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The Old Photograph

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Like most computer desks, mine has a sliding tray too. On its wooden surface rests the keyboard, alongwith a fading circular stain of the base of the coffee cup that I believe I had put there sometime in last winter. The third thing which lies on that tray is an old photograph — passport sized photograph of a younger me.

Some two weeks ago, my younger bro had brought this photograph to me. He was just going through some “old stuff” while cleaning his cupboards, and out of the junk that his cupboard produced came my picture. He was chuckling when he was giving it to me, stating, “hey, it’s you!”, and I couldn’t really blame him — I did look kind of funny. (Maybe that’s why I am not posting it here too!) But if I allow myself to be honest, almost all of my old photographs make me chuckle. Perhaps, I’ll always find my younger self to be funny (even though my present self might be a lot funnier, and pathetic).

I remember sliding that photograph under my keyboard, then sliding it back out and then flipping it. Every day I used to slide the keyboard tray out, find the photograph lying there upside down, pick it up, look at it, chuckle, shake my head, and then put it down again. Sometimes I played with its position on the tray, sliding it across the wooden texture as if trying to find some suitable coordinates for it, but in the end it was always the random positioning. Like, when I would slide the tray out, the resulting jerk would slide the picture by some certain force and angle according to all respective laws of physics. Similar was the case when I would slide the tray in.

If I remember correctly, I had that photograph taken so that it could be pasted on that form which we had to fill when appearing for the FSc’s 1st year exam. That would make the me on that photograph 17 years and some months old. I was wearing a simple shalwar qameez suit when I went to the photography studio, and borrowed one of the ties, which were present there for customers just like me. When I looked at the photograph for the first time, I marvelled how that tie flawlessly matched my qameez. Looking at the photograph after so many years, I marvelled again. And, of course, I chuckled too.

One thing that I can’t understand, and probably will never understand, is the younger me’s obsession over large glasses. Don’t get me wrong, this picture that I am talking about, I have a decent pair of glasses in it (although they are larger too than what I wear now), but if you look at some really old pictures of me, then there’s no way you can suppress the guffaw that is bound to escape your throat. An old friend of mine once admitted to me that when he first saw me, the first thing he noticed were my large glasses. And, just like I can’t blame my younger bro for chuckling, I can’t blame that friend of mine either: that big, plastic frame is still somewhere in the junk of my cupboards. I am completely satisfied with my current frame of glasses though. I think they add quite some pseudo-intellectual depth to my facial features.

Today I was looking at that photograph when suddenly I started comparing my present self with it. I have certainly lost that innocent, almost childish look that is there in the photograph. That is not to say that I have transformed into some kharraant scoundrel, but just that I have grown up. My hair have thinned (gasp!), my complexion has tanned, but I have learnt how to smile better while posing for a passport sized photograph.

But most of all, I miss having that sparkle in my eyes. And everything that that sparkle stood for.

Nah, I need to snap out of it. I am still too young to think like that.



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Apr 18, 2007 at 4:36 pm

yes buddy boy,you still have that sparkle,check closely.
Aur tumharay ander aik boorhi rooh maujood hay,no doubt but need not worry about it=D..we all have it

pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee post that pic here,,pretty please with a pink ribbon on;)

No One

Apr 18, 2007 at 11:12 pm

What a nerd…post that picture up!!! I need to see the HUGE glasses…ahahaha…:) laters.


Apr 19, 2007 at 4:44 pm

nice :)
yea still remember ur Big Big Glasses … even we girls used to wonder “why saadat wears such big glasses”.
if u remember , when i first visited ur Blog and wanted to confirm that u r that very saadat i just gave the reference of that Big glasses.
nice to know that they r no more that Big now :)
so u finished with ur graduation? wats up these days?
Best of Luck


Apr 20, 2007 at 3:00 am

Old photographs – check!
Big glasses in youn ger days – check!
Thinning hair – Check!
Sparkle in the eye gone missing – check!
Smile better for the photographs – check!

Its uncanny chotey bhai – I used to be you once, and you are turning into me.

I offer my sympathies.

But hey – there’s some years to go before you grow a paunch, a beard, and the ability to look back at those years gone by without such melancholy rants – for now, you are right… SNAP OUT OF IT!

You are still you, an adorable little brother I have in blogistan. :)


Apr 20, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Aapi: Okay, I’ll check closely next time I’ll be standing in front of the mirror :) By the way, your “pretty please with a pink ribbon on” is looking cute indeed, but as I told you, I don’t have that picture scanned :P

No One: Maybe I can post a picture of just those glasses, huh? :P

Sage: Wow, you used the word “big” 5 times, and 4 out of 5 times, it was Big with a capital B. Now, really, my glasses weren’t that Big, were they?! And nope, I am stuck in doing masters these days.

Bhaijan: You do know how to make one’s day, huh? :) And yep, as you say it, I need to snap out of it, since if I am you, I better not rant such melancholy. By the way, any tips to avoiding that paunch? :D


Apr 26, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Oh, you always chuckle when you see the photograph? Do you? Means, you have something to cheer you up all the time. :D Say, if you can’t post the picture, post the picture of the glasses (you’ve offered to do so. Havn’t you?)… I’ve a little obsession with frames and that reminds me, we don’t always have to understand everything…like our silly little obsessions, may be!


Apr 30, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Hina: Ah well, yeah, in theory, I have something to cheer me up all the time. And about posting the picture of those glasses: don’t have a camera right now! (As Aapi very correctly says, I am a bahana factory :D ) And yes, we really don’t have to understand everything; they say that ignorance is bliss in some cases!


May 2, 2007 at 1:24 am

You don’t really think those comments qualify to be called updates, do you?


May 2, 2007 at 4:25 pm

I go bonkers when i look at my old pictures, weird glasses weird hairstyle hahah u just reminded me of my pictures of those days :D . u write well do u know that?

btw ever tried reading ur old posts?


May 2, 2007 at 4:27 pm

how does this big smile come, :) ? or :D


May 2, 2007 at 4:27 pm

hain both got converted so why didnt it happen in previous one :S


May 3, 2007 at 2:34 am

lol @ “kharrannt scoundrel” :D

nice post buddy!


May 5, 2007 at 9:34 am

Bhaijan: No, I don’t. A part of me does, though. But a real update might, just might, come up next week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed :)

Saadie: Haha, guess we all were weirdos back then! (Some, like me, still are!) And yep, I do read my old posts some time, it’s fun — I like stepping back into my old thoughts and smirking at them. And the smiley didn’t get converted first because WordPress expects whitespace around them :)

Abbas: Thanks! :)


May 5, 2007 at 4:23 pm

I would also want to go back to my younger self, I was so CUTE back then


May 8, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Hani: I don’t know if “cute” can be used to describe that picture of mine. But yes, I was quite cute when I was a toddler.

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