The first camera I remember owning was one of those “photography for dummies” models from Kodak. Focus was non-existent; you aim, click and then turn the wheel to move the film for your next shot. Each photo was measured and calculated; arranging all the parties for a group photo could take days at length (that’s why class photo days were so much fun).
Then came digital cameras, the first one I remember was my dad’s Sony Mavica. It was a big as Bofors gun and could double up as a weapon as well. It would cover my entire torso when hung from my neck. It was a floppy based; which meant you still didn’t have great freedom in terms of number of snaps that could be clicked. It also meant that, since hard disk sizes were not great in those days and floppies being based on a Mission Impossible-esque technology (will self destruct in 3 uses), you still had to choose your clicks carefully.
The real revolution came when the cameras had their own memory chips in them. It meant that you could just go shooting mindlessly like some trigger happy cop. The fun was when your friend came back from some trip and you would be very unwillingly be subjected to the 244 snaps he had collected over 3 days of the how beautiful the zebra crossings at Singapore were.
It’s all fine till here. The climax to our story is when our perpetrator meets his partners in crime – the social networking site and *sexism alert* the fairer sex . The idea of capturing any non-moment and sharing it with all the people you don’t really care in the world suddenly caught the imagination of the women. There is a thumb rule here – Anytime 3 or more people get together the digicam has to be brought out and clicked at 40 snaps a minute – first I’ll lean my head on your right shoulder then on your left … ok now you lean your head on my right shoulder then on my left .. oh God my smile is not as big as Madhuri Dixit’s we need to do this again. Aaarrggghhh!!!
I think I saw the worst of this in SP. Some of the girls would just pose while their designated photographers would go bonkers on the camera clicking every twist and pose the woman had to offer. The day after parties orkut would almost crash with hoards of photos being uploaded from the suburbs of Mumbai. There would be a series of 20 snaps from one girl where the only difference in each of the snaps (or so I was told) would be the angle at which the subject’s head was tilted.
Once the snaps were uploaded on your favourite networking site, each photo would have the obligatory comments from other women in the class. “You look so nice”, “Such a sweet snap”, these snaps would later be discussed in the cafeteria – “Oh did you see her snap she looks like an orangutan’s armpit”.