A face is a face. It tells you just what it can tell. There are other things besides faces. Faces are not the other things. Humans are addicted to faces. For them everything has a face–houses, cars, computers, mobile phones, bras, underwear, pianos, shoes, food packages, pens, boxes, tin cans, machines, flowers, and what not?
Yes, looks tell you what is what. The face of a mango and the face of a lemon tell themselves from each other. But what about two mangoes? Yes, they look different. But are we concerned only about looks? Yes, most of us don’t care–we are cognitive misers.
Still, there are some slow and quiet people who don’t want to go far in life. They dig miles into the space of a second–a second has space big like wide enough to contain a house or a hospital and deep like an abyss. And they want to fill that depth and width with thoroughly drenched experience. Just a few things for them to wriggle into like worms–enough for them. The world is too big for them. They are too little worms for the world. For them, the face is just one of the things things have, if any. They love the insides of things, which carry their own weight, and that the outside cannot represent. By the same logic, the logic of first impression does not work always for these people. You cannot get all what they are from how they look because they don’t show off. This is true of even those who make an effort to put everything they have on show like shop windows because they are richer than they can show.
Anil Bhatti, Professor Emeritus, Centre of German Studies, JNU, chairing Andrea Allerkamp’s lecture on Moving Constellations: The Political Challenge of the Aesthetic Regime at the auditorium of School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, on 8 February 2018.
Indian Philosopher Divya Dwivedi at the Present of the Day conference in Senate Room, IIT, New Delhi, 22 January 2018. Franson Manjali chaired this last session of the day and French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy read his paper Le Bonheur du Jour. French philologist and philosopher Barbara Cassin also attended the conference. It was organized by Divya
4 January 2017. After I had avoided humans, particularly those who are by default called friends in every sphere of my life for a very long time, Preety Jankeepersand and I met, had tea and paratha at Brahmaputra and walked for long in many secluded areas in the JNU campus. Preety, a kind and self-conscious girl from Mauritius, has been a friend of mine who has been helping me when and where no other person would actually give a damn. Most friendships demand mutual investment and that reciprocity needs to be simultaneous lest the friendship expires. Preety has proved a different person–in her characteristic combination of quiet and frankness, and affection and aloofness, she would repeatedly and patiently get through my silent irresponsive solitude and do a few things to help me (calling me sometimes, writing to me often with some important information I need to act on) before she leaves quietly. She knew without somebody helping me I would not do certain things despite the consequences. Not many people would be so generous as her at least to a person like me–so aloof, so unpenetrably silent and incommunicable. I would ever remain indebted to her. So happily.
That afternoon we talked about a lot of things. Life in general. Plans for future–what we wanted to do in life, after the linguistic course. I had my camera with me too–I told her I wanted to take a few photographs of her. To remember her by. The easier way.
I had photographed her before too. This evening was calmer and quieter and we were more relaxed. But unfortunately, when we arrived at this particular place–a beautiful one, one we would unlikely visit on any other day–the sun had already set and I had to turn the ISO up and lower the shutter speed. Far beyond I would normally go for. (We did not plan to come here–some beautiful peacocks attracted our attention and we followed a couple of them which we saw and we ended up here.)
Though I wished we got to this place earlier, she was so cool and beautiful in her blue shirt and jeans in that twilight. We agreed we would come to this place again. Earlier. We have not yet gone there again.
I took six or seven photographs there. She was calmly beautiful in all of them. In her quiet and cute beaming beauty. Now the course has ended and she will go back to her country and I will muddle through following my dream. In difficulty. The time has come for me to publish the few photographs I have taken of her. Here are two of them. Up above. I will add the other photographs too here. And various versions of the same photographs too.
I will remember this friend of mine. Ever in my life. Clearly. Without a cloud.
Tamo Doren of Photo Max verbally nudged me (he was busy covering the wedding we attended) and looking back I saw the man. He stood out from the more than hundred people gatheted at the wedding hall and the several many people passing by in that narrow alley. I was immediately interested. He was restless for the whole time he stoood at the gate of the hall and scratching himself a lot–his hands and legs. Finally he sat down in the middle of the narrow alley dedicated to the scratching job. A symptom.
I had been waiting for a chance to photograph the cute girl in the picture. She was conscious of my camera and she shyly hid herself behind her eight-year old brother every time I held up the camera. When I turned away, she teasingly ran around me. I waited for a chance.