This is really a reflective post on how the year went by and also a summery of a few posts made on this blog during the year. Skip the rants if you please.
Posts on this blog. Much like 2014, I did not write much this year. I decided to write only when I felt like, and not for the sake of counting the number of posts in a given time. Occasionally, stories were interspersed with single-image posts. I am probably going to write a little more frequently in 2016, but not a great deal.
- Langza Village in Spiti – Life above 14,000 feet
- Camobodia – Life After Khmer Rouge Genocide
- Myanmar – PaO people near Inle Lake – Life off the grid in remote Shan Hills and
- Witnessing the mysteries of Madhya Pradesh’s jungles
They weren’t necessarily the most popular posts, but were in line with the kind of writing I wished to do, leaning towards telling stories rather than documenting or reviewing things (Most popular posts: OYO rooms review and Air Costa Review). The writing goals for the coming days is to write more for myself and work on immersive stories.
This blog quietly completed ten years in July. I let it pass without talking about it, as I hope to work on a series of posts on the journey of this blog that eventually changed everything that I am. Someday; I am not in a hurry.
Travel. When it comes to travelling, I did travel a good deal although I did not explore any new locations. All the journeys were on work, leading very satisfying photography tours through a variety of locations including Myanmar, Cambodia, Spiti Valley, Varanasi, Rajasthan and North-East India. I consciously stayed away from making personal trips, as I am increasingly questioning my style of travel and looking for journeys that have deeper experiences than visit places. I am searching to go on journeys that have a deeper meaning, facilitates personal evolution and enrich the life around me. The search will continue, and for some time to come, there will be fewer personal journeys.
Photography. It is more than a decade since I have taken photography seriously. Finally, in 2015, I am beginning to feel that my travel photography is becoming effortless. I shot very little, but found more of those images acceptable.
But the yearning to do more, and get better, is stronger than ever. Just like my travel, I am increasingly searching for meaning in my photography. As I wasn’t sure how I can discover meaning through study or reflection, I signed up with a mentor to help me on this. The search is on, and I am hoping to meet more eminent photographer-philosopher-activists who can help me on this personal assignments.
I have a theory on growing as a photographer: if you look at your images from the last few years and feel awful about the work you have produced, you have probably moved to the next level. At this time, I feel terribly awful about image I have shot until now, but I don’t see me having climbed the levels that I hoped to. But there is no dis-satisfaction; only a burning wish to learn and get better.
I also happened to emerge the winner of 4th HIPA awards in Dubai. While it was good to be at the awards ceremony, it was an absolute privilege to listen to a passionate talk from photographer Reza Deghati on how photography can change the world. His one hour talk helped me begin the process of rethinking my photography, and hopefully will be a milestone in deciding how my photography would shape up in future. I can’t be more grateful for the opportunity to listen to Reza.
On the personal front, the year couldn’t have been better. I can now confidently say that I am nearly retired! That doesn’t mean I will stop working, but attitude to work will take the approach of what a retired person would have: I would do only things that I want to, the way I want to, without taking any obligations, without worrying about results and without any pressures on finances, goals or deadlines. I feel freer than ever and feel capable of letting time take me through its flow than put things under control. Once you get there you can’t have a bad day, you feel invulnerable, can’t have anything go terribly wrong. It’s a blissful feeling, having nothing in the head.
Well, that would be all! Wish you a happy 2016. See you round the corner, next year.