A Golden Silence

The Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab, is a holy shrine of Sikhism, and is commonly known as the Golden Temple. The temple’s architecture draws on both Hindu and Muslim artistic styles, yet represents a unique co-evolution of both. Amritsar means “pool of nectar.” Origin of the word ‘amrit’, indicates it as a drink of the gods, a rare and magical substance that catalyzes euphoric states of consciousness and spiritual enlightenment. Despite its great sacred status, the Golden Temple is open to visitors. As I walked around the temple surrounded by the sacred waters, the serene environment seemed to emanate pure blessedness. With the fall of dusk as the number of devotees gradually shrank, this serenity condensed further. As I sat gazing at the illuminated shrine, the silent atmosphere filled me with tranquility. Most of the photographs here have been clicked post dusk because that is when I discovered the peace and beauty of the place in a new way. I had gone back there post dinner for a few more clicks and was immediately awe struck by the calmness prevailing. After a few photographs I too joined a couple of devotees sitting beside the lake as I gazed into the nothingness – a peace which cannot be described in words.

By Champak Sharma

...and photographs are an amazing way to express the vivid shades of the poem called life. There are people and emotions, places and traditions, history and nature, moments and memories – and amidst them I discover the myriad colours of life. Their stories touch my being and I feel an urge to spread the reflections further. And photography is my medium for storytelling. The images are attempts to capture the essence of existences and in the process explore beyond the stereotypes. And with every photograph it’s an amazing feeling within…when a smile in an image spreads onto the lips of its viewer, serenity of a landscape captures someone’s imagination, ruins of an empire fills a mind with wonder, a high flying bird makes someone feel liberated, a look on an unknown face touches a heart…the list goes on. Like many others of my age, as a child growing up during 1990s – the still camera fitted with a photographic reel was a fascination for me. As time passed the compact digital camera became a household name and we no longer needed to ‘develop the negatives’. Now we have the DSLRs. Technologies have moved ahead simplifying the device – but photographs continue to be special moments preserved in the flow of time with interesting tales behind those shots. And this platform is an endeavor to share the photographs I capture, their stories and my experiences. As I attempt to explore the world through the lens, please join me in this journey and do share your views/comments.

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