably (not talking about my heroics here). I headed to the dressing room, padded up, and yes waited for my batting partner to get ready (one thing I never used to do before!) and went out to bat. We batted the whole day, sailing towards the target, and to my awe I never attacked the ball, even if it was a wayward one. And just when we needed 3 runs, my excited batting partner came up to me and said, “It’s your game mate, hit it!!!” It was only then, I gathered all my strength and hit a stellar six. And as I saw some of my young teammates running towards me, I stood my ground, strangely, for a person known for his after match reactions, screams and antics.  Later, when we all walked backed to the dressing room; I saw tough looks being changed to its smoother replica. I packed my kit, looked at the celebrating team and walked away holding my head high, and promised myself to never enter that particular dressing room ever. And that was the beginning of what I am today, patient and calm.

I don’t know, if someone whom we have never met, or have a very remote probability of meeting in this life can ever change someone’s life forever. But this gentleman named Rahul Dravid unquestionably did change my life forever. Take a bow Sir! Probably you played a pauper when the Prince was roaring, played the second boy of Indian Cricket when the God of Cricket was hitting them to the stands and played the second fiddle when the Very Very Special was building monuments, but for me you are a true hero, not only for all the cricketing skills you master and your contribution to Indian and World Cricket, but for all the times of patience, consistency and calmness, for all the times I could look up to you and regain my self belief. Take a bow Sir!

P.S. I’m sure, the ‘my story’ part of this write up is very confusing. What I want to denote through this is not my heroics but a small message that actually inspiration can be gathered from anyone and anywhere. We just have to look around to see it smiling at us.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Unnoticed Tales!

Study while others are sleeping, work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing ~~ William Arthur Ward

The after effects of the year 2011 are yet to fade. I waited and waited long for that ripple, that little shift that would help me get back on track. And one fine day, when this opportunity knocked I actually had that apprehension whether I could do justice to the task I’m assigned. For a social animal like me, it was tough to stay away from any public appearance for 3 months. Karbi Youth Festival turned out to be a life changing experience for me. When I was asked to join the team as one of the official photographers I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Only thing that came to my mind is, I need to do well, if not for me, then for the people who wants me to do good. And to my awe, I actually did a good job. And as I am no celebrity, I don’t have a podium to address a crowd and thank the people who stood by me, all I would like to say is my world is a beautiful place because of you all, only a mere ‘thank you’ is not enough to express what you people mean to me. I won’t say this is the best I can do, but with you people around I can always compete myself.  One unnoticed tale of my life and I vow, it won’t go unnoticed.

This is for you Santanu, Kasturi, Angana, for being there during tough times. I still remember the day when I dropped my camera and every word you said to make me calm down, remember how you people pepped me up saying positive things. Santa, I wish you were there beside me clicking all those amazing memories. Kastu, Angu...I have no words to appreciate the angelic ways you cared for me.  This is for you Ranjan, for believing in my abilities and going ahead with my plans. Together we’ll weave many more dreams. This is for you Him, for being there always in your own ways. This is for you Audi, I still remember that chat we had at the Brahmaputra riverside and you were so clear always that you wanted me back on track. For you Achyut, while you are busy thanking others for liking your work, I thank you for all those inspiring clicks of yours. For you Jumi, for all those awe inspiring chats we had. For you Kaku, for you always wanted the smiling me back, and here I am. Remember, you promised a photo shoot of you and Jiya. For you Sima, situations made me so reluctant of making any public appearance that I missed your Big Day. I can’t compensate for that, but then I know, you would understand my plea. For you Alok, Pallav... many things would not have been possible without you two around. For you Kulajit, Krishanu, Bhavita, Sakshi, Shweta and Kalyan. I remember Kalyan saying, “naya chonga (lens) liya hain, agar photo kharab ayaa, toh chonga le lunga.” For you my partners in creative crimes Rassmin Da, Bhaskar, Bitupon, Sudipto, Sweta. For you Palki, Pallavi, Pallabi(Maina) for always inducting the faith in me, for being tough when I was stupid and for all the care you have shown. For you Jipi, Liza...for I can always look up to you and you whisper the reality to me. For you Yashomana, for all those did you get my mail? Did you check the photos? Are they good? And for always coming up with an inspiring reply. For you Pallabi (Siku), for all the fables and conversations. I can’t hate destiny more for allowing me to spend so less time with you ‘soul sister’.

...and to all of u people who loved my work, inspired me and also criticised me when needed! You people make me what I am.

Mud and Glory

So the first quarter of the year 2012 is already gone, and as usual I’m not up to the promise I made myself, that I’ll make sure to write at least a note every month. Finally it’s time to jot down what made my 2011 memorable and not so memorable.

Oh!! What a roller coaster ride it was! Another year is gone by in a whim. It is actually amazing, to see where life makes you stand at different times, seems like sci-fi movie. In a moment you are here, in a moment you are gone. It takes a fraction of a second to turn super zero from super hero. So much so like our Indian Cricket Team. We bleed blue, when they brought the World Cup home, and when they toured England/Australia and lost, it was again the same us, who wrote them down. It is indeed the sarcasm of human life, Mud and Glory; both are integral and corresponding part of our life. The year 2011 was more of low than the high. At times life appeared to be so empty, I’ve learned how it feels to hit rock bottom and still push hard to survive. As if life is a patch of quicksand, the more I tried to come out, and the more it gulped me in. Time, things, people never seemed to be cascading. Thoughts strayed, questions unanswered.
But consequently, there is also a good side of it. May be not in the best order, but things happened.
There are many people I need to thank for last year’s journey, without you people around it would have been more uneven.

Thank you Kulajit, Krishanu, Bhabita, Shweta, Sakshi & Kalyan. Minutes turned into hours, and hours into day, days into month. Never knew, time could fly so fast. Courtesy you people! Leg pulling sessions, movies and off course a thousand unexecuted plans became part of life. Thank you Kasturi, Santanu, Angana, Kalyan, Achyut, Kaku, Himjyoti, Maina Da. All the rooftop parties, the conversations, the cooking sessions, the laugh riot, pranks, photo sessions made my Delhi stay real special. Jumi, Audi your presence was royally missed. Love you all! Thank you Jiya. Can’t thank and love you enough angel, surely you are one. It was only after talking to you; I could complete my project on the stipulated timeline.  Wish I could spend more time with you. Thank you Mukuta. For being the silence on my bad days and my raving fan on my good days. Thank you Tusti. Loved calling you ‘Puwali’ and glad to see you grow up, also learned that I should not hide behind my smile often. Thank you Sneha. Tikli, that’s what I call you. But most of the time, it was you, who guided me like an elder sis. Thank you for being the illumination whenever I needed. Thank you Pallabi for making me believe that I could tell stories that people would want to hear. My creativity may have strayed, but at least the writer in me is still on pursuit. Thank you Pallavi for all the pep talk, food talk, unending chats, laugh riot and off course the odd tough words to push me forward. Thank you Alok, Anannya, Debasish, Debarsish, Liza, Jipi, Sima, Mitu, Pallav, Siba, Sang, Plabita, Palki, Bhaskar, Bitupon, Shamim, Sweta. Can’t thank you enough my lazy angels, my punching bags and what not. You people always let me see myself through you. Loved looking back at you. Thank you Baa, for blessing us with Jill. It’s amazing to see you taking care of your bundle of joy with so much love and care. Thank you Ritu. For all the support and encouragement, because of you DEF happened to me. How can I forget my ‘Baccha Party’! Thank you Babu, Bablu, Nayana, Sanskriti, Abhinab, Augustya, Nandita & Gargee. You people never failed to make me feel young. Loved being your cook.

Under the circumstances, best wishes hardly seem enough. Thanks are in order. Thank you for your companionship, for your stamina, your wisdom, and a hundred and one laughs. I also enjoyed looking back at you and your shining face.

Never was so excited to let go something. 2011, now that you are finally gone, along with all the hiccups, you also gave some savouring memories. Hope the days to follow will have bright lights ahead and life will keep smiling at us in all we do and deserve. Grateful for my family, for my true friends and for all the love I receive. So much more than I deserve, or can ever repay. Happy 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Of A Delight And Missing It!

“Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!”  ~~ A Dumbledore

Power? Checked! Cable? Checked! Instruments? Checked! Sound? Checked! Monitor? Checked! 1, 2, 3 ...Go!

How can I forget this journey, we started at count 3? Despite all the hiccups, technical or human faults it was always fun and memorable. It is magic, it is celestial! It’s beyond what we humans do. It’s timeless, it’s endless and it’s immortal.

For me, it’s a delight. I always loved being there, whenever I got a chance.  I relish being on board. I somehow felt that divine intervention. So much so that I don’t even remember being nervous. Yes, that adrenaline rush was always there, but I never panicked, even if I was half prepared for a show. I was always the first one to get into the stage and the last one to leave.

Just prior to that journey, we all belonged to a different world. A world very few people have seen. Green Room! One can see various kinds of people there. Someone praying, someone silent, someone cribbing, someone shouting, someone babbling, someone nervous, someone panicking, someone visiting the washroom every now and then, someone checking his dress and someone like me, pepping up everyone. It is a world different from anything else.

I cannot talk enough about our families, teachers, mentors who made us, what we are as musicians! Someone came from a musical background, someone’s family was not supportive, someone rich, someone poor, someone didn’t tell their parents, someone was ill; someone had a fight with girlfriend. It was an amalgamation of myriad backgrounds and emotions. But on board, we felt only one feeling. That is Music! It’s like the same blood running through our veins; we spoke, played, and enjoyed the same universal language.

As I stand here today, all I want to put across is the remarkable journey I travelled with music. I miss being at the realm with it. I miss the animated me, who always used to pep up others, the excitement which used to begin right from the practice session to the show and to the time beyond, I miss the winks, the grins, the smirks we used to give other on stage, I miss the pranks we played live, I miss the way we used to complement each other for each mistakes we made, I miss playing with those mystical mesmerizing voices and the not so mesmerizing voices, I miss that huddle where we used to pep up the nervous ones, I miss those gaze we gave each other on stage when someone was not so confident, miss the feeling when power or instruments go off, miss those electric shocks, miss the transition of emotion the mind goes through with each song, miss the euphoria involved in it, miss the bite of the tongue for every time I made a mistake or missed a beat ,  miss the chanting crowd, miss the adrenaline just before going in, miss the whole overall setting of one of the most worthwhile things I have ever been a small part of.

And I miss that never fading feeling of satisfaction...silence everywhere. And the loud buzzing sound inside my head since I left the stage. That happy feeling which did not let me sleep, did not calculate my dreams, and did not let limit myself.