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Wish my butterfly would live forever

The more I started to feel losing control of my outer world, the more I started to hold inside me the person whom I love the most. I started taking picture of her – my daughter. During the Corona pandemic and lockdown thereof, I got perfect opportunity to spend lot more time with her, who has just stepped into teenage life. I got a chance to observe and understand her even more deeply. Initially the purpose of my image making was just to nourish my curiosity and seeing her adapting (or not) the new lifestyle away from school in the tough hours of social distancing. As I started to spend more time with her and being around her every moment, I started to explore her visions, so sublime and pre-eminent. “I would be a protector of the nature to safeguard forests, seas and sky. I would have my own place way far from these concrete jungle, under the blue and starry sky; butterflies will be my friends and flowers my finery” – she said. My initial thought of images took a new direction from here onwards. The new path I chose was an attempt to represent the girl and her thoughts visually; the images went back and forth between the person and her vision and the story made its trail somewhere in between accordingly.

Covid-19 lockdown has significantly improved the global air quality. Although this improvement in air quality is likely to be temporary, it gives an overall idea about how the air quality could be like in the future if fuel gas emission regulations become more stringent. The improvement of global health and seeking for a better earth is an emergency now and it is not possible for one or two to make any change which is so badly needed in the present global health situation. And from a different stand point, we are facing the ultimate question – what are we leaving for our future generation? Who is responsible for all these chaos and who is going to heal it? Eventually “Wish my butterfly would live forever” develops to be more like a fantasy of the girl that questions all our concern and desire to act for healing of mother Earth. Conceivably the story is an attempt to picture the girl lost in her imagined world. Images are fusion of organic and staging moments, along with lines written by her, taken only at my home in Kolkata during pandemic lockdown.

I believe apart from the perspective of a mother daughter relationship this story has the potential to give us a realization that we can certainly heal our world if we earnestly want to, and for that, we have to have a dream to achieve or to protect our own planet, just like maintaining safety of our homes during the pandemic. I hope this journey has helped me to grow as a person and has allowed me to explore different ideas to implement my feelings.

As another day just passed by and the sun touching the horizon, saying a warmth good bye for another bright morning. The wounded butterfly Suhani caught yesterday and treated it with all her care and tenderness, just flew away. She said, “Ma, wish my butterfly would live forever”.