Two kid birthdays and a short vacation later, I look at my cache of photos to upload and share with friends .. I have about 15 photos in all, between two phones and one camera. About six months ago, I would have had about 300+ images to pick and choose from.
A few months ago, while we were on vacation at the Radisson Blu near Mahabalipurum, the realisation hit me. A family bustling with excitement, charged up with vacation gear got off at the resort… the kids were delirious with delight, rushing to explore the vast expanse of swimming pools and greenery. But this unbridled excitement, was constantly interrupted by the parent wanting them to stop and pose, even before they explored. While the child wore his first floaties and jumped in unsteadily, the dad was precoccupied with documenting these moments on his Samsung S3 rather than jump in and splash and play with him!
Then everywhere I saw, the virus had spread fast. At my daughter’s first carnatic recitals for Navratri at the teacher’s house, the front raw was full of parents checking the Ipad recording!..
At birthday parties, while the child was posed to cut his decadent cake, his enthusiastic parents were busy smiling in to the camera..sometimes forgetting to sing happy birthday in making sure the photographer was capturing the moment right. An over-eager friend who was covering the birthday cake was shoved to the side to get a perfect shot of the moment..
At a beautiful vista point, abounding with nature’s glory with lush greenery and a breathtaking waterfall near kerala, everyone was busy capturing its perfect image on a photo…not a single one was just standing back and just basking in its splendour. The seekers of the perfect family vacation documentation had gone so far as to make them turn their back to the nature and face the photographer ,rather than enjoy it.. I hear a little boy say, “Aree baba, let me see the water fall” and was quickly chastened “first photo then we will see!!!”
As hard as it is to admit, I was one of this cool-tech-crazy , preserve-this-moment in fancy photo journals, share on Instagram and Facebook person. But I stopped. I needed to be there in the moment not in the photograph.
So now I pass my phone and cameras to friends and just forget about it. Many a vacations have gone undocumented in minute detail and guess what I am happier ,less stressed and completely in the NOW! Leaving you with something to chew on….