Pen & Shutter

I wanted the first post in this blog to be an explanation about its name. The many attempts I made to try and explain the dream behind it did not please me at all. I settled for a brief “about us” section. And wrote, instead, about our Easter weekend at Masai Mara. The explanation of our vision would happen when the time was right.

The World Wide Web is a curious place. It has opened to me a world that is completely unknown and yet seems to be filled with like minded folks. On one of these forays into the various groups I have chosen to become a part of, I found a link … I get a lot of these links in my inbox. For some reason the title compelled me to open it and read it. Sometimes we all need some re-affirmation of our beliefs. Sometimes we need guidance. A teacher. When the student is ready the teacher appears. That is, I believe, an old Buddhist saying.

Mr.Guy Tal has a point of view I happen to share, as – obviously – do a lot of his other readers. Many, many years ago I had researched and written a piece on the evolution of man for a class project – and had said practically the same thing – that we need to realize and accept our insignificance in the cosmic scheme of things. And from there will arise our future existence and well being.

To apply the same idea to art is so obvious, so simple and so beautiful. This, then, was the lesson I had to learn.

I had to share the original writing with you. I contacted Mr.Tal and have his express permission to share that article of his here. Thank-you Mr.Tal.

This article got me thinking about myself and this blog. Why am I finding myself so happy being in the wilds – African bush, Indian jungle, Singaporean mangroves? Why this pleasure in photographing the beauty there? Why the urge to write about it all? Why the need to share the results of all these endeavours here.

I have it, I believe in my blood, to love flora and fauna in wilderness. It runs in the family! I have the amateur photographer’s need to “preserve for posterity” just in case memory fails me. I have been taught to love the language – that is perfectly self evident! I have had something else also, fortunately. I grew up in the age of television documentaries. I grew up on a weekly diet of  Jacob Bronowski, Carl Sagan, Kenneth Clark, David Attenborough, Jacques Cousteau and the likes. These are people who brought together the physical & biological sciences with the arts of picturization and writing to create some of the most memorable films and books.

Most of all I have had the opportunity to experience the wonders of the wild in various countries with Siddharth who shares all these interests. Whose career has made it possible for us to live in these countries. Who indulges – indeed shares – all my dreams.

I have been handed on a platter so many incredible gifts. How then could this blog not have been? A grateful mind is offered here.

The offering is this blog. A combination of Siddharth’s photography and my writing. Siddharth’s reading & editing and my pictures. Pen & Shutter. We hope it brings to the readers as much pleasure as it brings us in its creation.