Seeing how people live; inside the warm embrace of their delusion, carefully walking on a tightrope, walking to and fro, inside and out. Seeing how people wake up to realise that yet another day is on their beloved shoulder, and the burden is set. Seeing this, and unseeing the horizons of a brand new city, it aches the deep rooted nomad.
Travelling is a tragedy of the fortunate, its memory fading like delicate smoke.
But then we decided to document – the first birthday; the engagement; the reunion of champions; and the loving sights we fall for so achingly. We have inserted paragraphs after paragraphs, describing the perfect sunset, a voyage to the great outdoors, or the seemingly dreamlike holiday. Seeing how people travel today, the shutters move indecently, capturing life.
A slight move to the left, and there you have the perfect selfie right in front of the 1000 year old structure. Like its stones that have stood the test of time, the selfie would also be forever embedded in binary. The picture will transform manifolds, hold a certain tinge of Mayfair, and we have treasured our travels. The documentation of travel through pictures make even the most banal moment look tasteful, and thus begins the ever-curious insanity of humans.
What follows is a barrage of likes, comments, shares, and more. What follows is hysteria, the old stone structure on the backdrop breathes binary, and everything is forever dreamy. But what happens now?
The curious cats on digital space stare blankly into space, wondering when the next memory would be engraved. On the other hand, a thirst for appreciation ensues. So soon enough, a new picture, once again with a certain tinge, sits delicately on phone screens. A great gasp sounds from the world over, once again, hysteria.
A long time ago, standing on a cruise in Vishakhapatnam, I have a picture with my father, he held me as my expression showed fear. That picture today is an image of nostalgia, looking from a different time. That picture is preserved in an old photo album, deeply personal in nature. In today’s overexposed times, a picture is insincere, an image of pride, and its expressions are inhuman. It is startling to imagine that there will never be a personal travel album buried among the old files in the drawer.
The romance of travel has been replaced by the urgency to show-off, and starry nights are pleading to be recalled.
From now to eternity, with technological advancements, travel pictures will evolve in many forms, will reach many heights, but never again will the pictures be sincere.
When an image has been projected on social media, we are putting up parts of us for sale. It will always be that “amazing capture,” for someone else’s sentiment. The amazement is not anymore a part of you; it has been distributed to thousands on the world outside. The process of making a memory is almost a calculation now; there is no deep-rooted love for the art. This is the inherent insincerity of a picture in modern times.
Seeing how people pose
Seeing how people pose, their backpacking gears, the charismatic smiles, and the entire world around them, one might think it is an imperative travel ritual. But truly, it isn’t.
The only thing imperative in travel is travel itself, and the fond memories you make on your way. Not for the sake of social media, not for your display picture or cover photos, but only for yourself and the gift of life.
Many years later, when the picture of the cruise in Vishakhapatnam will fade, and nothing of it will remain with me, I will still remember. I will perhaps visit the place once again, and see it all from a new perspective, or I will simply be enamoured by the memory of a father who held me, as I pulled a stupid fearful face while sailing.