Sajeesh Rajendran

Whispers from the Past.

Framed In: Listen. Can you hear the whispers?

There is calmness…There is silence… And then there are remnants of a glorious era that represent a time in history when life was about living in its fullest than just surviving.

The ability to travel back in time has been one of the most sought-after abilities human beings have been attempting for the longest of the times. There is something thrilling about being in the middle of those stretches of history that we knew only from textbooks and historical fictions.

At the sight of those mosaics of colonial history, how often does one hear the sounds of the majestic past and feel transported to it’s heyday?

Sounds of the waltz… Thuds of the soldiers marching… Jingles of the Sunday church bells … Echoes of cutlery clanking during a regal dinner… Roars of the toasts for the King… Cheers of the crowd during a weekend Cricket match comprising of mostly English Gentlemen… Whispers of the ladies during high teas… Hissing and shrieking of the steam engines approaching the railway stations… And all the silences in between…

The sounds are interminable.These are the moments that make us believe in the existence of time travel.It’s as if a delicious piece of history has been frozen for us to discover many stories that are untold or unheard of.

These countless stories are told in silence by Nature. Those story telling sessions happen at the most unexpected of the moments. And one should be in sync with Nature to receive them in its most purest form. Because, the trick is in unraveling all those old tales and finding answers to the questions of the present.

Framed Out: Every time I visit Ooty, it transports me back in time to a bygone era with all of its flavours and aromas. Ooty has been a dream land for me right from my school days. And it grew more and more precious to me as I got older, soaking in more and more of the visual splendour of that piece of land where Englishmen tried to recreate a replica of their country by giving  names of their towns and villages for places in and around Ooty out of pure nostalgia.

This picture was clicked during the early January 2019, the best time to visit Ooty. We, a few of the closest buddies from college, made plans to meet up in a British era Bungalow in Lovedale, outside of Ooty. The plan was to take a cab to the location after getting off the bus in Ooty. But at that point, I realised a train would be starting off from the Ooty railwaystation which will be passing  through Lovedale, at the same moment. The Bungalow’s keeper did inform us that the cottage is close to the Lovedale railway station. I therefore chose to ride the train.

I have had some of the most cherished experiences of my life as a result of that decision. When I got down at the Lovedale station after almost half an hour train ride, soaking up all the chillness it could possibly offer, it was like walking straight out of a Bollywood movie. In any case, it was a surreal experience.

Thousands of unknown stories from the colonial past flashed in front of my camera as I pulled out my One Plus 5T to take a photo as I strolled across the railway track. All I wanted to do was freeze them and save everything to display later to the world!

Indeed, a picture speaks a thousand words!

Grey Frames: “If you want to understand today you have to search yesterday.” Pearl S. Buck

Chasing Sunsets.

Canvas & Colours.

Framed In: Have you ever chased Sunsets?

Every sunset holds in itself, a tiny piece of universe. Witnessing a sunset is to embrace the life in its fullest. Nothing can be more joyous than getting entwined into the calmness of the sunset kissing your forehead. The tranquility of the setting sun, whispering the poetry of love, can create a sense of euphoria in the heart, helping us reach our deepest emotions. Happiness, radiating from the music of the floating clouds of the dusk, can transport you back in time and make you feel like a child once more.

Understanding sunset is to comprehend the deepest secrets of creation, buried deep within the millions of colours of twilight. It is that time of the day when universe is trying to converse with you. There are fairy tales to be told, verses to be exchanged and warmth to be shared. No one can ever look at a sunset without being awestruck. Every sunset reminds us of the enigmatic ways in which the universe works to keep us happy. And the setting sun emphasises the fact that the most beautiful and magical things in the world are the simplest, and within a hands reach!

And that’s exactly why we should chase sunsets, every single day. Dissolve into one of those colours of the twilight. Get closer to nature. Freeze the time and let go off it. Life is to be lived, not just survive.

Let the chase begin. Let there be space for more sunsets and more fairytales all around.

Framed Out: Goa is a happy place. At the mention of the name “Goa”, a smile pop-ups on every ones face. That is Goa for you. The atmosphere is palpable. Every time you visit Goa, you are reminded of what it means to live life to the fullest. 

This photograph was taken at Agonda Beach. Swetha and I were on a week-long trip to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  When in Goa, you cannot miss the sunsets. We were on our fifth day in Goa at the time, and we made sure to see the sunset every day during the trip, no matter what. Sunsets were, in fact, the most anticipated time of the day, and everything else was centered around that half-hour.

We were driving down from North Goa to Agonda on that particular day, literally chasing the sunset. We didn’t want to miss the sunset, so we planned to arrive in Agonda early. However, we got lost and arrived in Agonda just as the sun was setting. We checked into our cottage and had to rush to the seaside to witness the sunset.

This was somewhere in the first week of December and the sky was full of clouds. That added a mystical beauty to the entire setting. I couldn’t move. I was speechless. I was numb and feeling euphoric at the same time. I knew I can sit there all through without moving an inch and soak up the entire spectacle. That’s exactly what I did. Somewhere in between, I knew I wanted to freeze that moment and hold on to that memory eternally. Clicked with my OnePlus 5T, this one photo turned out to be the most stunning image of the entire trip.

Those few moments of stillness were enough for me to realise how fortunate I was to be here, at this moment. These are the kind of experiences that can impart a lifetime of learning. There cannot be a better artist and teacher than nature. Embrace it whenever you can.

Grey Frames: “When the sun is setting, leave whatever you are doing and watch it.”Mehmut Murat Ildan.

Seek Nothing. Be the Zen.


Framed In: Sometimes, a blank stare can tell us millions of stories. The intense blankness in the eyes can be translated into a lifetime of emotions. People staring into nothingness and embracing a sense of calmness always carry an element of mystery. To be in that zone of Zen, it takes time. To be alone in a crowd and be the crowd when alone becomes the key. To understand nothing takes time. To embrace emptiness, be bigger than the void. That’s where we should be headed. Because it is in the nothingness, the universe’s greatest happiness projects are secretly preserved. 

The quietness you experience while looking into the nothingness and beyond is intriguing.  All the unanswered questions become inconsequential, because at that very moment they either go missing or transform themselves into a vacuum, which does not seek answers anymore! Because to seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss!

Framed Out: Kerala is mystical. There is a Zen-like serenity radiating from every nook and corner of this country, which is God’s very own!

This picture was clicked in Alleppey while shooting for a music video. The Kathakali artist in the frame was a part of the shoot and was all ready with his costumes and make up much before the call time. From the moment he was transformed into the character, I could sense a different vibe emanating from him. I was observing him from the time he came into the sets. Soon after he got into his costumes, he attained a Zen-like calmness, which made me even more attentive. In the mad rush associated with most of the shoots, there is this person who is least affected by all the insanity that goes around him. I couldn’t help but stare at him in the middle of the shoot and freeze a moment of that calmness using my One Plus 5T.

For me, his eyes staring into the blankness whispered volumes of calmness, silently! That tranquility is what everyone should aim to attain.

Grey Frames: “In Zen, we don’t find the answers. We lose the questions” Zen Proverb.

The Happiness Quotient…

Framed In:  We seek happiness. Discovering happiness is the ultimate goal of human life. Every effort that we put in, every choice that we make, is driven by this quest for happiness. But in the pursuit of this happiness are we forgetting to smile?

 To smile and to be happy is considered to be the purest form of salvation.

Be the smile that you always wanted to be. It cost you nothing. A simple and genuine smile is such a strong force that it can bring two diagonally opposite poles together, turn strangers into friends, mend broken hearts, set things straight, create harmony, stop war and make the entire world happy! It is the simplest truth that we tend to ignore!

A warm smile can be extremely inviting.  It can make the world a more beautiful place. It’s the quietest happiness quotient everyone can embrace. Bring back the kid in you and smile, without a reason. To be a kid again and to smile is to realize that the happiness we are seeking is deep within us!

Framed Out: It just took a smile for us to become friends! That innocent smile of hers still fills my soul with warmth. Its only when you travel, you realize that the biggest philosophies that one discovers on the road are the simplest truth that we come across on a day-to-day basis! This was clicked at a place called Metsina, a sleepy town just after Punakha, Bhutan.

At a time when globalization is exterminating the nativity all over the world, it’s interesting to see how a country like Bhutan is holding on to its culture, tradition and nativity. Bhutan is unlike any other country I have visited so far. There is something so original about this place that cannot go unnoticed. While I set out to explore Bhutan on a Motorcycle, my search was to find images that can tell stories. And I knew this country would offer many such stories.

This was on the fourth or the fifth day of my trip. I was traveling from Punakha to Paro and stopped at this town called Metsina to check the air pressure in my motorcycle. While the tyre pressure was being checked, I wanted to click a picture of a general shop right opposite to the filling station as it looked very vintage. I crossed the road and moved closer to the shop to find the right angle. That’s when this kid came running out of the shop. She was stunned to see a stranger, holding a mobile phone to click a picture of the building. I could sense that alarming concern in her face. But once the initial jolt melted away, she started smiling at me. She was trying to show me around the place with that gentle smile. I didn’t understand her language but where words fail, smile does the magic. That’s when I realized, a simple smile is the key to your heart and to turn you compassionate. In Bhutan, smiling faces is a common sight . No wonder they are one of the happiest people in the world. 

Every travel stirs your soul and is life-changing. However, this one travel to Bhutan made me discover something that we all know,  SMILE is the simplest path to a happy life. 

Grey Frames: “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. “ Mother Theresa

One step closer to ecstasy.

Framed In:  To witness a tiny piece of history is to realize how miniscule we are! They whisper into our ears about the existence of a glorious past, a past that curated and preserved a slice of its soul for us. Millions of stories unfold. One could literally hear the sounds of the chisels that carved all the details on those stones. It is those details that make them mesmerizing and timeless.

Divinity is definitely in the details. Paying more attention to details is one step closer to ecstasy! Attention to detail comes with perseverance and patience which proves your love for what you are creating. As a generation embracing speed and restlessness that’s exactly we lack, the patience to delve into the details and the perseverance to wait till we get it right! That could be one reason why depression and chaos are the order of the day. We are always engaged in multitasking in an attempt to make more use of the time given. But what we don’t realize is that, in that attempt to save time, we are losing the opportunity to create something eternal and profound. When will we realize this?

Is it not time to get back to the chirpings of the birds, breeze of nothingness and smiles of purity? Create and preserve something for the future? Pay more attention to detail and longevity? Otherwise we will not be leaving any traces of our existence. We will remain superficial. And in that hollowness details cant be chiseled! We will be pushed out of history and will go invisible and untraceable!Lets not get there. Its time to get back to details and be more divine!

Framed out: History always fascinates me. Was awestruck by the magnificent architecture and the rich history associated with these ruins. In a way they were directly talking to me in a language that only we could understand. The remains of the Kakatiya kingdom at Warangal, I was there scouting the locations for a tourism film for the Telangana tourism. This was a small mandap away from the main Warangal Fort But I was arrested by the details given to even such a small mandap like this one, which would have been an insignificant one in those times. I don’t know whether we will be able to create something as monumental as this one in this era of so called advanced technological age. That’s exactly why I felt so miniscule in front of those ruins. I think as a generaion, we are walking backwards in terms of our capability to create something that’s stunning at the same time immortal and everlasting.

I have heard a lot of stories about the Kakatiya Kingdom, which ruled Warangal in the 12thand 13thcentury. Known for extreme craftsmanship and attaining pinnacle in the  Social , Political and Cultural realms, Kakatiya dynasty was truly exceptional. The vibe can still be felt there. That’s the kind of legacy that they have left behind them for us to get overwhelmed!

After travelling a few hundred kilometers across the lengths and breadths of Telangana and exploring deep into the history of Kakatiya Kingdom, it was on an early winter evening that I went to the Warangal Fort, the official emblem of the Telangana Government. The emotions that I experienced are beyond explanation using words, truly remarkable. While I was walking around some of the ruins a little away from the main fort, the sun was setting and I knew the time was right to click that one picture which will go deep down into my heart. Clicked with my One Plus One , this will be one of the last pictures clicked in that phone. A little after this picture was clicked, my phone fell down in the central courtyard of the Warangal Fort and the damage was beyond retrievable!  

Grey Frames: “Details matter. Its worth waiting to get it right.” Steve Jobs.

Purpose of being here…

Framed In:  Life in its basic form is the biggest spectacle ever. The innocence and the twinkle in the eyes of a newborn seeing the first ray of the light are hard to be missed. There is excitement in each and every breath. One can’t help but notice this excitement, which is infectious. That enthusiasm is inspiring and stimulating.

Everyone is born with a purpose and discovering the same can be intriguing. Walking through different paths, listening to the different sounds around, wearing new colours everyday can be inspiring. The ability to enjoy the subtle fragrances of the rain, intense passion of love, the profound tranquility of the sea waves, the vibrancy of a sunrise and serenity of sunset should not be lost. Live life to the fullest. Realising the fact that being alive is the true magic is the key. That’s the secret to be inspired and to find the real reason for our existence! 

Framed out: One thing that I love about my job is, it takes me through a lot of fascinating moments and insights. I was on a recce for a TVC at a place called Prenjapur, some 60 odd kilometers from Hyderabad. In search of the right location, we traveled into the interiors when I spotted this shepherd on his way back home, probably after a long day. I wanted to stop and click a picture but then since it was not in our agenda I kind of hesitated. But after going for half a kilometer, something made me tell Vivek, the driver to turn the vehicle towards the shepherd.

I believe in the concept of “being in the right place at the right time” and that’s exactly what had happened that day. 

Once we reached, we see this lamb. He was just born and I couldn’t help but keep gazing at him. The way he was toddling behind his mother, the way she was caring for him, the way he was treated affectionately by the shepherd and other sheep around… was a delight to watch. We wanted to hold him and feel him. The mother was orbiting us when we were playing with the kid. I could see the worry in her eyes. That made me realize emotions are common across all living beings

The setting was perfect. The twilight added to the charm. I was instantly attracted to the cuteness and the innocence in his face. Clicked with my One Plus 5T, this picture brings in a wave of emotion that’s hard to explain. All I know is it will remain a favorite for a long long time!

Grey Frames: “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Finding Harmony and Peace…

Framed In:  We are on a constant search, a search for the ultimate truth, the purpose of existence and the real meaning of life, which seem so elusive.   No answer seems to have satisfied the human race so far. The entire search seems to have ended in futile. One major reason could be because, we tend to look far and beyond.  No one ever makes an attempt to look around and immerse in to the colours of life, which is in harmony within oneself.  Once we realize that the real peace and harmony remain within ourselves, we will start to appreciate the entire idea of being alive. Start relishing the simple pleasures of life right from a deep breath to an amazing sunrise.  That will make us comprehend the real purpose of existence. Calmness is essentially an inner quality, which should be reflected from inside to the outside world. Peace and harmony can exist even on a valley full of unrest and bloodshed. This image of Dal Lake reminds us of the ultimate truth to happiness and contentment.  One just has to find harmony and peace from within, and forget about all those external elements creating havoc, which is beyond anyone’s control.  

All those Shikaras waiting for the travellers from all across the world are peacekeepers. They carry a message of love and peace; a message that they wish will resonate all across the globe.

 They have been constantly finding Peace and harmony … from within, in spite of all the turmoil, to disseminate to the world, for ages now. Let that peace and harmony prevail and triumph.  

Framed out: With every travel you bring back a lot of memories and a strong desire to travel more, far and wide. Kashmir always remained a mystery and a place that seemed very far and unreachable. And this book, “The ministry of utmost happiness” by Arundathi Roy brought in this strong desire to see Kashmir. That’s when I decided to travel to Srinagar and experience life there on the other end of the country. This was on the third or fourth day of our trip when I suddenly had the realization that I missed out on my early morning walks, which I believe, could give you totally different perspectives about a place. That’s the time when you should witness the world. The slanting rays of the golden early morning sun and the mysterious mist that engulfs could turn out to be magical.

And I happened to be at the right place at the right time when the sun just peeped out of the mountains and I could capture the reflections of the rays in the dal lake. Had a small conversation with Reena, the Mexican tourist that you see in the picture. She was waiting for her shikara to cross the lake. Surprising to see foreign tourists in Kashmir.

You just have to be at the right spot at the right time with the right frame of mind to capture an image that’s so honest and true. Clicked with my OnePlus One, this one has become one of my most favorite clicks of the recent times.

Grey Frames: “Peace comes from within.. Do not seek it without”  Buddha

Beyond frames: A post after almost four years. Off late, I click pictures very rarely. With photography going digital and then mobile, I kind of lost interest in still images and was concentrating more on the moving images. But then, for sometime now, I have been thinking about reviving the habit of writing and telling stories through pictures.  But then busy schedules and laziness was keeping me away from putting in an effort to write. But now there is a strong desire to write and express. Wish this re-start stays with me…

Between the Nothingness and the Bliss…


Framed in:  Meditate… reflect… ride and ride on… through the nothingness, exploring the void and absorbing the tranquility of the travel, one comes to terms with only the road and the two wheels. Being alone and without any expectation or destination, travel becomes euphoria. The time stands still and the terrains on both the sides move on. With no destination to reach, there has to have a nothingness in front to conquer. And beyond every curve, the nothingness will give way to a state of ecstasy… a pure bliss! So every time you take a curve, between the nothingness and the bliss, you rediscover yourself!

Framed out : Clicked with my HTC desire HD, this picture becomes the first mobile click in this blog. With the changing technology, this becomes inevitable. This picture, I guess reiterates the fact that, to get a good frame, you don’t need a sophisticated camera and lenses. You just need to be at the right place at the right time and with a right state of mind.  I was on a weekend trip to my friend Nitha’s place at Manipal and she was busy with her work on a Saturday and I had to roam around alone. Since her husband had a Thunderbird, roaming around alone was never a task for me more over was something that I welcomed! So I just rode to kollur without any purpose, the sole purpose being the ride! Had a good Darshan at the Mookambika temple. And on my way back I wanted to capture this entire feeling of being alone in the road and the euphoria it gave me. It was during that golden time of the day with the slanting golden rays of the winter season making the entire world look beautiful. When I saw this play of light in one of the bunch of grasses I knew I am in for a good frame. I stopped the bike in the shadow and moved a little back and clicked it.  “Beyond Nothingness.” Was born!

Grey Frames : “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” G. K. Chesterton 

In to the History….

 Framed in:  Many a times, there are instances when you feel too small at the face of the history; the helplessness of the present in front of the past! The very few pages left by the history for the present to read itself will absorb you and astonish you. Standing in the middle of the courtyard of one such page will make you envisage the hugeness of the past and the tininess of us. Unlike the previous era, the present as such is not leaving anything for the future to be proud of us. What we create now are those I-phones and Google doodles, which cannot find a place in the history for more than few decades.  Every moment and relationship that we create now are virtual. But these virtual realities never exist. We destroy the so-called history passed on to us and we are not creating anything new worthwhile for the future to be called as history. In short, we are creating a world without history for the future generations! How scary it can be? So we should do our bit to preserve the history passed on to us and also try to create a small part to add on to the history for the future generations to read upon!
Framed out: I think this will be the first digital image posted in this blog! This was shot at Thirumalanaykar Palace, Madurai. We were on this road trip for this Travel Show “Road to Paradise” that I am doing for the Travel channel, ‘Travel trendz’.  When Anuj, the anchor, was standing in the middle of the courtyard of the palace and looking around,  I knew what has to be done!  I had a Canon 5D mark III mounted with a 16-35 lens and was shooting a round trolley shot inspired by this movie “Iruvar” may be. But I dint have that shot in my mind when I shot this. But later I realized it do have a lot of similarities with that Santhosh Shivan shot! Nevertheless, this frame made me feel mesmerized. I could feel the smallness of me in front of this huge structure and felt merged to the history.  There is nothing happier than a beautiful frame captured. This is one such. The moment I clicked this picture, I knew this would be up in my greyframes!
Grey Frames: “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”  Robert Kennedy 

Tiny droplets of newness…




Framed in:  A blooming flower at any point of time is a sight to savor.  The freshness associated with it is unexplainable. With those tiny droplets of water sticking on to it… the whole world will look new. I don’t know whether it is the blooming flower or those droplets of water in those petals that add freshness to the flower, but it is true that those tiny droplets of water can make almost everything look fresh and anew. Newness is an ineluctable part of our life. Anything new is interesting and it makes us curious. A new book, a new pair of dress, a new pen and even a new word that we have learnt is exciting.  But as nobody can stop the ticking of clock, everything grows old and makes us lose interest. Once we fail to find newness in things we do, it makes life a scum bag of routines and make us think that the life is boring to the core. We should be able to safeguard freshness in life. Like those tiny droplets of water add freshness to almost everything, we should be able to discover that tiny newness in everything we do and everything we see. If there is something new to do everyday,  life never goes dull. And this world is so vast that you will never run out of newness.  You just have to put in a little extra effort to discover that newness in everything you do. Everything that will have some thing new in it which would have been missed by us. The music of the rain, the missed sentences in a poem, the new tastes in those mom’s same old menu and so on… Once we are able do discover them , life will turn out to be a deep meditation where you will re-discover yourself and you will be reborn every second. What is fresher than a birth? It’s always a new start! always be a new born! Let’s start this life anew every second by discovering those little droplets of newness and live life to its fullest extent!


Framed out: This photograph was clicked during one of those dull days in Munnar, during my estate days.  It was a period when I was considering myself  dead creatively as there was nothing to do that made me exciting  and my thoughts were full of  logistics and mathematics. But there was this fire to be different and lighten up those creative and romantic parts of the brain. Whenever I could, I used to wander around in my 1962 model royal Enfield with my Yashica to do what I liked the most, clicking pictures. But the time was a scarcity there as I was caught in the web of all those nuisances associated with a planter’s life and I confess, I failed to find newness in everything I do. But still I did safeguard some of the freshness as far as I could. This picture is a result of that. I was returning to the field on that day morning after the breakfast and as always was deep in despair due to the usual routine affairs. When I was about to start my bullet this flower caught my attention. Together with the diffused rays of the early morning sun and the dew drops settled in it, it aroused me. I grabbed my yashica FX3 loaded with Fuji 200 and clicked this pic. This frame still evokes the smell of dry days I spent there in that estate!


Grey Frames: Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name. Rabindranath Tagore