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The story is about 35 year old dev, who has travelled the world but finds his happy ending when he finally comes home.
‘What a beautiful piece of art!! , nature is indeed the most beautiful portrait. It is so overwhelming to come back to the place from where you started’ and the photographer in him could not stop himself from stopping the car and getting a picture clicked. Ten years he had been in this profession, yet not a single picture of the place where he lived. It seemed as if he was seeing those places for the first time, because the memories of home seemed so distant and faded. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he had abandoned his family almost five years back. The last memory that he has of home is shouting, screaming, crying and a 30 year old who left home without any goodbyes and hugs, but only a promise and intention of never coming back until now.
He got into the car and told the driver not to stop now, until they have finally reached, otherwise his small series of photo sessions would take a complete day. Dev had been a photographer for national geographic for the past ten years, and his work includes countless assignments to countless destinations, where he spends months to get a single shot.
He has travelled through busy streets, quiet valleys, historic places and a few war zone areas, every time finding a perfect picture to tell a story, an experience, and a human struggle.
He opens his album, a priced possession, which has pictures from his travels. The first picture that he ever clicked was there, of a tea vendor from the streets of Kabul. His name was Anwar and Dev had been talking to him for a few days, to know his story so that Anwar’s emotions could be brought out in the picture. Anwar was a child of war, born during the civil war and terrorist attacks, and his childhood memories were all about air strikes, guns and the death of his father. He was the happiest tea vendor, who had never imagined that even he had a chance of having a normal life. A life without a constant fear of death was a blessing from Allah. Dev had clicked many pictures from his travel to Kabul and yet the smiling face of Anwar was the one to make him smile too. Dev flipped through the pages of his album and saw the picture he clicked in Cuba, just a few years back, of a dj artist aged 19, who wished to make big in this business and so enthusiastic about facing all the challenges. Dev remembered the kid as the one who wanted to embrace the world. Right below the Cuban kid, there was a picture of three siblings clicked in Jordan, war refugee, taken away from their families.
The eldest was not more than twelve years of age and had the entire responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings. They were more than happy to talk to him and take him through their daily schedule, which involved looking for their parents every day. As he kept looking, he found a picture of a Japanese festival that he clicked in Ashizawa, Oga with people dressed as ogres. He remembered spending the entire night with them and knowing more about their culture. Then there was this sad face in the album that caught his attention, and it was of Amanda, from the LGBT community. He clicked this picture after the Orlando Night Club shooting, where the sadness in her face depicted their struggle just to find a rightful place in the society. As the album was coming was to end, there was the picture most dear to him of a Syrian boy who fled with his family to Ramadi.
He had lost his both hands and his mother in an air strike. Dev remembered how the 10 year old boy could only talk about how he missed sleeping on his mother’s lap.
The picture had managed to make him cry every time, which accompanied with the feeling of helplessness that he had felt at that very moment. That was the end of long work assignments, when he finally made up his mind to pack up his bags and go to a final assignment of the year, to visit home. He had been so uneasy and restless all this time, because the hope of finding peace in his travels and stories that he clicked was futile, when his own story was incomplete. Here, he was reaching the front gate of his home, that he left five years back, the backyard, the swing, the same sweet smell of home. It had taken only one call to his parents, to forgive him and catch a flight for home. He believed that knowing the world, numerous stories would complete him, but it was the feeling of being home that completed him. The tea vendor in Kabul taught him how it was great to just have an ordinary life; the siblings in Jordan taught him that what it is not to have the protection of your parents while growing up.
The kid in Cuba reminded Dev of his own youth, so young and so naïve, all ready to conquer the world.
Amanda made him realize where he did not had fight for his existence, and the Syrian boy just reminded him what it is to sleep on your mother’s lap, and hope everything would be alright. As Dev got down and opened the gate, he saw his family coming out, with tears in their eyes to have finally met him. He embraced his parents and cried aloud; releasing every emotion he had been keeping in his mind. They talked the entire day, and finally before going to bed, Dev clicked atlas the family picture, the picture that was priceless and that completed him.