I Want Happiness !

Floor Patterns Temple

A man to God: “I want Happiness”

God: First remove “I” thats Ego, Next remove “want” thats Desire/Greed – Then you are left with only Happiness !

A friend of mine sent me this text message forward on friday evening when I was on my way out of town with my family. The words kept on haunting my thoughts because something in those lines kept bothering me from quite a while.

Dog on a boulder

Three words replaced the above phrase and that’s what made me come up with these small set of words … “Ego – Greed – Encourage”

I am no veteran in field of photography and neither I am a beginner who would shy away from saying something bad to world about photography/photographers. I have lived for a short period in west and did get a chance to be exposed to art and photography and specially photographers as such over there.

Its been more than half a decade since I took the plunge from just snap-shooting to click thing which my mind likes and which I love to shoot. And over a period of this time either through blogs or random talks over phone or over mails, I have interacted with many people and shared and discussed so many things related to anything and everything in photography which I knew – because I believe that to grow further all that you need to first learn is share what ever you know and eventually face questions which would mean that you go back and do further homework and improve upon your knowledge.

Rocks and Boulders AbstractRocks and Boulders Abstract

Having said that if you are wondering how does this relate to the first part of the post over here. It all started as a market research and observation (in my own behavior too) over a period of few months.

a. Why do people shy away from commenting on others work ?

People spend quite some time on internet or in any other form to view work of so many photographers or it may be even their blogs or anything. But many if not for all spend even a fraction of the time spent in commenting about their work. Eventually they have time in all busy schedule to comment about the photographers work in oral vocabulary but when it comes to writing or expressing what they saw back to the photographer – no one goes to extent of expressing what they felt when they read / saw something in a forum/website. Every photographers be it beginner – novice or a profession has a target audience or client to showcase his/her work – but they do it with the expectation of showcasing their talent as well as get a feedback on how the viewer percieves the work. Not everyone might be interested in “you should have used a cooler white balance” or “a narrow depth of field would have worked better” or even a simple “WOW” or “Best of the species I have seen so far !” – express yourself and convey what you felt when you saw the image, that can make a lot of difference in the way photographer or his vision evolves.

b. Why do people refrain from publicizing others work ?

We have time to send flashy forward in mails, we share funny videos on facebook, we reshare some funny oneliners/quotes over at twitter but why don’t we share and spread the work of fellow writers, artists, photographers or budding actors or theatre persons ? What do we loose from doing so ? Why dont we spend a tip of the whole time we spend on internet reading and learning something about something new to share to the world and let others too learn ? I need not be a teacher or a podcaster to convey all that I can and have read but a simple retweet or share on the social networking media can communicate lot of things which we liked and want others to like.

Rocks and Boulders Abstract

Is it the EGO or the GREED within us which is preventing from doing so ? If so why do we get such things ? We are out there to see something new and capture it in the frame and show the world – why is that am jealous that only I should be doing it and no one else ? Why don’t we go to extent of criticizing or commenting directly on someone’s work (in a positive way) conveying that he/she has done a good work or probably going in this particular path may help or may be share some useful tips about what one knows to help the other person. Do we loose our identity by doing so ? Are we fearing that me helping another person will result in that person overtaking you as a better performer in that field ? Or me criticizing someone’s work will downplay the mindset of the artist and this inturn will help me outperform them ? Are we really scared of competitions ? Then why do we do things which gives us a bad name ? I have seen many people keep criticizing ourself as “Third world country people” – but why are we like this, because we have shaped ourself to evolve and make sure that our future also evolve like this. One thing we have to realise is what we do now sets a benchmark and example for future. What we do now will get reflected in future and lets not end up doing things which will spoil our art and artists. We always point fingers at west telling they are like this and they are like that … but have we ever wondered how are we projecting to the world ?

Dog on a boulder

Every other artists may it be a photographer or a singer or a person from any field in west refers to and publicises his fellow artists work and also goes to extent of doing a collaborative work in form of gigs or forums to spread what they have to, to the world. But what are we doing here? We ensure that we get all name and fame by doing all things alone and downplaying other’s talent by not doing a & b mentioned above ?

Temple Bells

All that and many thing said above are words which I kept on thinking and pondering over a long time but refrained myself from writing anything. But the text message re-triggered all the thoughts and made me come up with a rather long post to try to convey what is on in my mind.

Lets all remove the I (ego), Want (greed) and lets go towards getting Happiness (encouraging others work).

Smile Stressbuster

Who so ever is reading this please do share your thoughts on what you faced or what you want to convey as a comment so that it forms a guidance/reference for others reading this on what could be done.


On other side of things, I forced myself not to carry any of my SLR or DSLR to the family outing and tried to see the world without a fancy multi $$ gadget in front of my eyes. Above images what you get to see are something which caught my attention and made me capture those in my hanky-spanky mobile phone. This is something which I got inspired to do by reading Chase’s blog post and also Gavin Gough’s experiment with filmsy camera in Bankok streets.

Thanks for all your time

Shivakumar L Narayan


  1. That text message makes me think a thousand thoughts.. the line from God is so simple and could be easily deciphered but then it takes a lifetime to put that into practise.

    Very nice one Shiv and as always Ur photography is outstanding – the way you pay attention and the passion you have.

  2. Hi Shiv,

    I would like to say that whatever you said here is so true that as a person it really affected my thoughts to amend myself into a good person.
    Thanks for the blog.

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