In sharp focus: The mind’s eye over the camera’s? July 6, 2012
In the latest issue of the Lonely Planet Magazine that arrived home today, Sarina Singh writes about pictures that can instantly transport you to a specific destination; recreate a specific experience at a certain place on a particular vacation.
We all have our share of such pictures. We also have the other set of images, captured by our mind’s eye and preserved for eternity. Except that we have become so dependent on photographs to remember our experiences that it’s hard to recall those frames.
Delving into my mind’s eye, I can visualize the view from the apartment my in laws lived in when they were in Macau. A view I never took photographs of. It was the 38th floor, I think. Below was a beautifully landscaped park, where every morning and evening, dozens of families came out to exercise. The park had a serpentine arrangement of pointy stones at one end, over which people walked barefoot. The Chinese believe this sort of acupressure has many benefits. I always found it terribly painful to do and would be amazed to see kids and grandparents walk over these stones together. The park also had a large children’s play area full of slides and jungle gyms and swings that were interesting to see in bird’s eye view. The curves, colors and laid gardens are still fresh in my memory. Frozen as if in a photograph!
A vacation that I have several visual memories of is the visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia back in September 2003. There is something unique about these monuments standing in the middle of a rain forest. It’s hard to not freeze these images in your mind if you’ve seen them. An enormous sculpture of the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) that is at the entrance of one of the temples comes to mind particularly. The images below would give you an idea of why the mind’s eye is sufficient. I actually dug these pictures out from my hard drive just to check if what I remembered is what we actually saw!