REFECTIONS AND SHADOWS—A PHOTO ESSAY

Paramita Mukherjee Mullick

-Paramita Mukherjee Mullick


Many months back a photograph of two birds with their shadow on the ground and their reflection in the river, by an ace photographer friend of mine made me quite interested in reflections and shadows. I love experimenting with both my mobile and my DSLR and taking photographs of reflections and shadows became a passion.

My morning walks are precious to me…all alone with the birds chirping in the trees, the squirrels scampering around and the dragonflies hovering. I am a city girl who loves trees, flowers, butterflies and birds. In the morning, the soft mellow sun is a wonderful muse of mine. So the reflection of the sun from the mosaicked wall amidst the greenery was captured by me. The gold blob in the brown wall was a dazzling show. Every time I was taking a turn, the sun was at a different position on the wall.

I love travelling all around the world with my family. Sometimes fascinated by the migration of the wildebeest in Masai Mara or riding a gondola in the waterways of Venice. In search of the mythical sea monster Nessie in Loch Ness in Scotland or swimming with colourful fish in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, Australia. My daughter, as a child had named the place where we keep the souvenirs of our travels, “Around the World”. The sun reflects on the glass cupboard of these souvenirs and one day when such a reflection was lighting up the silver Ganesh idol, I took a photograph.

Reflection is the throwing back by a body or surface of light without absorbing it. The very definition is so poetical. Reflections have again and again inspired me to write poems. During the Pandemic, I used to sit in my balcony quite often and the reflection of the sun on the glass windows on the opposite building inspired me to compile a collection of poems in my book, “The Golden Window”.

China rose or Joba as we call it in Bengali has a special place in my heart. I feel very happy to pick up the red jobas from my flower pots and put them on the feet of Goddess Kali. One day I saw the reflection of the red flowers in my television.  The effect was very dramatic and here is the photograph for you.

In Mumbai it is difficult to have huge terraces or to have gardens so I love to keep potted flowers on the window sill and balcony where my pink and white bougainvillea intertwines.  The China rose plants are full of red blossoms. Fragrance of the roses spread all around.  Water is a good medium of reflection and so I poured water on the black granite top of the window and voila! The red china roses and the leaves reflected on it.

Again let me come back to my morning walk. On my walking path, the short plants are in a row and their shadows look like a troop of soldiers.

An eagle sits high up on an iron rod of the new building coming up beside ours.  I couldn’t help taking a photograph of how harmless and small both the eagle and its shadow looked.

 Sometimes I feel very uninteresting things become much more interesting along with their shadows. Like the tiny foliage in a tiny vase looks more pleasing to the eye along with its shadow. Here it is for you.

Also a flowerless stem with only leaves looked quite swag when shot with its shadow.

Suddenly I saw a shadow of the grilled window on the opposite wall of one of my wash rooms. It reminded me of the prison cell of the movie “Veer Zara”.

And this insipid shadow of mine reminded me that I have to lose weight.

On a breezy day, the trees were trembling and the rustling leaves were inspiring me to write many a poem and then I found another poem when I saw the reflection of a tree on the ground.

In the late evenings it’s a joy to sit near the swimming pool of my compound and watch the shimmering lights reflected in the water.

I want to end by sharing a poem of mine on reflection and shadow.

THE GAME OF SHADOW AND REFLECTION

The shadow said,” I am with you always my love”.
The reflection with all its dazzle and shine, laughed.
The shadow follows you everywhere, day and night.
Plain and simple with no show,
Just you and the shadow, nobody else.
Falling with you when you fall,
Standing up when you stand tall.
With you in thick and thin,
 With you to many places it has been.
With you in sunshine and rain,
With you, in happiness and pain.
But reflection needs a medium.
You feel thrilled to see your dazzling self in a mirror.
The water of the river doubles your beauty by reflection.
The game of shadow and reflection goes on.
Confusion on who is the dearer one.


1 comment :

  1. I enjoyed reading "Reflections and Shadows" - A Photo Essay and noticed how the author was fascinated with the shadows and reflections. She captured the moments in photos and expressed her feelings in writing . Even the poem seized the true feelings of the author about each and every particular aspect she observed.

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