News of Appu Ghar closing down was flashing on TV when the chatty family was having a post dinner banter session. I vaguely remember going there with my parents when I was about 3. My parents went mad clicking pictures of their first born (me). There’s pictures of me on all the rides there. In fact, there are even pictures of me sitting on the upper berth and smiling at the camera. We have an entire cupboard filled with my baby pictures. (This sometimes irritates my sister who doesn’t have as many baby shots :)). It was time to bring the albums out and scan the pictures. I love looking at old pictures. I remember the Yashica camera my dad brought back from Japan. It was a slick camera to own then. At the first possible excuse my parents would load the camera and click away to glory! I still don’t know if it was their love for photography or just an excuse to click crazy pictures of the family. My dad used to let me take one off pictures under strict supervision! I once wanted to take a picture of a fly sitting on an especially fat sasthrigal’s back at a function. Predictably, the fly flew away before I could click and when the pictures were developed, my mom couldn’t figure out why we had a picture of an exceptionally fat hairy back!!

We have a tradition in the family. We go to a photo studio all dressed up and click a picture each year on our parents’ wedding anniversary. I have to admit, I thought it was a little corny as I got older, but when you compare the shots from the last 24 years, there’s the newly wed’s coy smile to the familiar happy smile of the couple to a kid standing between the two on a stool and holding their hands to posing with 2 kids instead of one to proud smile of parents with 2 teenage daughters standing on either side. There’s a story associated with most of these pictures!

I took about 1000 odd pictures when I went to Europe last year. But they’re all on my laptop, neatly arranged in albums by Picasa. Somehow, that doesn’t even come close to the joy of holding a photo album. Its almost as though feeling the photo takes you closer to the moment you frozen in the frame. I know its possible to get these photos printed. But they will never feel as special as my Yashica pictures did 🙂