Fringe Cringe was one of my college's projects, In this, I had to tell a story through pictures and had to record or put another person's life in words. All pictures were shot on my camera Canon EOS 700D and also edited by me on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
As the country gets urbanized day in and day out, the countryside-the another part of India which is immune to the growing urban decay is often shaved off our memory. The man exemplified in the group of photos wanted to study. But he lost his father on his 18th birthday, 3 days before the matriculation examination. Being the only male member of a family, the onus of the family fell on his shoulders. From then on education became a cherished yet expensive dream. He married off two of his sisters by cultivating the meager plot of land his father had bought with his hard earned money. Shyam today stands at 45, recalcitrant as ever and extremely opinionated as always. He likes a good fight. "I have fought a lot with and against life. And it has not been a bad experience after all", he says with a thin smile on his face. His rugged features and lackluster skin act as eyewitnesses to his difficult life. He has two daughters, one studies B.Sc while the other is completing her masters. "I am a proud father", he says as his wife brings samosas and tea for us. He doesn't believe in retirement. "I was never born to sit on the back seat. I want to be in the driver's seat all my life." As we talk about his personal life, he takes us back to the days when he met his wife. "She was a simple girl in the village. At that moment she was studying in Class 12. And I was working as a farmer. We started seeing each other in the evenings near the grand banyan tree of the village." The two families soon met and they tied the knot on one humid day in the sweltering month of May in 1987. Shyam wanted his wife to carry on her education. But her wife Sarita was in no mood to attend college. She wanted to take care of the family. "Her ambition was not to become a successful nurse or official, but to become a successful housewife", Shyam adds on a despairing note. Both of his daughters were good students in school. But according to Shyam, the younger one has always been more talented. He also says that he wants to see in his daughters the realization of those dreams he could not conquer. As he gets to work after having his afternoon meal, he looks tired but doesn't fall short of determination. He is devout but has no faith in blind faith. I believe in the Almighty, but not in the unreasonable traditions created in his name. He worships his soil. "The land is everything to me.", he says. The otherwise reticent wife speaks up at times to tell her husband the things she needs to make the ends meet. The light had begun to fade and the chirping birds were slowly returning to their nests. "It’s time for some rest", Shyam says as he bids us goodbye with folded hands.