ABOUT THE POET
Tribhuvandas Purushottamdas Luhar, better known by his pen name Sundaram, (22 March 1908 – 13 January 1991), was a Gujarati poet and author from India. He was born on 22 March 1908 at Miyan Matar, Bharuch, Bombay Presidency, British India. He completed his primary education in the local school of Matar and five grades in the English medium at Amod, Gujarat. Later he studied at Chhotubhai Purani’s Rashtriya New English School, Bharuch. He graduated in languages from Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad in 1929. He started teaching in Gurukul at Songadh. He participated in Indian independence movement and was imprisoned for some time. He was associated with Jyotisangh, the women’s organization in Ahmedabad, from 1935 to 1945. He was introduced to Sri Aurobindo in 1945 and he moved to Pondicherry. He presided Gujarati Sahitya Parishad in 1970. He died on 13 January 1991.
ABOUT THE POEM
The poem photographing mother by Sundaram shows the poet’s regrets and also the tragedy of the situation; of his mother’s sorrowful state of disease-ridden health and years of neglect. The photographer tries to be kind to the poet’s mother and calls her Ba. He tries to create her feel comfortable and relaxed and tells her to use caution to not blink. Even the slightest error would mean the waste of a plate and repetition of the entire procedure, The silver-tongued photographer fussing around his mother is barely doing his job unaware of her illness but his request to the poet’s mother has the other effects. The poet’s mother spent all her time doing the housework that she got no gratitude. Since she was passionate about her in-laws we are able to presume that she never protested. forgetting about her own problems she looked toward her children’s future. The poem is structured around the artificiality of the photograph and therefore the harsh reality during which the poet’s mother lives. The poet and his brother try and compensate their mother by trying to alleviate her pain and pleasing her in various ways which are shown within the poem as taking her bent show her town and therefore the palaces, parks, cinema halls, and theatres. But this just looks as if a measly token of appreciation. The poet doesn’t hesitate to require the blame partly for his mother’s condition and feels shame and regret as he sees her lifeless smile plastered on her mother’s face and lastly, it’s shown that s a memorial of affection, he takes her to the studio for s photograph for the last time.
The box-camera, because the name suggests, was basically an oversized box with a viewing
window at one end and therefore the lens at the opposite. Within the box was a sliding frame, which held
a ground glass plate and which the photographer could draw back and forth. The image could
be seen on this plate. Once the photographer had arranged the background and seated his
subject he would go under the black cloth with which the camera was covered. This helped
to keep the sunshine and adjust the main target. Since it had been out of the question to physically move the heavy
camera, the photographer would slide the frame back and forth until he was satisfied with the
result. What made his task harder was the actual fact that the image on the glass plate was
inverted. After that, he would cover the lens, replace the bottom glass plate with a glass plate
covered with a light-sensitive chemical like collodion, and so remove the duvet over the lens.