Kabhi kabhi kuch baatein humare yaadon ke kamre ki itni khidkiyaan khol deti hain ki hum dang reh jaate hai.(Sometimes a few things open several windows to our room of memories so much so that we remain stunned)
This is the dialogue that opens my favorite film. The dialogue accompanies a zoom-in shot of a nostalgic Naina (Deepika Padukone), going through her pictures from a trip she took with her friends eight years ago.
“Yaadein mithai ke dabbe ki tarah hoti hain, ek baar khula toh sirf ek tukda nahi khaa paoge”( Memories are like a box of sweets, you can’t help yourself to just one when opened) she continues, thereafter telling her story in medias res. I have probably seen the film a gazillion times and could probably recite it frame by frame from memory, up to its last tiny detail. However, it was not until I received my package of printed pictures that I realized yet another facet to the scene I had watched so many times before.
In the era of phone cameras and cloud computing, the practice of printing out your photographs comes across as redundant. Unlike cloud computing, it is time-consuming, space-consuming, and thereby the printing of memories frozen in time became a lost practice. Dark rooms in which photographs were earlier developed have literally been shoved into some dark corner of our minds. It would not come across as a total surprise if some millennials do not recognize the concept of having dark rooms at all. It had become an obsolete art until Polaroid originals (formerly the Impossible Project) brought it back with its polaroid cameras and it made it to the bestseller list on online retail portals within the span a year. That meant cloud computing wasn’t exactly inimical to printed memories. People craved and still crave the tactile experience they receive from printing out a photograph, they just don’t do it that often as they earlier did.
Since polaroid cameras and Instax films aren’t exactly cost-effective, Zoomin.com swooped in with their easy and reasonably priced photo printing services. People can now gift their close ones with memories that are not only special but also tangible.
For me, printing out my photographs meant a way of documenting my journey through the years. I started fashion blogging before the world faced a life-altering pandemic, and probably had it chalked out in my head for years before that. I was waiting to take the plunge because I wasn’t confident enough that people wanted to see me preach about my sense of styling. I, however, was always confident about my engagement with the clothing world and how indulging in defining newer ways of sartorial aesthetics gave me a sense of pleasure and accomplishment that nothing else did.
I came across Zoomin.com last year when someone special gifted me with a photo book that had all our memories compiled in it. I am not someone who believes in the ritual of gifting at all, but this one meant something to me. I don’t have that person in my life anymore, but what I do have is that photobook which continues to be a source of my happiness in moments of despair. This is precisely where I came to realize the importance of having tangible memories. So, this year when Zoomin.com approached me, I immediately knew I had to write about it.
We tend to romanticize having printed photographs, but it is so much more than that. It is so much more than having an aesthetic photo wall in your room adorned with fairy lights. For me it was a record of the things I had achieved from the day I decided to blog, a record I could touch and feel and be moisty eyed about for years to come. I could customize my pictures with borders and stickers and it felt like the ten-year-old me had been given the opportunity to fill her scrapbook with memories. I knew the future me would either be cringing profusely at my fashion sense now or be proud that she had the guts to go ahead and do the things she always dreamt about.
If you want to get your hands on these beautiful high-quality square prints for yourself, or your loved ones, check out https://www.zoomin.com/