I am unemployed now. By ‘unemployed’ I mean that I have a tremendous load of work to do yet I just sit awkwardly in front of the TV with one leg hanging from the arm rest of the seat and another leg pulled up to my chest and with a bowl of collation (chocolates and crisps) next to me. I’m getting endomorphic rather very comfortably. So today my mom asked me to dust all the dusty photo albums from ages back. Some albums feature very appreciable memories while some albums are totally forgettable but they keep stalking me.
Like the one photo where, I’m around 12 years old and I’m propped in the gap between two diverging branches of a gigantic tree and I’m picking my nose! At the root of the tree everyone – mom, brother, cousins, grandparents – are sitting looking at me above them. And dad took the photo. Most of the photos of mine are gawky and very inconvenient. I was just very natural and the naturalism was inept.
I am not photogenic. As in, when someone says “let me take a photo of you. Now, smile.” I just cannot smile by order. My forced smile hangs somewhere in between a dead serious face and a mourning face. I could scan and post a photo from the past for accuracy but I’d be embarrassing myself. You should take the photo without any “1, 2, 3” or “say cheese” and then maybe I’ll look pleasing in the photo.
But arbitrary shots of mine are equally uncanny as the forced-smiles ones. There is this photo that my mom took a couple of years ago at Taj, Mumbai. I’m eating a cookie. Well, I’m about to. My mouth is open, eyes wide looking ravenously at the cooking on-the-way-to-my-mouth and around 20 teeth are visible. I resemble a savage beast. I get paranoid when I see a camera around me.
Even in the family photo on the top of our refrigerator I look like an army officer with a lemon stuffed in the mouth and others are cute as Barbie. In an other one, during dinner at home, everyone are having two-three dosas on their plate with chutney but I have many dosas stacked with red chutney, sauce, jam, podi and sambhar and all are looking at the camera but I’m tearing the dosa whilst looking at my grandpa’s plate next to me. *cringes*
I’ve categorized my photo album into two different sorts : People like Me and the People on Tumblr (everyone other then me in my family). People like Me – we tend to blend in to the scene but we do the absolute opposite. “The weirdo”. But my Facebook/Twitter/Instgram photos are okay, I guess because they are posted after taking around 200 selfies and torturing siblings to take some more using primary camera as it is better than the front one. Then, filtering 50 good selfies out of 200 and then editing – adding frames, bubbles, light drops and so on. After this tiringly expansive process comes posting of the photo which I don’t post. Lately, I’ve become exclusive! Ha ha.
The next type – Tumblr type – they look so Photoshoped. Clear skin. Black clothes, matte finished nail paints, Cadillacs and Porsches, long legs, designer brands, Starbucks and USA. So fake. (The different ways to solace oneself.) Comparing to my family – gold, unfazed makeup, sweet smile and very Indian.
I haven’t yet completed cleaning all the albums because I was just wondering how my brother got all his 2-year old photos perfect. My 2-year old photos are clumsily gauche. I have something or the other spilled all over me or I’m frantically dancing or singing. And you’ll see the mere four teeth (2 up 2 down) wide in a smile in all the photos. Happy child. Awkward or not, at least, I was not-self – conscious and narcissistic when I was a small kid. Children nowadays. DID I JUST TALK LIKE MY GRANDMA? no way. Anyway I have a lot of albums to take in and dust them and stash them in the bag. Since, I stopped midway to type out a blog post, my mom is going to be furious.