Home, photo essay by Priyanka Mehra
Where’s home for you?
Often when strangers at any gatherings ask me about the place I belong, I feel pulled back at the fast reaching reality of my present fallbacks. Home is where my family is. But I can’t tell anymore where it would be. The obvious call of future was finally approaching. The tides that looked distant had now touched my feet, it didn’t just sway, it burned the grounds of my skin. It is time for me to leave a certain memory. My home, will no longer be mine.
As I wonder back at the years gone by, I think of ways to remember as much as I can. How can a memory last forever?
I was eleven when I was told the truth of the walls I lived in. ‘It’s not one house dear’. It was never ours to begin with. This truth made me question if the memories I built would even belong to me? The bricks around me, even its physical form had created a space to which I related. I’d look around my room with a strange sense of ownership. My bed, my curtains, my ‘things’. Just mine and this is where my soul stays.
Fifteen years later, a bit older yet not wiser, my adolescent self asked me again, ‘Do your memories still belong to you?’ Leaving feels like breaking apart from a kind of self that only exists in that space. When these walls die, so will that adolescent kid in me. The demolition of a self that can only be seen in the mirrors of this house. And this home only.
Before we leave, I’ll take a moment to forgive, forget and love myself again in relation to this space. Before we leave, I will create afresh, asking: How can a memory stay forever?
I couldn’t have loved this home any better than what I do now. Finally, I own these memories. The only ones I own to repay all the years of pain.
Where’s home for you?
(by Priyanka Mehra)
Q&A with Priyanka Mehra
I dwell on memories. For me, photography is about creating memories and archiving it in any possible manner. Photography is a beautiful practice wherein one can channel their energies and feelings.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
As far as I can recall, the very first images that I researched were of Annie Leibovitz and Ami Vitale. The portraits of Annie Leibovitz brought a feeling inside of me that I cannot describe, and I wondered, if this is possible. Such beautiful photographs.
As I started researching on photographers, I came upon Ami Vitale’s website and was awestruck. Such magnificent photographs. I loved how she’s a story-teller through photographs. Furthermore, I researched on various other photographers and love the works of Platon, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier Bresson and various others that I draw inspiration from, but I’d really love to meet Ami Vitale and Peter Lindberg someday. That would be a dream come true.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
Shoot as much as possible, have a mentor, network and be among people who bring out the best in you. Having a healthy competition and bringing out the best in people is essential. It takes a lot of effort and perseverance, but if you’re passionate enough and stick with it, there’s nothing that can stop you.