The story of Instamatic

What could have been a harrowing time became full of purpose. A calling. A metier.

 |  2-minute read |   30-05-2020
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Sunday, May 17, 2020 marked the release of my fourth book. Not a cookbook this time. A book of pictures and “word pictures” as Dr Shashi Tharoor called them. A chronicle of my journey from hopelessness and terrible health to full hopefulness and life in recovery mode.

Instamatic: A chef’s deeper, more thoughtful look into today’s Instaworld is a diary of sorts that traverses a rather trying 18 months of my life. A year where I could see almost nothing. But with the help of an iPhone, held so close that it would warm my cheeks, I could see the world that my naked eyes couldn’t grasp.

Stuck for days and weeks in search of a word I knew but my post-concussive brain had forgotten, wells of tears would flow out of me while lying in bed. Then my mother’s gentle touch and hopeful messaging would make me find resolve to not give up. I would shoot another image. And another. Until there were enough to make me feel useful in my own head.

What could have been a harrowing time became full of purpose. A calling. A metier.

In seeing the images up close on my iPhone, I found rays of hope. I found words of reaction, found a jog through memory lane for my brain.

As I healed I travelled to those friends I knew would nurture me.

Nourish me with love and keep an eye out for me. Friends I could expose my weaknesses to. Who wouldn’t be judging me or arming themselves for future use against me. I learned how lucky I was to have friends. I learned how amazingly incredible my family was. I learned how life has its own rhythm and schedule. I realized how lucky I was to be living.

Instamatic, its 80 images and the stories that each comes with, are about my mind, my condition, my journey — a time where it seemed my body, my health, my well-being, were all out of tandem with the world of the healthy and living.

Included in this article are two excerpts from Instamatic that I trust will inspire you to want to read more.

I hope you will download Instamatic. Fifty per cent of the proceeds of this e-book will go to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. As you indulge me by reading about my story of renewal of life, of the success of hope, and the power of social media and having faith, you will support our nation in this time of pandemic crises.


In remarkable Rwanda

Rwanda is the remarkable story of the turnaround of a nation. It is the living and breathing, working and welcoming, succeeding and hardat-work face of a nation. A nation growing rapidly and beautifully, from tragic genocide (25 years ago) to triumphant peace (today).

Travelling through Rwanda, one sees in motion a most incredible state of reconfiguration, of reconciliation, of reform, and of reconstruction. As I saw these beautiful and gracious women work and offer welcome at the same time, I found myself reflecting on a people committed to stitching together a better society. Citizens bringing opportunities, access, information, and prosperity to all in their collective.

Musicians strive to create harmony of notes, chefs tease palates while comforting souls, designers fashion looks that make one beautiful and seductive. Rwanda seems to live and exist to be a poster child for social innovation. A nation that is reconciling, restoring, and rebuilding with every new stitch.

Each stitch carefully and knowingly connected to its whilom days—the past. Mindfully stitched in this here and now — the present.

Proudly hopeful for today’s stitches connecting to the stitches of a fruitful tomorrow—the future.

Life lessons from the sun and clouds

As the sun uses the clouds to play hide-and-seek, life and reality do the same. Something deep inside me that believes there is a greater plan than what I might want to believe keeps me from getting disillusioned. It seems convenient to allow frail and fractured-thinking, young and organised religions and egotistical, power-hungry clergy to rob me of the real beauty that is the majesty of life and beyond.

But why can I not believe what to many seems so readily plausible? Why must I insist on discovering and uncovering truths of life as I would the core of an onion, which is fully exposed only after all layers have been pulled away?

Life is easier, even if not as grand and beautiful, if one is able to attach oneself to the beliefs laid out and sold as divine by a structured and beautifully and seamlessly designed enterprise. Why then do I enjoy learning and growing, challenge and

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

Also read: DailyOh! Did Trump mean Modi was in Big Mood, not bad; to Naveen Patnaik doing a Modi act


Suvir Saran Suvir Saran @suvirsaran

Suvir Saran is a highly acclaimed and award winning chef, author, and public speaker

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