Three years ago today my dad passed away so I can’t help the inevitable reflection that comes with this day and this time of year in general.
I was thinking about how my dad used to take a lot of pictures. We have albums full of pictures of family, friends, and some people who I don’t even recognize. In these pictures, you can see the evolution of my siblings and myself, from the cute baby years to the oh-so-awkward teenage years. We even have pictures from family trips to Pakistan where cousins who are now married and have children are all just little kids themselves.
I never really noticed when my dad stopped taking pictures and I don’t remember what exactly happened to that camera he used to lug around. He had a special bag to take it around with cushioned spaces for the body of the camera and for the flash, slung over his shoulder and ready to go when needed. Eventually, it gave way to an Olympus 35mm camera which I used a lot, taking pictures at mehendis and weddings of family friends since the mid 90s. In 2003, we were ready to join in on the digital camera craze and my dad tasked me to research and get our family’s first digital camera. Although it wasn’t technically mine (dad’s funds were used), I sort of took ownership of the camera and eventually branched out and got my own point and shoot, which eventually gave way to an entry level digital SLR a couple of years ago.
In the Bollywood movie Wake Up Sid which I just watched a couple of days ago, the main character finds his passion in life through photography. He found out that his dad used to be into photography too and when Sid asks his dad why he stopped taking pictures, his dad said it was because Sid grew up and didn’t have time for his dad to take pictures anymore.
I couldn’t help but think of my dad at that moment. One of my cousins once mentioned that I’m a lot like my dad since I always had a camera in my hand. Truth be told, I hadn’t made the connection. I had forgotten that my dad enjoyed taking pictures long before I even held a camera. While I wouldn’t categorize myself as an actual photographer, I love taking pictures and I would have loved to talk about pictures with him.
As I was recently digging through some old pictures, I came across this one of my dad. He’s either graduating from high school or college. In all honesty, I don’t know but I thought I would share:
I’ve decided to slowly start scanning in all those pictures my dad took over the years to help preserve all the memories he captured. It’ll take a while and I know that there are companies that can do this kind of thing, but I’m going to try to do it on my own.