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


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