A few weeks ago, I talked about
how I moved my photos from Box to Google Photos manually. The process was cumbersome. However, there was a bright side to all that moving photos manually. I saw almost all of them and that brought memories.
Photographs are important. I understand that we’re creating way too many photos now courtesy smartphones. However, I still think no one should discourage someone from recording a moment. All that talk about “living the moment” may be correct in it’s own right but it’s still talk and you’re free to do what you want. So, click a photo of that wonderful gourmet dish or of that random moment on a trip because memory, it turns out, isn’t as reliable and some moments just slip through the cracks.
To keep privacy intact, I will post no photos that involve people. These are buildings, views, objects but each one of them brings back a certain memory and that is the point I’m trying to make. You don’t need a perfect group photo. You don’t need anything. All you need is a gentle reminder that brings you right back to where you were at the time.
Here is a long collection of photos. None of them is spectacular in particular. These are just plain photos. Without people. That still brought back wonderful memories. Each of these photos is amateur-ish but the remind me of so much. They remind me…
of the old canteen in middle school. This sucks in quality because all I had was a Chinese video player when I was in middle school. of how puny I was as a kid. My brother and I would often go out, like most teenagers, we’d wander the city and find nooks and crannies where we’d sometimes click photos of the day we dropped my brother off to college. This photo was taken from a moving car. We were heading back to Dehradun from Noida back in 2010 when my brother left for college. All three of us were crying, my father, my mother and I. of sports day celebrations in school. Our school had an amazing sports day spectacle and we had to practice it for a month. I snuck my phone out one day and clicked this. of how I spent most of my teenage evenings on the terrace. I’d often go the terrace and sit, watch the sunset and all. Cliched introvert of exploring the city with my cousins. We’d find amazing stuff and places. We used to give crazy names to places, “Abandoned Lot”, “Thieves Den”, “Secret Meeting Place” and “Eternal Forest” are some I recall. of the science project in 9th grade. We created a volcano for the science exhibition. I had to explain how it worked with a friend who I haven’t talked to in a long while. of the dog I befriended near my Physics tuition classes. This dog met me everyday and he was amazing. of the cat that suddenly appeared. This is from near my Chemistry tutor’s classes. of the dog I met every day while walking back home. This guy was locked up almost every single time. He’d poke his head out of the gate like in the photo. This was so cool. of the views Dehradun can offer you from anywhere. The city is beautiful. This is from the first time I went to Dehradun’s Kalsang with my cousin. of the hike I took with my cousin. As brothers and explorers, we’d often find new places. We took a hike to halfway Mussoorie. That was when I found this butterfly. As beautiful as she looks, she was almost dying. of how my high school girlfriend got beautiful cakes made for my birthday. She got one from Assassin’s Creed, this one’s from Naruto, she also did Game of Thrones in 2014. Amazing. of how people care for you without even meeting you once. My brother’s significant other sent this to me on my birthday. She is great at arts and crafts and this is one of the best things I’ve gotten on my birthday. of the day we went and created a Street View for our school. I also wrote a post about this, you should look it up. We created a Google Street View using my Nexus 5. of Valediction and signatures. We signed off our names on the board, all dressed up. One hell of a day. of the day it hailed like the Arctic in Dehradun. Yup. That’s all hail in the photo. Too much hail that it was almost snow. of exploring the secret construction site with friends. It was Prateek’s birthday and we were at this construction site. It was a great day. of literally the last day at school. I haven’t set foot there since this day. I’ll go back someday but only once I’ve done something worth mentioning. of going to the FRI because my cousin got a camera. My cousin had bought camera and Dehradun’s de facto camera practice zone is the Forest Research Institute. of visiting New Delhi for the first time. I came to visit my brother and I spent four days here. It was mostly sight-seeing and watching how students lived. of spending most days at my friend Yuvraj’s house. We’d be here all the time and we had a lot of pizza. of the little assignments while I was pursuing architecture. This was a bed made for a model house. My partner and I worked kinda hard at it but I guess we oversold it and it wasn’t as difficult. of more assignments in the field and courts at DIT. We had to do a masonry assignment near the court. That was when I clicked this. of leaving some places behind and never coming back. I clicked this photo during the last week at DIT, we left for a trip, after which I dropped out of college. of walking around near Prateek’s house. This is the area right outside his house. Prateek didn’t go out much so we had to go to his place. Walking and pizza was most of what we did. of the trip during architecture. This was clicked at the breakfast table before he headed out for exploring McLeodganj. of finally getting out. The architecture trip brought with it places and experiences that nothing else could’ve. It expanded my horizons so much that it deserves it’s own post. of the sunrise that changed my life. When I say the trip changed my life, I mean this moment. This sunrise transformed me as a person. of the trip’s end. This was the last place we visited during the trip in 2014. of when I tried baking a cake for my birthday. We had recently bought a new oven and we experimented. The cake came as hard as brick. It was hilarious. of the best birthday ever. My friends had written these cool comments for me. I had to guess which one was from who. It was fun. The party. The food. The moments. Our group has changed and evolved since then but those were some really good times. of the day I dropped out of college. The trip, the sunrise, built up to this page in the dictionary. of a short trip to the nearest hill with my friends. Horsemen, as we call ourselves, had their first complete outing near Landour, Mussoorie. of roaming around with my cousins. We were the same, moving around all over only this time we went up to Paonta Sahib instead of staying in the city. of the reunion of 2015 when the squad was in town. After I had dropped out, and some people moved out, this was a day when the whole group was back together. This was almost right before all of us went our own ways again. Summer of 2015. of the nights I lay awake. I clicked this at 5-ish AM because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep at all during my college dropout days. of letting go. I let go of my old self on this day. This was a happy day and since then, I’ve been happy – more or less. of spending the last evening on the terrace before leaving for college. of yet another FRI day. of the first week of college and hostel. The environment was amazing. In this particular photo everyone is watching a movie. A guy had started singing happy birthday for his friend and the whole crowd joined in. It was beautiful. of the first rain when I stayed in the hostel. of accepting H-3 as “home away from home.” This was Amity’s slogan for their hostels. This was the day when I finally said that I was happy here and stopped missing home. of coming back home with my cousins. We had hired a private taxi and he took a detour through an unfamiliar route. This was clicked when we stopped for food. of the first day out with my first friend in college. Rohit and I went out to Hauz Khas and this is Big Burpp Theory’s burger which tasted absolutely brilliant. of the first group hangout and the largest pizza ever. We had this amazing pizza at Sbarro, Connaught Place. of starting to fall in love with coffee while writing. I hated coffee. This was the first day I acknowledged it helped me work. Since then, we’ve had a chemical romance. of fucking up and being left behind midway to Agra. I wrote about this on the blog. Prateek and I went to Agra, only that our bus left us halfway on the freeway at night. of the smallest cup of tea I have seen till date. A child selling tea came up to me and asked if I wanted tea. I asked the price and he said 10 bucks. I was like, “alright, two cups”, and he gave us these shots of tea. of Fatehpur Sikri. Pure beauty. This trip was when I fell in love with travelling. This also started our ritual of travelling every October. Prateek and I have done it for two years now. of seeing something for the first time. This is how I looked at Taj Mahal, exactly like this. The beautiful monument peeking through that silhouette. of the nap after in Mehtab Bagh. Tired of all the travelling, Prateek and I literally took a nap in Mehtab Bagh, right behind the Taj Mahal. of staying out for the night for the first time in Noida. This was our first nightout. We stayed at Rohit’s flat. of the first time I sat in a plane. I was given a pass to Indiblogger’s BNLF in Mumbai so I left. This was the first time I travelled so far, alone. Also, the first time I was in a plane. This was a trip of a lot of firsts. of one of the most iconic moments of my life. BNLF had Bruce Dickinson. Yes, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson come down to India for a talk. Legendary. I also got a handshake. That was the best part. of mornings and college. A random photo during some random college mornings. of the beautiful wall at PVR, Pacific, New Delhi. of the dorm room I’ll never set foot in. This was my part of the 3-sharing room B-15, H-3. When I left the on-campus hostel, I knew I’d never come back to this room and setting ever again. of Amity and it’s crowd. Fest season brings celebrities and with them comes a concentration of people in the infamous H-Block. of those little friends I made along the way. These puppies were born in our campus and they were absolutely adorable. The best part? They had over 18000 friends. of the evenings I spent sitting in the field. I have always been drawn to fields. I sat in my school. I sat in college. This is one time where I can just sit, in peace, happy, listening to music. of the time I loved Nexus 6P’s night performance. My room mates and I were walking to the cafeteria when I decided to test the camera out. We were all spellbound. of the time I spent by myself in malls. I drank coffee and kept walking, earphones in my ears. of the evening walks in campus. As much as I loved sitting in the field, I also loved walking in the campus during the evening. of the cheesy nachos that no one can beat. This is from Echoes, Satyaniketan. Fun fact, we asked for a vegetarian side along with these and some screw up brought the chicken variant and there is a funny story of how are vegetarian friends ate chicken thinking it was cauliflower. of the phase in my life I call stupid. I was in love. So I tried her favourite doughnuts. Enough said. of the time when Civil War was the hype. We found these life-size Captain America and Iron Man statues in PVR Cinemas and damn, perfect fanboy moment. of leaving Dehradun again. I go home a lot and this is a photo from one of those places that comes along the way as you leave Dehradun. of coming back to Rajiv Chowk’s crowd. This is exactly what you see when you come back to Delhi-NCR from a relatively less crowded valley. of the last day I spent in the on-campus hostel. I sat in the grass for a while, clicked a few photos and went back. of the first actual night out. As semester and year ended, we went out in the city and moved about throughout the night. of the unplanned Gurudwara visit. During our nightout, we had no where to go because Delhi has no nightlife. So, we went to the Gurudwara. of walking toward home and realising how beautiful it looks in it’s simplicity. of riding to Tehri with my cousin. What started as a normal ride became a city crossing adventure as we moved up and up toward Tehri and came back down the same day. of the spontaneous TEDxJUIT. Chiranjeev asked me to come. I made a rough decision 3 hours before we had to leave. JUIT was amazing. of when I seriously began reading comics. I had read all plots but this was when I started buying and reading them one by one. Trust me, nothing beats these treasures. of the summer trip to Shimla and McLeodganj (again) I had been here before but this time I was with my friends. of the best hotel anyone can ever get. Hotel Pink House, McLeodganj is by far the best accommodation I’ve stayed in. It’s cheap, it’s great and it has graffiti. of the first real camping experience. We trekked up to Triund, Dharamshala and spent the night there. of walking the markets McLeodganj. I walked the same markets in 2014 and I was doing it again in 2016. This time with friends. of getting drunk for the first time. My cousins and I had sure grown up. We got drunk together. of going to Hauz Khas for playing Pokemon GO. We played Pokemon GO in Hauz Khas because why not? of a new home and resuming college. I started staying outside the campus. of the day I fell in love with the city. I love it now. The crowds, the lights, the chaos. It’s beautiful. of going to Lodi Gardens to play Pokemon GO. It was the hype. We had a Pokewalk in CP the next day. of realising how cool ducks were. We met this flock in Lodi Garden and I wished if I had an actual Pokeball. of coming to the campus to spend evenings. I tried to keep my ritual up as best as I could. It didn’t work well. of the cupcake that was aesthetically perfect. We sat in Barista, Botanical Garden, clicking photos of this perfect red velvet cupcake. of the day Mom and Dad were the happiest. It was their 25th Wedding Anniversary and my brother and I arranged for this great celebration. I was glad to see them happy. One of the highlights of my entire life. of sitting in the library. I tried to go to the library and study but I barely could because my friends didn’t let me. They were there to. We were studying for an exam. of being a part of something bigger than myself. I was part of the TEDxAmityUniversity Team and it was amazing. We had so much fun and the event was a success. One of the best moments in my life at college. of the October trip ritual with Prateek. This time we went to Jaipur. of the most aesthetic hotel room two bachelors can afford. of this amazing photo I took near Jal Mahal. I was making a pano taking Jal Mahal in frame. Instead, this happened. of one of the best views I’ll ever see in this life. This is from Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur. of realising how beautiful camels were. of asking for a candid photograph. I’m an irony. Also, a millenial. of one of the highlights of human experiences in my life. Meeting Tikam Chand, I wrote about it, look it up. of watching your idol perform. Prateek Kuhad at Grub Fest 2015. Fanboy moment. Also, we got drunk and jammed to DJ Zaeden after this. Great evening. of when my roommate surprised me with a cake. He brought two friends and a cake to celebrate my birthday. Unexpected and it really made me happy and value him more. of leaving for home but completing assignments first. of coming home in an auto-rickshaw. of celebrating Diwali with family. of appreciating how home is home, no matter what. I love this place and even though our extended family and us have had ups and downs, it’s still ours. of waiting for cabs every evening because I had to go the mall. I spent my time there. In the crowd. I loved it. All those people, running for something, everyday. of trying the new drink and sandwich at CCD for a friend. A friend asked me to tell how it was and that she had a date tomorrow so she wanted to know what had to be ordered. So, I did. of visiting a cattle farm for an assignment. This was so much fun than we had originally thought. of remembering how cold NCR gets in winters. of the bench I spent most of my winter evenings on. of having a “my place.” I love Gardens Galleria, Noida. I sit here and sip coffee and listen to music and write and play games and what not. This is my place. of the answer to life, universe and everything else. I usually get the same 42 whenever I get coffee in campus. of my first Comic Con. It was fantastic. of finally getting the Pixel XL after months of contemplating. of one of the tastiest pizzas ever made. We went to celebrate because another semester had ended. of having the theatre to ourselves because it was empty. My friends asked me to do this so I did. of doing a Secret Santa on Christmas. My friends from Dehradun and I did a Secret Santa on Christmas and these are the presents. of the squirrel I befriended while sitting in the park back home. of realising how utterly beautiful life is. My friends and I went to Mussoorie. As we were about to leave and come back, this happened. The sky looked beautiful. Life, looked beautiful. of watching movies alone. My friends cancelled so many plans that I had to learn to watch movies alone. So, I did. of loving the city even more. of the evenings we spent playing Monopoly Deal. We had to stop because it was taking too much of our time and also, everyone got bored of it but when we used to play this, we did not get up for hours. of celebrating winters. of one of the best sunsets Noida had to offer. of yet another in-auto-rickshaw photograph. These have become a staple and I click these almost every single time I’m in one. of meeting friends in Dehradun again. I waited in this beautiful cafe with that beautiful dog because everyone was late, as usual or maybe I was early, as usual. of when my dog wants to go with us to the bus station for seeing me off. He does this every single time and he won’t take no for an answer. of coming back to the empty metro station. of long metro rides. of Inbush Era Fest and the music. of the day I realised that Pixel XL was one hell of a phone. This photo was clicked during the Inbush Era Fest at Amity University. We lost control that day. We danced and danced and kept dancing till we couldn’t dance anymore. of realising that beauty can be found anywhere. Even in empty PVR washrooms. of Margherita, my love. of my favourite place on campus, the library. I started being more productive these days. Monopoly was off. Malls were off. I started reading everyday. I started coding. I started tuning in podcasts. I came back in control. of the day I stepped back into my shoes. Figuratively. I was becoming unlike myself and it felt amazing when I came back. I could do so much. It was freeing, the thought of being myself again. of going home, yet again. of the evenings in the library, reading. I was reading A Work In Progress by Connor Franta and I realised how alike his life has been to mine. It’s a great book even if it’s not a piece of literary perfection. of walking to meet Prateek. Prateek and I often have coffee at the Starbucks in Gardens Galleria. This was clicked as I was walking to meet him. of the nightout at Rohit’s place. Parmeet, Rohit and I spent 3 days of the College Fest at his place. We played, laughed, had fun and got drunk. This was us desperately trying to fix a friendship that was going to shit. of friends you find in odd places. The dog is a friend who visits my building for some dumpster diving. I caught him so he kept looking at me through the glass. of a cycle rickshaw ride that Parmeet, Rohit and I took. This was after we were getting back from Qafila, New Delhi. of the day I had my life’s first actual interview. This was for an internship. I got the internship. of the places that suddenly become very important to you. I’ve written about Hemels recently, check it out. This was taken on one evening where I was sitting, chatting and having coffee. of the day Prateek took an actual photo of me. He did in Jaipur too but he lost them. This was the first photo he took of me that I could post somewhere. He did it spontaneously, with my phone and that was when I realised how far he had come as a photographer. of the day I let my routine go for once. I have a perfect routine which I love but I was feeling down and so I decided to live one day without any rules. So, I ate in bed and watched a movie and didn’t clean up and slept. The Point?
It’s funny how 145 random photos can bring out so many minute yet relatively significant moments from my life. If you take nothing else away from this post, take this:
You like a moment. You get off your high horse and you capture it. Howsoever you can. Deal?