|Modi Road at 8:30 AM|
I love walking down the streets of Mumbai. DN road, which on any average day is full of the sound of a cash register ringing in some shop or the other, or the sound of a card being swiped so that somebody could buy what they want to. But on a perfectly sunny morning - at around 8:30 AM - it is something else altogether. I don't know what it would look like if there was no british construction there. But the way the sunlit street shines up, waiting for opportunity to pass by every day. The sun light hits the architecture creating shadows of the past, giving those structures a purpose of being there. No matter what atrocities transpired within those bricks, it still was our moment back then. Its magnificent. I regret every single time I walk past this vision, without my camera. I don't know what I am supposed to be capturing here, but that moment is raw, thawing out there to be felt before it melts away.
The moment I cross the street to reach my workplace, the vision is gone, the sun has moved up a few degrees & the moment is no longer raw. It dissolves in the light - maybe someone has seized it & maybe it will be available for me to seize it on some other sunny day. But no one knows when that will be. The sun will have moved a few degrees away & the rays will not fall in the same way. If that moment was captured by someone, it could have lived an eternity.
I watched a film called The Fighter & the same thoughts rushed back. The boxer (Micky) who could have been a great fighter, was living under the shadow of his brother who was his hero & trainer. A former boxer, his brother Dicky was looking for his brother to be a great boxer but was pulled down by his drug habit. Eventually Dicky sobers up, Micky moves ahead without his brother's help but only because of Dicky's training. They get back together again, train harder & Micky wins the welterweight title at the fag end of his career as a professional boxer.
|Mark Wahlberg (Micky) during a 'fight'|
The movie also speaks a lot about how opportunities come & go in our lives & we know when they are staring right at us. The look is penetrating, it makes us feel inspired & ready to go get it, but circumstances or our weakness holds us back. It is never clear what happens to the opportunity once it moves away. Maybe somebody else grabs it & makes good for themselves. But what happens to us, we end up staring at the empty road trying, yet again to put out our best effort to win another such opportunity back. Very few, I have observed are lucky to get such a chance again (like Micky was). But even then, it is up to us to realize that chance. The odds of winning will never be the same again.
There are so many such instances in life I am sure I am missing to see, although they are staring at me intently. I know some of them, others I wouldn't even know about. What happens to those I know about & don't act on?
Just like a photographer who has lost his vision, who has lost the opportunity to capture the light bouncing off those structures & the opportunity to immortalize that vision. Light had reflected upon the culture & had shown him a piece of history which was itself built on other such pieces of opportunity.
That vision is lost & the lens has to move on to the next one.