Lomo Diary: Journeys that Lead Us to Ourselves

Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.
– Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

One of the timeless classics that belongs to my list of Books that I Have Been Planning To Read For Ages is Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. To explain why I have not read it, I will have to go a little back. All the way back to my college days in fact. For as long as I can remember, I have read about Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller. You can say it has been haunting me for a while now. It still sits on my book shelf, not forgotten but pushed to the back of my reading list.  The entire novel known for its narrative felicity in second person leaves me a bit cold. I always believe that books choose me. I think this book hasn’t chosen me yet.

And now, I can feel the pull of Invisible Cities. (It helps that I am submerged in another Calvino book Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings.) Of late, I seem to find it everywhere either as a quote or a memoir or an article. It’s as if the book is calling out to me subtly. But I am a bit shy now. I think I will wait to be chosen by it overtly. The reason I started talking about it is that with a camera in hand, I can truly understand what Calvino was trying to say when he wrote Invisible Cities.  It’s as if there are layers to a city that peels away as the photographs develop. What is a city but a reflection of my own state of mind? When I saw these photographs, I was astounded by how much it revealed not just about the city but about myself.  I am the traveller that is discovering the city and myself simultaneously. The following photographs are of the cities both near and far.

On this thoughtful and pensive note, have a fantastic new year 2012!

About the photographs: Taken with the Diana Mini using Fujifilm Sensia 400 in bright sunlight. Head over to Lomography India for a holistic idea about photography and more.

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4 thoughts on “Lomo Diary: Journeys that Lead Us to Ourselves

  1. Ah yes, I’ve read this one, thanks for reminding me of that quote. Yes, books choose us, we have to wait 🙂 There are unread books in my collection I suddenly pick up one fine day and cannot put down. But that moment has to arrive, it cannot be forced. Sometimes you just have to do some more living.

    And yes, travel is unsettling for a lot of people precisely because there are too many mirrors you encounter.

    Wishing you a great year too!

    1. Hey Asha: That is so true! The moment has to arrive. So many books on my shelf that I am waiting for too. I love this line of yours “travel is unsettling for a lot of people precisely because there are too many mirrors you encounter.” It’s so insightful! Thanks so much! And wish you a fantastic book-filled quotable insightful 2012!

  2. Strange —that’s exactly how i feel about if on a winter’s night.Its sitting on my shelf and hasnt chosen me yet.im waiting.Thank you for that insight Moushami.I loved your blog .
    mridula

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