Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Absentia

He brought out a perfectly clean handkerchief out of his pocket and ran it gently over the image, hoping that fine linen could do the trick that his bare hands could not. But the picture did not get any clearer. The face in the picture did not reveal any new secrets to him. It remained as inscrutable as before. Time had done its trick on the photograph – the sepia tint was uneven, the dog ears were predominant and someone had really done a good job of inducing creases on the photograph by crushing it. The cold stern visage was unrevealing. No particular emotion, no particular trait, no particular bias leapt out from it. He had spent the first forty years of his life wondering what his father looked like, what he was like, why he had abandoned him, what life would have been growing up with one. After the serendipitous discovery of his photograph, his quest remained unsolved.


Vidya said...

I wonder, sometimes, if the nature of photographs mimic the nature of our memories. Cloudy, mysterious, just slightly out of reach.

Feeling inspired? :) Am enjoying these shorts from you.

Parth said...

@Vidya: That's a good way to look at it. I think photographs are expected to carry a heavy burden. You expect them to trap the frozen moment on just a small piece of paper. We forget that the onus to remember isn't on them, its on us! No particular inspiration, but I am glad you are enjoying these shorts.

Pallavi said...

well said! True that pictures carry a heavy burden especially of distant (in distance not of degrees) relations and of distant times.