“Within Me, I Am A Thousand Others”

It is mostly in those alone moments that we let our imaginations run loose. [Click photos for larger versions]
It is mostly in those alone moments that we let our imaginations run loose. [Click photos for larger versions]
Body language is oftentimes a window into a person's secret world inside.
Body language is oftentimes a window into a person’s secret world inside.
Some parts of people's lives only appear during quiet moments of solitude.
Some parts of people’s lives only appear during quiet moments of solitude.
Being alone with ourselves appears to be as important as spending our time with others.
Being alone with ourselves appears to be as important as spending our time with others.

It was the very talented Indian writer Faraaz Kazi who authored the words that introduce today’s blog. Recently, I just happened to come across a reference to this author, and upon digging a little on the Internet, I stumbled upon his full quote, which goes like this: “I inhale loneliness like it is the sweet smell of virgin earth conquered by fiery rain drops. Within me, I’m a thousand others.” Suffice it to say that I suddenly smitten when I read that last sentence. Six words, but within them one of the best depictions of the power of our imaginations that I’ve ever encountered. Moreover, I realized that these words were very applicable to some of my recent photos.  For some reason or another, I found myself taking photos of people who in the middle of a buzzing city, appeared to be alone, or alone with their thoughts for that matter.  Immediately after reading Kazi’s quote I started thinking of these photos and how his words seemed to apply to the scenes I had captured with my camera.  Detachment, solitude, disengagement, and perhaps a thousand other realities becoming active in people’s imaginations.  In those brief moments when I pressed the shutter, endless flights of imagination could have been taking place, hidden from the world and unencumbered by its limitations.  At some level, the photos were merely an attempt to depict the kind of “me” time that only solitude can deliver, and where anyone can become anything they dare to imagine, even if that means a thousand other versions of themselves. Maybe this was not what was happening inside the minds of my photographic subjects at the time, but the romantic in me cannot hold back from wishing it was so.