Family matters!

Life is one long trip, offering us plenty of reasons to celebrate something or the other. In a family as large as the one my mother comes from (11 siblings, would’ve been 13, had the other two survived!), there’s always reason to be beatific. I have cousins, aunts & uncles like everyone else, except that there are many I have yet to meet or even discover. From the little glimpses I had of my grandfather as a child, I can only infer that his children probably stood as symbols of either his virility or his economic well-being. I can’t imagine raising a family of 11 kids in this day and age.

The invite was a digital reprint of a 1957 photograph of my parent’s wedding day. In the picture are my maternal grandfather and some of mom’s brothers, sisters and their kids.

A few years ago my parents achieved a milestone. 50 years of togetherness. At the time, I was wondering what would make for a perfect gift, what would they really cherish? Rummaging through my collection of old vintage photographs and other memorabilia, I decided to share my point of view of growing up with them, in a video. I have two older sisters living in other cities with their own collection of family photographs which I decided to use. I asked them to snail mail me stuff from their collections. Since these were images from the 1950’s onwards, they were mostly analog! So the first thing I did was line up all the stuff  chronologically, to have them digitized. Between my husband and me we captured some sound bytes (on an almost defunct camcorder) of friends and family who would not be able to attend the party. Finally, with the help of a student who agreed to help edit the story for some pocket-money, and my children who agreed to lend their voices to introduce their grandparents. We put together this little 8 minute video, overnight. My younger daughter was 10 and she was sleepy and nervous reading about her maternal great grandpa, she swallowed a few words reading the passage. We had a flight to catch the next evening so it was a very sleepless 24 hrs before we reached New Delhi for the celebration!

This  impression very briefly explains what it was like growing up with them. 50 years is long time to condense coherently but I tried. My folks are simple, honest to goodness kind of people. Their real achievement lies in their human values and an unmatched zest for life. It’s here on wp, because I want as many people to know of them. They deserve a spot of popularity in a world beyond family. Thank you for your visit and I hope you enjoyed watching this even if the culture is at odds with your own 🙂


About shabnamphoto

I'm a graphic artist with a passion for photography. I like to tell a story with my pictures. Sometimes a picture may speak on its own and at other times it may need an explanation. I'm intrigued by the ordinariness of life and enjoy documenting my life in the light and shadow of what surrounds me. Be it people, landscape, flowers, architecture or birds, the camera helps me see what I wouldn't with my naked eye.
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8 Responses to Family matters!

  1. Beautiful..What a lovely family shot ..must say all your maasis and other ladies are looking (and still are) very stylish and very pretty. 🙂
    loved the video specially the funny bits like cauliflower present and the bell bottom shot and the way you put captions in between last few images with that song kuch na kaho warmed up my heart ..the video is made from heart and the love and warmth reflects in every thing the shots,the captions,the people reminiscising….


    • shabnamphoto says:

      Oh my gawd! Soma please forgive for not dropping in your blog for so long….find myself all caught up with so many things buzzing in my head, plus slow typing, i dunno how u do it! Thank you once again, for popping by for a dekkho, u should meet my folks in Gurgaon! mmmuah! the video wasn’t loading when I tried!


      • Aye Shabnam kya re…come one you dont have to be sorry..drop in whenever you have time or you want to…i do that same following some 300 blogs i visit them when i have time otherwise my family will forget what ghar ka khaana looks like and i will start looking like a living dead 😆
        i just loved the video 🙂


      • shabnamphoto says:

        Haha! I hate cooking, it sucks away every ounce of energy out of me…I could spend the whole day out here responding to 300 blogs!!!! How do u do it???! will u be my guide kindness? 😀 anyway its great to befriend u here!


  2. shabnamphoto says:

    Does the video play????


  3. viveka says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this … lovely and graceful story – wonderful that somebody can manage to live together for 50 years – very rare in my part of the world, it happens – but the younger generations I don’t think will be able to do that. Different values and we give up too easy. Thanks again for sharing your culture with me. Loved it.


    • shabnamphoto says:

      Dear Viveka, this must be so alien at first I thought! Thank you ever so much for taking a look and so generously spending time to comprehend a culture so different from your own. My parents represent another era of Indian culture. Bollywood though has always been part of it. This is Bollywood music from its early days! I remember you said u know a tiny bit about bollywood!


      • viveka says:

        Yes, I dance Zumba and we use a bit of Bollywood music for that – also I seen some films – one of the better once was about family in politics – that did anything for winning and the film about the model that was killed on a bar, her sister tried to find the killer (true story) – but because he was the sun of a prominent man he was never convicted- that was a brilliant move. Both title are gone for me just now – will find them.


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