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What is it in these old photographs
When I chance upon them I can’t stop looking
Is it the luminosity of youth alone
A full crop of hair a soft featured face
That still retains the traces of parental gifts
Eyes brimming with eagerness to see deep and far
Un-ironed clothes from those times
When life itself was in wrinkles

In this picture I represent my real self
Dream-like, wearing my heart on my face
With friends who share the same casualness
A light cloud that comes floating from somewhere
And rests a while
No hardness no cleverness
No greed in the eyes
The picture is of a morning at a street corner teashop
The world around it also transparent and simple
Like the teacup, the street, the morning
There are several such pictures that I occasionally show
To people who come visiting

What is this I now avoid being photographed
I say leave it
I don’t photograph well
I get uneasy as if
There is a mirror before me
Is it fear that I won’t look as I did
Will my face reveal the harshness of the world
The cleverness and greed one sees everywhere these days
To resist this I sometimes try
To use old photographs as only armour