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Retelling Our Stories

January 2018 Lifestyle PhotoEssay

Retelling Our Stories

By Rose Tommy & Shiyas Ahamed

Everyone has a story. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows names this feeling ‘sonder’, defined as the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. At no time is this feeling more deeply felt than when one is journeying. The mere fact of traveling, of being unsettled, unmoored even, brings on a realization of one’s surroundings that is sharper by sheer contrast. We look at the chaiwala at the railway station, and wonder about his home, his family, how he spends his spare time. We spare more than a glance for our fellow passengers, seemingly absorbed in their mundane conversations and routines, which take on a fanciful hue in our minds. This photo essay hopes to delve into some of those stories, those tales hidden within our busiest cities.

Jan-Change-Lies-within
Change lies within
Striving to drive a hard bargain each time,
she gives off an aura of authority and world-weariness.
Once upon a time, she too would have been a carefree little girl in pigtails and a pinafore.


Jan-Hues-Of-Life
Hues of life
She sells the promise of hope and happiness.
People buy garlands and bouquets, perhaps to please a deity or to make a loved one happy.
The flowers no longer put a smile on her face, though.


Jan-Gone-In-A-Moment-
Gone, in a moment
Life passes us by in a blur, even as we forget to savor its little moments.
Take a moment to pause, to look deeply into a beloved’s eyes,
to hold someone’s hand a little longer, to offer a stranger a smile.


Jan Promise of Siesta
The promise of siesta
A little nap when the sun is shining its brightest in the sky.
A break from the humdrum of the routine. Dreams are born and relished then.
Sweeter then are the dreams that come true.

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