Photography is a way of...taking us down the nostalgic memory lane

Capturing the exuberant future!


I love teaching, photography and sharing knowledge. All these volunteering activities give me immense inner pleasure which is hard to express in words. That’s why, I am always ready for the incessant thirst for the same. Volunteering connects you to others, it provides you with plethora of avenues and act as a monotony breaker activity which gives magma aspiration in life and helps in ramping your career. Again, one feels contented when from our daily drudgery life, we do something peculiar for the societal needs and photography is a way of capturing those best moments and taking us down the nostalgic memory lane.

When khoj was started at Secure, I was among the few who joined this program first. I found Khoj to be a wonderful platform for interaction with students. One can see the awesome joy and smiles on the faces of children while playing with the science experiments.  Sometimes their innocent and curious questions were hard to answer and help from Google is taken for finding the correct answer. 

First time, I went to Saint Mary’s Sr. Sec. School, Titardi on a Khoj School visit. Shivani was also part of our team. School provided us the hall on first floor. I still remember the enthusiasm of Shivani in shifting heavy experiment boxes to first floor. We quickly set-up all the experiments in the hall and each one of us took the responsibility of one experiment as a mentor. Soon the group of students arrived, and we explained why are we here? What you can do with experiments? And how all this stuff will help you in understanding science?

We made group of five students and they moved from one experiment to other. Playing with the experiments, asking many questions and trying to correlate their understanding with what is happening in front of their eyes. I still remember questions of a smart girl that what is difference between our eye and a camera? How can we see moving people in a movie? 

Since then I visited, so many schools in and around Udaipur and every visit was a learning in itself. Instead of assigning one experiment to a mentor, now we are assigning a group of students to a mentor and he/she takes them to all experiments, one after the other. In this way mentor needs the understanding of each experiment and this ensures all experiments were covered.

One fine day, I learnt about “friction through books” experiments in one of the Khoj training at office. In evening on reaching home, I showed this to my younger daughter Aleena (five years old). She was so excited to learn about this and asked me to give more science experiments. She learned everything quickly about siphon, magic water bottle, balloon on nails etc. then she taught to her friends.  I could see the joy of Aleena performing experiments herself and it was exhilarating experience for her.

In the MBM Engineering college, Jodhpur (from where I graduated) we used to have a photography club and a dark room. Club had a SLR camera, which we took on trips outside, do black & white photography and develop prints ourselves in the dark room. This gave me enough understanding about science behind photography and it gradually became my passion.

I got a chance this year to lead a photography team at Dharohar and I felt resurrected again with my favourite hobby. It is quite different experience when you see happy faces through the lenses and frame them to demonstrate curiosity, wonder, joy, thought and connection.

Shivani Singhal