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There Is Beauty in Not Knowing

I happened to go to a college fest a few days ago where I was judging the photography contest. After the show I asked the group of 20 college students if anyone wanted to be a photographer. I saw blank faces with only one hand raised, although I had just seen a competition with some relatively good talent.

Helter Skelter: Anwesha Mandal
Paint a pretty picture and make it your own. Photograph by Anwesha Mandal.

Flashback into a few years ago and I wondered if I ever in my wildest dreams imagined myself as a photographer in my B.M.M. photography class and the answer was a complete, blank no. College life is a world full of possibilities. It’s the time to experiment, experience, and charge out with different ideas and things that we all want to do and try out. It’s the best time to explore your own capabilities. I remember writing, I remember dancing, I remember whiling away hours in my film club and the others on my volleyball court, and, of course, shooting. There was a whole lot to do and so little time. The world was our playground and we rejoiced in that very fact.

No one knew exactly what they would turn out to be. They might have had the faintest of ideas or those rare few who did were lucky. Of course, most had some direction they were veering towards but to think they all turned out the way they thought they would is hardly true. Some I think have outdone themselves and several others have walked other paths.

We rarely ever know what life is going to throw our way. You never know where you may hit a roadblock or where you would see a glimmering hope of opportunity. The possibilities are endless. The choices are endless. The idea is to be fluid and make the most of everything coming by your way.

It is absolutely normal if you don’t know what you want to do when you are 17 and so is it when you are 30. The least you can do is do the things you love, do a job which you are good at, and do it all with grace. Life is but an empty canvas; paint a pretty picture and make it your own.

Anwesha Mandal is a freelance photographer based in Mumbai. When she is not making pictures, she writes, paints, and dreams about food. Always eager to meet new people and have new experiences, her life would be incomplete without music and movies. Free-spirited, happy-go-lucky, and fun-loving is how most people would aptly describe her.

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