We had reached Gangtok sometime in the afternoon and taken charge of our hotel room. Our room was facing the valley. It was getting dark and about to rain. The valley was filled with fog. There was nothing much to see outside the window except for the two pigeons playing with each other. One of them was a graceful white dove, which I named Masakali (after the name of the white dove from the movie Delhi 6), and the other one was a normal grey colored young handsome male pigeon.
While looking at them play, a theme emerged in my mind and I clicked a series of photos to represent that theme. I named the series “Love is in the air”.
I published this series on Flickr. Now Flickr has a peculiarity. It displays photographs in last-in first-out order. That is, it shows last uploaded photo first. I knew it and therefore I clearly added the words part 1, part 2 thru part 4 in the respective titles of the photos. This series was loved by many and all of them saw it in the intended sequence, that is part 1 thru part 4, even though the physical sequence was exactly opposite.
A week later I received a mail from my close friend appreciating this series of photos. But the lines that followed threw me totally off-balance. It said, “…amazing love story of Masakkali……….. I am sure you did not even realize…. First a pair of pigeons (white is Masakali and black is her lover)….then they are looking in the opposite direction…..and then they are separated…and then the male lover flies away and Masakkali, the white dove, is left alone to fend for herself”. Obviously my friend had seen the sequence as thrown up by flickr without bothering to read the titles.
I was simply taken aback. I immediately wrote to my friend that the photos should be seen in the order specified in the title. And soon I received a response, “oh that means it is happy ending story of Masakali. I never thought of seeing the other way round. Anyway, it’s a great story.”
Hmmm!! I realized then, it always made a story in whichever direction the photo sequence was seen. Seen one way it made a story with happy ending, and exactly opposite when seen the other way.
But these stories and their endings are results of perceptions of yours and mine – the human perceptions. What happened there truly?
Well. This is what happened.
There were two single pigeons….playing happily. They had an urge to pair-up…….so they did. And they were happy. Then they did not want to be together…..so they separated. And they were happy!!! Both the pigeons lived every moment of their life to the fullest. Their present was not shadowed by the past or the future. They were in state of happiness all along, enjoying every moment of life.
To me, that is the mantra of happiness – the masakali mantra.