Friday, December 7, 2007

Posing for Pictures!

Decades ago, people were shy to stand in front of the camera. But now, attitudes have changed. There are no better 'posers' for the camera than our great 'netas'. [We see photos in the print media very often]. They are so fond of 'posing' that they invariably look into the camera in the most artificial manner one can get to see. [Of course, there are some that 'miss' the moment]. Keenness to show their faces for the picture seems to be more important than the purpose of their presence on stage. Not for nothing our 'netas' are staple food of cartoonists! A silly picture had appeared sometime back of some of our netas 'inaugurating' the city-cleaning drive. Lo, they were not sweeping, but standing one beside the other, brooms in thier hands. [nobody knows how many sweeping strokes they made!]

Some years back, I was at the 'receiving end' on one occasion. The prize was handed to me by the chief guest. [See above picture]. Being not a neta, the hand-over happened naturally, which took the photographer unawares. He must have been unready for the natural event! Or his angle was unsuitable for it I don't know. But the event was re-done on demand for the sake of the picture which resulted in a few 'ha ha ha' from the small gathering. The final (funny) picture shows both of us smiling and the ones in the background, laughing, looking at the camera. In the confusion, the chief-guest's hand was holding my hand at the wrong place and the prize had come in the way! And we both knew the funny thing!!

I wonder when our netas and the photographers (on such occasions) learn to give weightage to naturality! How I wish most of the photographers said " you carry on, I'll take pictures"!

Well, I do not know if people did not desire media publicity in the 1960s. Browsing through many old issues of the once-popular "Sport & Pastime" magazine, I found many pictures where a prize is being handed over to the winner and none of them seem to be conscious of the cameraman taking pictures of the event / them! The event is captured so very naturally as it is actually happening. It does not even look like a deliberate pause. May be each time the photographer has clicked at the right moment, is anybody's right guess! Not for nothing photography is an art, requiring alertness and good reflexes!

Here are two pictures from Sport & Pastime [Feb 6, 1965] in which Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sastri hands over trophies. [Also note the apt and informative captions!] Who is interested in the photograph? It is the photographer! That is the way it should be!

Just for the record, here is another picture in which H.H.Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar hands over a cup [mostly for Golf] to my grandfather at the Mysore Sports Club around the same year, 1965. Costume of the Police - take a look. Clapper is FK Irani.

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