This year’s World Photography Day wrote a new chapter in multi-talented Nazreen C.J.’s life. Third year B.Sc. Mathematics student at St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, Nazreen, who is deaf and mute, organised her first photography exhibition — Sound of Silence — on the campus on August 19, mesmerising her peers and teachers. It was her class teacher who suggested the idea, and photographer Dipin Augustine offered to help. The show was inaugurated by Dipin whose photographs too were exhibited at the venue.
“She started doing photography two years ago,” says Nadiya, elder sister of Nazreen, who is at the venue to help her sister. They hail from Kochi. “These photographs were taken within the vicinity of Kochi. She will always carry her Canon camera with her to click frames that catch her fancy. This picture was taken from Edappally,” says Nadiya pointing at the image of a street woman.
A few other photos include an electrician immersed in his job, a fisherman throwing the net into the sea, aerial view of stairs, two children playing with a plastic water bottle and a crow about to descend on a wall. The photo of street children has bagged an award in a competition held by the All-India Foundation of Deaf Women in association with the Bombay Foundation of Deaf Women in Andheri.
Nazreen’s achievements are not limited to photography, says Nadiya. “She dances, paints and plays badminton. She has been learning dance and painting for sometime, and performs mohiniyattam, bharatanatyam, kathak, cinematic dance and contemporary dance.” Nazreen has participated in the television programme Comedy Ustav. “She follows the count steps-and-dance method. She learns the steps by heart and dances to the music on stage. We just have to navigate her during the performance,” says Nadiya. Nazreen has participated in the largest mohiniyattam performance, a Guinness record attempt, held at Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Kodungallur. She has also secured prizes in badminton in the national level. “In painting, she has attempted oil, pencil, acrylic and watercolour. Right now, she draws portraits with pen.” A few of Nazreen’s paintings were also displayed at the venue.
If she is a trained dancer and artist, photography just happened to her. She wants to pursue it along with other talents. Ask her about her dream, Nazreen tells her sister that she yearns to explore wildlife photography. “I want to own a bullet and ride to the wild destinations.”...