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Aug 28, 2011


“What is scarier – vampires you can see in movies or the kind you are transformed to by your evil within?”

Dear Riddhie,

This one might surprise you a bit as it more or less springs out of no where. There was this picture of you from Point Pleasant beach where your lateral incisors are showing a bit and last night while watching some old vampire movie I thought of doing a picture of you out of fun mainly with a view to test if I still had some photoshop skills left in me.

Your mom was not too appreciative of the endeavor but I guess it overall turned out to be one good piece (well, looking strictly from the art perspective of it). I posted the picture online on FaceBook with the title ‘Taking PhotoShop to the Extreme’ and my friends and people showed mixed reaction to it. 

I am sure by now you would know me as much, to adjudge that I don’t give a penny to what people’s reactions are to things and ideas that I believe in. I read this quote long ago when I was in school and it somehow stuck forever. Maybe I did mention it to you in some previous letter as well. It says ‘If you are standing upright, don’t worry if your shadow looks crooked”. Well, I guess I live by this rule, have always done so and if I am not gone as yet, I shall perhaps continue doing so. The take for you here is that you need to back yourself up specially when the wind is in your face.

Anyway, this also sprang up another notion in my head. Few people in the family wanted me to delete the picture, there were others who said that it wasn’t right to do that to your kid’s picture and someone even commented that it is not right for ‘religious’ reasons. (Yeah, well the last comment ensured one thing that I wouldn’t delete it now). However, looking at positive side of things, it also means that people perhaps love you more than they love my PhotoShop skills. :) Another inference drawn is that shocking images still get people to pay attention and that the opinions are still majorly drawn from clichéd and banal value systems (Little babies are meant to look cute and not menacing). 

Ah, well, just to conclude this little post and round up my thoughts here. There are few things that came up from this episode and which I believe I should share with you. First, I love you as much even if you tend to be this little monster and throw up a few tantrums at times and Second it is more important to have a conviction and do your own thing despite people telling you what you ‘should be’ doing. I guess over the next couple of years I shall juggle between the person encouraging you to find your own ground and your own sky and being this worried old man wanting you to conform and fall in line on certain things. I guess in the larger scheme of things both these roles are equally important and probably you shall realize this over the course of your life.

For now, I guess I shall just let you be, as you again crawl under the table and hold my knees to get up. Let me also tell you that here in Jersey, this is the night when Irene – the hurricane visits us in a few hours from now, having already wrecked coasts along Virginia but more on that in a separate post.  

Here is the picture that started it all and the second one in yellow tinge which I did not post earlier as I thought it wasn’t good enough along with the original picture that was ‘touched up’.


  Riddhie Riddhie Riddhie

3 comments on "Fangs…"

How do we know on 12:45:00 AM said...

images are powerful.. they have a personality of their own. They evoke emotions in us. When a picture evokes positive emotions, we like it. when it evokes negative emotions, we like it only if we are looking for that emotion at that time.

These emotional responses to a picture is a function of multiple things - our preconditioning, i suspect, is a BIG contributor. Another is , our previous associations with what we interpret is the subject of the image.. and so on.

Usually, we associate a child's image with positive emotions of innocence, beauty, purity. We associate a vampire's image with negativity, death, and abnormality.

When you put these 2 together, it usually creates a very strong dissonance in the receiver's mind, because s/he is experiencing exactly opposite emotions at the same time.

Now, if they identify more with the negative image, they will be more uncomfortable with the positive image.. they are likely to come up with "humurous" comments like "the veil - removed." or some such, indicating that they identify more with the negative image than with the positive image.

Otherwise, if they identify more with the positive image, they are likely to be very disturbed by the negative image - because of the emotional response that this picture generates in them. that response is negative, and they love this child too much to have ANY negative emotional response to her. What's more, they can never IMAGINE her as having any negative quality, much less what the picture is asking them (subconsciously), to believe.

Thats why, the dissonance is really high, and the reactions are sharp. They cannot stand seeing this child in a negative light, and they cannot stand anyone attempting to project this child in a negative light.

Phew! End of psychology class, but i have really tried to explain this as best as i could..in the process, also understanding why my own reaction to the picture was so.. not encouraging :-)

And now, at the risk of being struck out of your friend list, i have to admit -i HATED what you did there.. use it to maker her an angel , give her a halo.. give her an even more cherubic smile, if thats possible.. :-) ok u can strike me out now.. sorry.

Himanshu Tandon on 4:49:00 AM said...

Ah well, I don't give up my friends that easy. Appreciate your honest opinion and yes thanks for the analysis there...and No, I am not striking you out just like that. :)

Best wishes,

Esha - People for the Blind on 1:32:00 PM said...

Phew! BIG sigh of relief!

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