Monday, 23 March 2009


A few years ago I remember reading that one of the established photography companies - Fuji I think - was exiting the photo-film making business to concentrate on digital cameras.

No way - I thought - having till then been exposed to only the crudest digital cameras around - and computers where a 20 MB harddrive was considered colossal.

How quickly technology can change the rules of the game.

Images today are largely digital. I still have dreams of setting up a b/w darkroom at my parent's place in Shanti Kunj - but will anyone still be manufacturing photo-films - let alone b/w? Isn't it easier just to switch on the b/w mode on your camera?

The challenge now is the question of storage. With every event producing scores of images - all mysteriously hidden in virtual memory - how to keep track of them. Instead of an old biscuit tin box crammed full of photos - we now have various files, and how to find the one you want - when you want it?

Additional challenge - the frailty of computers. Last year our hard drive gave up the ghost. With it went all the pictures that we had of Enoch's birth. Every one of them. I tried and tried to retrieve them - and took the help of our friendly computer man - Richard Washington - too. No avail.

But hope springs eternal. Earlier this month I wrote to our good friend Dr. Bryan Sauer in the US. We had borrowed his digital camera for 2 weeks during Enoch's arrival in Feb of 2003. Would Bryan have any copies of the pics we had shot?

Amazingly the answer came as yes! And yesterday - thanks to broadband internet - the pics arrived. Here is one of them. Enoch - nestled in Sheba's arm - a few hours after he was born!

There are still hitches and lurches in the whole image storage bit. But what a miracle to have this cloud of pixels capture the very day of our son's birth. I had forgotten the reddish splotches on his face (as usual parents find their children unbearably beautiful) and the little bundle that he was.

As I put Enoch on the school bus this morning - I gave him a kiss and prayed for him. What a blessing to be a father - and what a blessing to have images to remind us of the road we have travelled so far.

Added bonus:

Seeing a pic that we have never seen before - this shot of us as a family which Bryan must have taken! I have somehow embedded in my memory that Asha took some time to get to accept Enoch - which certainly is true - but this shot shows another angle to the story:

Whether Enoch is laughing or crying after receiving a kiss from his big sister is not clear from this shot though ...


  1. I'm so glad you have been able to retrieve some of the most important of your lost images! Birdie Matern was not so fortunate a few months ago. She sent her crashed hard drive to one of the most sophisticated restoration companies on the planet, but without success.

    As families, the special memories that we create together are precious beyond measure. Photos are a priceless aid in helping to keep some of those memories alive. --Paul

  2. Absolutely - the amazing thing about memory is that it enriches the actual experience - and gives each day an added value. CS Lewis in one of his essays said something to the effect that an event is only really enjoyed when it has already entered our memories (oops my memory of the exact quote is un-Lewisianly imprecise!)