14 April, 2016

The Tring-Tring Era

Minimalism as Parts of the Whole

A Minimalist Photo of Shadow of a bicycle on a yellow Indian wall.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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If you carefully observe the shadow of the bicycle, you would find a small circular "cycle bell" with a lever on its side. This, acts as a horn and comes very handy on a busy day on the streets. These traditional Indian bicycles, still run on Indian roads, but now you can spot only a handful of them, thanks to the tremendous growth India as a country has witnessed in the last couple of decades. The "cycle bell" makes a really pleasant "Tring-Tring" sound, when the lever is pulled

When I was a kid, streets of Jaipur used to be flooded with such bicycles and this was the most common mode of transportation. Very few people had the luxury of owning cars or a two-wheeler. Those were the golden days. So less traffic, very little air and noise pollution. Less of buildings, more of farms and empty pieces of land, spread out over thousands of acres. Everything was slow, calm and peaceful. Indeed "less is more" or "being happy with less" was the default mantra then. I am talking about life that existed about 25 years ago. No Television sets, no cellphones, no Air conditioners, only transistors to listen to FM radio. People used to visit their neighbors for recreation/chats, cooking food together. We trusted people so easily, also lent money to them without fear. If someone had an accident, we never used to think before we act, unlike today, for our default setting was helping others, being kind and generous. The doctors we like gods, so humble, so polite, so helpful. The teachers were Gurus. Also food, milk and sweets, were mostly unadulterated, for people in that era were mostly honest, ethical and full of virtues. The most popular evening hangout, I remember, used to be, walks in public parks. Gardening/watering the plants, was also one of the preferred passtime. 

Now, things are completely different. The world has changed so much. Sadly, it has changed for the worse. I miss those days and wonder, if we could somehow, return to that "Tring-Tring Era"

Wouldn't that be fascinating? Returning back to an era, when even "Mondays were beautiful".

This photo is Minimalism as Parts of the whole. Here the photographer shows only a cropped part of the central subject in the photo, and makes the viewer imagine, how the subject would have looked in entirety, if it hadn't been cropped. As you can see, a semi-circle has been carefully carved out from the front tyre of the bicycle to achieve such a purpose. The crop has been placed on the extreme right, following the rules of thirds. The shadow of the bicycle on the wall acts like a hint given, in a quiz contest. Also note, that the triangle made with the crop of the floor, on bottom right, is also on purpose. Our minds sub-consciously reacts in a more favorable manner to geometry. The photo becomes more powerful, with the semi-circle and triangle in conjunction.

More Bicycle Photographs:

  • Bicycle Bench Lines 


  • Bicycle Tyre versus the Rectangle 


  • Option A versus B 


  • The Get-together


  1. What a originel photo. Lovely.

  2. Indeed a great minimalistic shot in color as in subject. Very nice.

  3. I miss those time too. Lovely photo and history .

  4. Hi Prakash,
    I just wanted to say that I love your work. Your abstract photography is really great!

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

    Gert Jan

  5. Very nice abstract pic of a bicycle,want to say somethg abt pic,the way the pic has been taken really awesome. It shows some positive side, like d bicycle headed towards upward direction means as if in life one is going in upward direction. The lever the bell indicated the success bell. The semi circle indicates that half journey is done n half is going to get complete...
    I just study d pic n have given my perspective the way how i looked the photograph

    1. Thank you Namrata, your style of interpretation is very similar to mine. I loved everything you wrote about the photo, took my mind to a different place. Lets connect on Facebook, I would love to know more about you. Here is a link to my Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/prakash.ghai Wish you a nice day.