Priority number one

Priority. It seems to be a word that is easier to write and harder to do for oneself.

I mean if you do not start take care of yourself physically emotionally and mentally. Then you cannot expect other people to give you any importance,simply because you have not given yourself any importance.

For me that one thing is exercise. Weather at the gym or even a one hour walk. I find putting on my headphones and tuning onto my favourite station or listening to my favourite hindi songs not only give me the motivation to go to the gym but it also helps me just re-energize myself for the rest of my day. Or if I have had a bad day it seems to be a form of therapy to get through it. Plus it never hurts to work on your butt !

I think more than men women find it really hard to prioritise themselves. I have seen it all around me . Through all the duties and chores we might have to do throughout our lives, be it my mother,my sister or even my closest friend, they all at one point or another seem to just forget to look after themselves. Which is how I learnt not to do that to myself. To make sure I do not feel bad or guilty for prioritizing myself above anyone and everyone.

This thought that being selfish has a connotation that is a negative thing, But why is being selfish seen as a bad thing first of all?  When words like self care ,self love and self belief are all positive life affirming words and have positive connotations. I think that selfish should be seen that way as well and in fact it has been a goal in my life to rebrand the word selfish into a positive one. Seeing as so much of yourself as individuals we give to others are we as individuals not warranted a little time to ourselves on a daily basis?  To care of well you! Of course you are warranted. One should not feel like they need to ask permission to be a little selfish it should be a right, to make sure you look after yourself.

Because once you are struggling mentally it effects you physically or emotionally too, making it a domino effect. So from a very young age I have vowed to not do that too myself. I made sure to spend time by myself in my room,reading a good book, or watching  my favourite show on my laptop or writing . Just something to make sure that I am doing something for myself. No matter how big or small.

No one really taught me this, I picked it up for myself. I seem to have come from a cultural where we are oh so reliant on the teaching of other people yet self learning is virtually non existent. As if my life is not mine is someone else does not lead it it at every given moment.

When I was very young I remember I had learnt I think a new swear word and my mom had said , “ who has taught you this word because it wasn’t us”. I had realized at that very moment that I didn’t really need to be so reliant on the learning of my parents. Since then I have taken it upon myself to make sure I learn from everyone around me regardless of anyone's age.

I think there's a thing about teaching as advice in my community, that it is only those that are older that have the right to give it. That those that are older are the ones that have somehow the right to teach your their life lessons. From my experience I think this is a complete myth .

I have come to noticed that as we get older we tend to be surrounded by people who are just like us, and thus as time goes on we all tend to have similar life experiences and life goals. Though there is a great bond with all of that we must be open to making new friends all through our lives, so that we do not become so closed to new experiences life may have to offer.

This is why I have friends of all ages this is so that I can experience life lessons from all ages,not just those that are older then me but also younger than me. Some of the best advice I have been given weren’t from those that are the same age as me or older then me,but guys and gals who are definitely younger than me.

So no matter how hard it is, no matter how many things you have got going in a day, the million things you have gotta do. You have to in a regular basis take time to do something for yourself. Even it is just reading a good book for a hour or just going for a walk.




The joys of being a mashi

Over the years I have heard a lot of people say that being an aunt is one of the greatest joys of your life.

In fact I have seen it for myself with many family friends.

Until recently I had not fully grasped the concept of being an aunt or as they say in bengali, ‘’mashi’’. I mean what was the big deal I used to think to myself, a kids a kid, they are all adorable!

Recently I had the privilege of attending and capturing beautiful moments of a ceremony in Hinduism called ‘onnoprashon’’.

Onnoprashon is a rice weaning ceremony for a child when they are 6 months old and are about to start eating solid food( hello flavor town). It is celebrated with many friends and family surrounding the child, usually in the home. The child is given a rice dish with many other delicacies on it like various type of fruits. So the child can choose something.  In the case of my friends baby he had tiny slices of paw-paws.

What usually happens is that the uncle of the baby feeds a small amount of rice to the baby. The reason it has to be the uncle specifically is that it is said the uncles and nephews/nieces have a special bond, ‘’nothing bad ever happens when the uncle and nephew/niece around!’’goes the old saying in Bengali. And from my experience with my uncles, I find this rings true!

While taking photos at this auspicious grand event. I had suddenly realized how absolutely proud I was of my friend is the closest thing I have to an older sister.

My lovely sister who I have known since I had waddled up to her as a 5-year-old and asked if we,”could be friends” all the way in India.

I suddenly realized my lovely sister, who as a teenager would wear questionably baggy jeans, barely any makeup suddenly had a child!

This lovely woman who kept me company through all my tantrums growing up, sang Westlife songs with me and kept me company after school when I would suddenly rock up to her house. My sister who I had grown up watching as a young woman play cricket. Growing up brown and Bengali come to think of it she was the first woman I had witnessed playing cricket!

It was while holding her lovely baby I had realized that I am the aunt to the child of such an incredible woman who I had the privilege of always admiring and was a constant role-model in my life.

It is truly a amazing feeling watching someone grow up right in front of your eyes and turn into a radiant,successful woman, and for this woman to have this child who is the apple of all of our eyes. It is happiness like no other!

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My story

 

A certain blogger I follow has gotten me wondering, why I do what I do. What made me start it all  and the truth is wonderment.

Wonderment is what got me into photography.

I was always interested in pictures, you know the old saying a picture says a thousand words. That quote and concept just fascinated me . I was that kid many years ago who took photos with her 2 megapixel phone . From every angle humanly possible.

My dad had seen this and at the age of 14 he gifted me my very first Canon compact smart camera ( does anyone remember those ?) That started this journey. Since then I have really honed my skills

When I started I really had no interested in this becoming my profession at all , rather a creative outlet as I was always a creative girl. I never imagined in a million years at all that growing up this would have been my path as my background was in sales and marketing.

But as time went on I had  continued taking photos and developed a connection with humanity and my lens.

I think photography is how I still have faith in humanity. For me photography puts in focus what is truly magical,truly beautiful in this world that seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the minute in this time of facebook , snapchat,instagram etc.

Being a woman and specifically a brown woman it is honestly really important for me to capture the good moments, the pure ones, especially after moments of being whistled at or just started and judged at for simply existing. Which has happened to me so many times that it has become white noise to me, But then this has helped me have a “who gives a damn” attitude.

As I sit here and look through all the photos I have taken over the years. The weddings,concerts, portraits of families in cultural functions and performances also. I have come to the conclusion that my aim has always been to capture a natural moment. Anything from a woman laughing carelessly to a couple gently holding hands as if they were holding each others lives.

It is how I still believe in the good and positive in the world that at times can leave one questioning where’s the good .

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