*Apologies to Tracy Chapman
Pictures are my life right now, and it does seem interesting to have a photographer describe the first image in his childhood that has affected him somehow.
With photos, I remember being extremely fascinated by the photos of my mom exploring Europe in her quarter-life. There was this striking photo of herself and the Colosseum in Rome and another one with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Seeing those images had me wanting to explore the world too and have great adventures in life, cliched as that may sound.
But the image I remember the most from my childhood is not a photograph. And before I talk about it, one should know that I come from a family of medical professionals, science and English teachers, and engineers, and I got very little exposure to the arts, which may be the reason behind my fondness now for anything artsy.
In my aunt’s house, there was a painting of two gaunt-looking women holding big clay pots while sitting by the river. Even as a kid, I noticed the dark and muddy shades in the painting. The image was very murky and gloomy, but not in a bad way visually. Given my little knowledge about paintings and other visual works of art then, I should have found it unpleasant. But for me, it was a beautiful thing.
The image was not a colorful portrait of a flower. It was not Jesus with his disciples printed in a carpet and hung on a wall. It was something different. And that made me appreciate it.