The Eye of the Beholder

  •   2017-11-15  | talks with a few up and coming photographers who tell us about their passion and what makes them tick

There’s a quote by Mark Twain “ Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” 

Whether it’s traveling or experiencing something new and raw, we feel as if we can actually grasp an insight into the mystery of life. Meeting new people, placing yourself on the epicenter of an event or finding yourself on a dangerous location. It shakes some sense into one’s conscience, sometimes giving them a bystander’s view on one’s living or realizing the gravity of where he’s placed in life; what he can do other than breathe. And then, there are some people who make it their deal to capture these moments. 

Abani Malla 

While we travel, I feel like we're constantly capturing the moments; some, safe within our minds and the others stored in our SD cards. On the verge of capturing moments, sometimes though, I feel as if I might miss out the actual picture. 

This particular one, I took it back when I didn't own a camera and everything I had was captured by my outdated iPhone 4. It was cold up there and my parents were calling me to tell that the wheels are about to accelerate. At that moment, I vividly remember myself, trying to make sure I take this shot. I didn't care if my family left me or I fell off the hill. I felt so free and calm then, even the cold up there wasn't bothering me anymore. Something told me that this is just one of those kinds of beauty I would want to cherish within myself.If I’d never captured this moment, it might have escaped memory and I’d never have been able to recall such saturated details. But now that I take a look at it, it rewinds back all those seconds that has elapsed from that moment and leaves me reminiscing the smell of freedom all over again.

Abani is a freelance graphics designer, blogger, digital artist, and a random doodler. She’s currently enrolled for the first year of BIT in Multimedia Technologies at Islington college. You can view her work on Instagram @abanym 

Maharshi Raj Bhandari

I met this old couple basking in the sun on the outskirts of Lalitpur Valley. The exact name of the place was Tika Bhairab Tole, Lele. He was a soft-spoken man with a sad story to tell. I could still see the pain in their eyes, but also could see the new hope life had given them. This old man bestowed his trust upon me and told me his share on his philosophy on life.

“My name is Jhamka Bahadur Khadkha, I am 86 years old. I was born in this village and I have lived my entire life as a farmer. What story can I tell you of? I have had my share of happiness and sadness. Life is all about these ups and downs.

One of the biggest downs of life is losing my eldest son. He was just eight years old. Me and my wife had gone to the fields to work. When we came back, he was lying lifeless on the ground. Our rooftop did not have any walls surrounding it. He must have climbed up the roof and jumped. My wife did not eat for a week after our son died.”

“But as I said earlier, life is all about the ups and downs, we had another child a few years later. She is in America now. Calls us every week. She says she is willing to get married. Come again in a month, I will give you the invitation too!” -Jhamka Bahadur Khadka, Bhagbati Tole, Tika Bhairab, Champi

Maharshi Raj Bhandari recently graduated from GEMS. As a freelancer, he loves traveling and capturing photo stories. You can see some of his works on his photographic storytelling page @philosophers_lens

Prashanna Bajracharya

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” I abide by it.

The Rato Machhindranath Jatra is the chariot procession honoring Rato Machhindranath, who is also known as Bunga Dyah; a Buddhist Diety of compassion and the God of Rain. I grew up in a Newari family, inhaling the culture, the processions, the familiarity of being a Newar. It sparks in me a feeling of belonging, the spur of the moment that binds people together; based on ethnicity but centering on the presence of the moment. 

I took this picture in the middle of the road of Jawalakhel. As I waited with my tripod stand, I could feel the passerby’s eyes on me which made me feel at discomfort but rooted me closer to the ground than I felt before. A boy with a camera, a tripod stand and a will to capture the moment before him. Stored into his memory and imprinted on a paper. This is what I truly live for; moments.

Prashanna Bajracharya’s works are mostly based on portrait photography. You can find him at most of the happening places of KTM or driven far away from the crowd, capturing heritages. You can view his works on @prashanna_07

Pratik Jung Rayamaji

During this Dashain-Tihar holidays, my friends and I wanted to do something more than just hang around restaurants in Thamel so we decided to go on a trek. We made a decision to trek towards Tilicho and the plan was fixed. Reaching the pace itself a series of plans, phone calls, reservations, bodily aches and finally the pure satisfaction of reaching what the destination that we’d struggled all the way to reach at. 

Tilicho quenched everything that we’d hoped for; the image that we’d conjured up in our minds, and more. When trekkers, who’ve been to Tilicho before claim that the the beauty of the lake makes you forget all the hardships you had to endure to get there, they aren’t lying. The lake was right below the mountains and it felt like I could touch the mountains if I just simply stretched my arms a little. There was a small teashop near the lake. Indulging in a steaming cup of milk tea while taking in the view made me realize the essence of small pleasures in life and appreciate the value of hard work you have to put in to reach your goal. This, by far has been one of the best trips in my life and I’d change nothing if I were set up to transpire it again. 

Pratik is the in house photographer at The Republica and has been working there for three consecutive years now. The unedited version of the above article can be found in his travel story on The Week, Republica. 


Reya Shreya Rai is an avid writer and a freelancer. She's currently studying Journalism in India. 

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