– by Naina Mishra
June 13, 2017:
Can a Scarred face look beautiful? Needless to say, yes! There is no parallelism between flawed and the flawless, yet our societal conditioning sows the seeds of imperfection amongst the populace. One amongst the myriads factors distorting the definition of beauty is the prevailing – “Make-up Revolution” which has inhibited a bogus satisfaction amongst the women for over many years. The caked face with layers of foundation was primarily used in cinema and wittingly embedded into the everyday lives of women. The fad for glamorous face grew so much that it started to breed an aversion towards the discolored faces. Seldom do we realize the pretense make-up does to our identity, the image you discern in the mirror is not who you are naturally. As a matter of true fact, it is the mask for which women want others to be smitten with.
Beauty is a godly force which does not conform to any rules to be photographed. People often feel intimidated while confronting their rough side in the mirror, struggling every day to gain acceptance and validation from others. They say, pictures can be deceiving, which indeed is true but someone who can portray an inner soul through the photographs is worth applauding.
Newsgram brings to you exclusive pictures photographed by Niraj Gera, who pictured Acid Attack Survivors in an alluring way which will give your existence a new outlook and a gateway to nurture your spiritual self.
Niraj Gera’s artworks have been widely loved, admired and bestowed in some of the prestigious photography competitions. He also conducted the Art of Living – Happiness Program for the survivors which have transformed their life through ‘Sudarshan Kriya’, Meditation and other motivational sessions, and has helped them master fear and self-doubt to a greater extent. Through this Program, the survivors learned that the inner happiness and self-confidence does rely on any external source.
For they have now realized that when you are happy, the world becomes a beautiful dwelling.
The series “Sacred Transformations” is a series of 15 photographs paving its way from darkness to light–from misery to empowerment and from negativity to positivity.
Falling in “Love with myself”
The world appears beautiful when one is happy from within. The photograph shows one such moment, where the survivor adores herself. She is no more stuck with the nostalgia and has been able to break through the shackles of societal norms of beauty. She is now in love with herself
The Unrobable Joy
The photograph displays the joy and enthusiasm of the survivor, which she realized, is her very nature and nobody can rob her of what exclusively belongs to her
Newsgram connected with Niraj Gera to understand the holistic essence of beauty.
As a photographer, what according to you is a perception of real beauty?
A beautiful mind manifests itself into the outer world. Meditation makes it easy. I therefore not only practice and teach but also recommend everyone to meditate and connect with themselves at a spiritual level rather than falling a prey to something so temporal.
The notion of beauty is, unfortunately, largely built upon societal conditioning. There are people out there who believe and condition others to believe that, if you are not fair, or if fail to meet the set standards of appearance, then you are not beautiful. I absolutely disregard such notions. They hold so little value that It’s such a shame, that because of these constructs, we often ignore and even go to the extent of shaming people for being themselves. Colour or structure is not everything. We need to realize and appreciate people with all their so-called ‘imperfections’ because that is what makes them unique and perfect. It is sad to see how easily we tend to give in to such relative concepts and forget the temporary nature of it. As a photographer and as a human, I believe it’s the inner beauty which is most important. It never fades. Nobody can devoid you of your inner beauty. A beautiful mind manifests itself into the outer world. To realize this I think it’s very important to connect with yourself and love yourself just as you are. Meditation makes it easy. I therefore not only practice and teach but also recommend everyone to meditate and connect with themselves at a spiritual level rather than falling a prey to something so temporal.
How challenging was the “sacred transformation” for you? Tell us how did you embed the confidence in these beautiful women?
I had some 12 to 13 sessions of photography with them in a span of 28 months.
As a fellow being, it was a great learning experience, where I got to know these wonderful people, who are essentially no different from you or me. However, as an artist, I had a vision of what I wanted, and getting to that was not easy. Consequentially, I had some 12 to 13 sessions of photography with them in a span of 28 months. Well, gradually, half way down the project I realized that definitely as a photographer whatever I was doing was good for them, but then there was more that could be done. They needed to attend to their spiritual and mental healing just as much as they did to their physical healing and being. All of them had beautiful experiences and it felt really worthwhile to see them blossom and reconnect with themselves.
What in your perspective is a “PHOTOGRAPH”?
I totally believe that a photograph is worth a thousand words. If a photograph doesn’t tell a story then a photograph said to be incomplete. As a social activist, photography gives me a medium to express myself on different social causes. The artist inside me is always seeking to capture the real and raw emotions of people. I feel honored and blessed to bring out the unheard emotions of people from a different segment of society in front of the world.
Spirituality is a natural way to cake your face with layers of beauty and yet bewitch the onlookers. It is the beautiful mind which speaks decibels for you, and not your the masked face which attempts to conceal your true self. The lessons derived from the models pictured are timeless, despite facing the torment they are yet again in front of the world, looking at the mirror and talking to their spiritual self.
– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94