Trying to describe a picture in a way that seems most suited to it isn’t an easy task, I must say. This particular picture was taken not too long ago, hence being able to recall it more precisely and the circumstances it was taken in too.
It was the day my grandmother’s younger brother was to go back to Kerala after his long stay in Bangalore at our abode. We were at the railway station awaiting the train that was to arrive at 5:15 pm. My feeling towards him has always been one that’s not happy nor sad; it feels like a phase that you know will end soon. Unlike the feeling, I have towards my granny’s sister as She invades my personal space like nobody’s business. I’m kinda glad she hasn’t visited for two years or so. It’s just too much drama. I was ordered to share my room with her by my grandmother (her older sister) which I did with a lot of regrets. Her presence very suffocating: as my own room that was so precious and dear to me, felt like a land unknown. It felt like I was entering a dangerous territory every time I walked into my room, with a dangerous animal waiting to find my flaw in order to kill and devour whatever little confidence I had in me. The feeling was really sad. The only thing that I like about her though, is her cooking. Having perfect Kerala food at home, like steaming hot aapams and a lot of fish curry was the only consolidation I got. Thankfully my uncle is such that: he does not invade my space more than a visiting relative should. Therefore, I am always neutral about his visits. The plus points about his visits are more beneficial actually, like family outings, shopping and a lot of yummy food
We decided to capture these departing moments of my uncle at the railway in order to show them to my granny when she missed him. My granny sat with him every day for meals quite leisurely during his visit, whereas with our daily busy schedules we never get time to sit down to eat together. I knew that I would definitely feel sad for her and would see her sitting all alone and wishing he hadn’t left yet.
I am very fond of this picture because everybody has a different expression on their faces due the circumstance that the picture was taken in. I was the one clicking the picture and was trying my best to fit everyone into the frame by slowly inching backwards towards the edge of the platform. I was well aware of what I was doing and was not too close to the edge, but was suddenly startled because an old aunty sitting on the next bench started yelling at me, asking me to move away from the edge as she thought I would fall onto the track and die if a train came by. Therefore, the expressions of all the members of my family in the picture were so priceless.
My granny is on the extreme left of the picture with her hand signaling me to listen to the old aunty and come away from the track. She hadn’t thought about me falling onto the tracks until then and began panicking as usual. My granny’s brother was looking at that aunty with a smile on his face and an expression that seemed to read, “I thought so too.”
My mother responded to my reaction with laughter. I suppose she saw the startled look on my face when the stranger yelled at me to be careful. Thus the picture captures her laughter mid-way through. My father, on the other hand, had a very irritated look, with gritted teeth, looking in the direction of the old aunty. His expression seemed to say, “How dare you yell at my daughter.”
There was one person in the picture who seemed extremely overjoyed with an expression that he was enjoying all the fun; me getting yelled at or maybe even waiting for me to fall. This mischievous family member couldn’t be anyone else except my little brother Joy.
My grandfather looked rather lost and confused about the whole matter and seemed to look clueless. There is also a bystander in the background who is laughing as though he is amused at the whole thing. I do not know whether he was laughing at me for getting yelled at, or the stranger for interfering at an inappropriate moment when the family was being transfixed in time.
I wonder how my granny’s sister would have reacted to such a situation though. Probably with a scornful expression reading ‘Ayo, why did this stranger stop her from falling?’
However, I braced myself and managed to capture this moment and turned around to take a groupfie. This time I was facing the track and took the second picture from an angle. I emerged successful in my mission though I did struggle to fit everyone in the photo because it was my first groupfie ever. On the whole, this picture has a story to tell and to me, it was a novel experience. I would have never imagined that this railway station trip would give me a memory as such that I could go back to.
I’ve never thought about the things such as feelings and emotions of people in a picture until this day I tried to describe a picture of people. I usually like to capture images of nature than of people any day and hence only knew about my emotions towards the picture. Here trying to figure out what each person’s expression could mean was a really new way of looking pictures.