The Joy of Learning
An assignment in the photojournalism course compelled me to make trips to the villages near our campus to get some photos. For the past three years, I never got any chance to visit these villages. These things were perceived by me as something that was a responsibility of the NSS junta and others had no say in it. We had a task to bring in pictures based on a particular theme in a village. I was initially a bit skeptical about the whole process. The most prominent question that was continuously ringing in my mind was how people would react to some alien person asking them to pose for the pictures. Again, with the very limited knowledge of telugu language, with the most prominent sentence I have said in my campus life being ‘naaku telugu raadu’ (English meaning : I don’t understand telugu :P), there was a little hope that I would convince the people and get even a couple of photos for the assignment.
The deadline for the submission was 1 week. Thanks to my laziness, the first four days went away just like that. I learnt that the other people have been going to the villages to take pictures. Finally on Thursday, I along with Saurabh decided to make a visit to a nearby village ‘kyasaram’. The village was altogether a different world. Being a person who has been born and brought up in a city, the calmness in the atmosphere there was too soothing. I started with some pictures of the farmers in their field. But then, we had to bring in pictures based mainly on a particular domain. As was already approaching dusk, there was little hope that I could explore more in the farming field. So I wondered which domain I should focus upon.
Just then, I saw a bunch of kids studying in a house. I immediately decided that it is them that I should cover. I went to them. The joy of seeing a camera reflected on their faces. I took some pictures of them posing for the camera to become friendly with them and get a chance to grab their normal expressions. Time passed. They forgot my presence and started their normal studying. It was then I got a chance to capture their expressions.
While taking their pictures, one of the highlighting things that I observed was the zeal and the enthusiasm these kids showed towards their studies. They seemed to be lost in their own fantasy world amid jack and jill, johnny johnny and other nursery rhymes, in learning the basics of number system and memorizing the varnamala. The innocence on their faces coupled with desire to learn was a treat to watch. The joy of learning, gaining new knowledge, the happiness on their faces left me thinking. Thinking when was the last time I studied only for the purpose joy of learning.
Frankly, I had a hard time to remember an instant. In a world where the first thing I do (and I presume most people too) after opening a book is to see the number of pages that I have to mug up for the exam. And I think there is nothing wrong in doing that, given the fact that there are more things that we have to do. The problem may lie with the education system in general, or the rat race and the peer pressure that we have to face. This has become a part and parcel of today’s world and it will take another post to write on this issue. Some other time.
Anyways, I’ll leave you with a few pictures of these wonderful kids I met. Hope you like them. 🙂