THIS IS THE CLOSEST WE WILL GET.
My minute discoveries about my grandpa’s life became a way of exploring my relationship with my father. There is a polarity linked with my father’s behaviour that often makes me feel that we are very distant even though we share the domestic space and family history. It has often made me think that maybe the only true heirloom is memories and intergenerational traumas. The form of communication has been replaced by daily 'Good Morning' cards on whatsapp. As his age is progressing, I see him talking less and expressing more on social media, often about the dissatisfaction and corruption in the government. Daily status update has taken an important role in his life, often leading to a temporary ban for using too much freedom of speech on facebook against the state. There are a lot of stories of the Indian freedom struggle but our time often makes me think if we ever achieved freedom. There is a constant silencing of voices, ideas, institutionalized oppression and rampant nationalism, it often makes me think of the battles fought to free us all. I think if my grandfather was alive, he would question if we ever attained freedom in its actuality. We live in a contrasting time and social media does take up space within our surroundings, it alters our relationships too.
Photographing my domestic space and reflecting on archives became a way of feeling my grandfathers presence around me and to reflect on my own relationship with my father. It also became a way of navigating my own presence and identity. The mystery lingers on, the assumptions of his voice are baffling. He could be a million things that I think he was or a million things that he wasn't. He lives on and is preserved between what is known and the in-between moments of conflicts and negotiations with my father in our private space.