THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Not all photographs which wildlife photographer N A Naseer put on display the other day were beautiful nor were those from the wild. He had purposefully included frames showing elephants at Thrissur Pooram so as to throw light on the torture meted out on these domesticated jumbos.
“Those are the three famous tuskers,” he said pointing at a picture, showing butts of three elephants. The highlight, however, of the picture was the deformed tails of these majestic animals. Most of the shots were tightly framed around the gaping wounds on the animals caused by the chains. “No elephant is domesticated. If it were, one would not need to bind it with chains,” he said.
He said he has thousands of such photographs. The next series of photographs were a contrast. It had Mark Davidar, a conservationist who passed away two years ago, conversing with an unchained, untamed
elephant on his courtyard. Wild elephants, tigers and other beings would often visit the house. The elephant in the frame was called Rivaldo, and was not the only one there to be named after footballers, according to Naseer.
The lensman was speaking at an interaction organised by the Thiruvananthapuram district committees of Yuvakalasahithi and Vanithakalasahithi, at Lenin Balavadi, Vazhuthacaud. Naseer had recently brought out a book called ‘Kadum Camerayum’. He said that he did not come down to speak about his book, but about the forest. He said he had a tussle
with the publishers over the covers for the book. He had requested them to avoid the polythene covers.
His pictures of Muthalamada quarry show rocks being blasted from the hill indiscriminately. He said that the rocks from here go into building houses and one should be careful
to avoid opulence. There was a frame showing the top view of a velvet green forest. It had been taken from the top of a hill. “That is not a forest, but a teak plantation,” he said.
Many of the photographs highlighted the destruction of habitats. A close-up shot of a lion-tailed macaque showed grass stuck on its fur. “There are not enough trees for it to climb in the estate where it lives,” he said.
Following the commentary and photography presentation, the photographer answered questions from the audience.