Picture Book
Aveek Sen
12

 

Why does he say that he writes or teaches without being able to call himself a writer or teacher? Why this need for an exit clause? Exit from what? He finds himself repeatedly taking pictures of doors and windows, of paths leading away somewhere, vistas pulling the eye toward a vanishing point. And even though he is an obsessive taker of pictures, he refuses to buy a proper camera, preferring to use his phone instead—although he loves, with a secret voluptuousness, that khopp-chharraak sound of the analog shutter. He fantasizes holding a camera against his belly—shooting from the belly, as a friend puts it – and straining his neck and shoulders to look down at the inverted image in the viewfinder grid. It is a little grainy with dust and a bit of fungus, like the allure of an early-morning dream, neither fully out there in the world nor quite behind the eye, but somewhere in-between, held in a kind of limbo before it begins its journey toward being realized as a photograph.