MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE is a veritable cove of architectural splendors. Getting into that temple to click some shots had always been a great thrill. I would have gone there a few times and many shots that I liked better are not with me now. I have lost them in the course of this long time. I present a few that are still in my personal album.
But more than the photos I took, one photo which I missed to take is still in my mind – in colour with its beautiful composition. It was the very first time that I visited the temple with my newly bought SLR camera, Mamiya Sekor. I did not know the rules and regulations for getting a camera into the temple. So I just stopped at the main entrance and covered only the front yard. On both sides there would be shops for puja materials. Tall columns with grand statues on both sides. It was a morning and the entrance faces east. So there was beautiful lighting. On my left at the base of one such column was sitting an young north Indian girl in bright red dress. It looked so good to me. The front of the column getting the diffused reflected light, dark background and a girl in the lighted area – it all looked so good. I wanted to maintain some etiquettes and so asked the girl’s permission to take a photo. When I finished asking her permission, the girl with all smiles, got up and moved a few feet away and sat again in another spot away from the column. Then I understood that my half-sign and half-English made all the difference; she understood, it seemed, that I was asking her to move away so that I could take the picture of the column!
Looking back it appears that all through these times the photos which I had never taken were quite better than what I took!