Millions of people in this world are suffering for want of the basic necessities of life. Their situation is aggravated by the rivalry among the nations, societies,ethnic groups, Civil wars, terrorist attacks, unhealthy political games and open wars between countries. If only some nations of the word show the example of a setting aside a fund to remove poverty and human miseries, the world would have been much different. One man showing an example is good, but it is best a nation to show.
This is a personal narration of the very sad life story of the South African photojournalist Kevin Carter, who took the iconic, haunting photograph of a South Sudanese baby girl, on the brink of death, kneeling on the ground barely able to get up, in front of a vulture.The plight of the poor child typically epitomizes the poverty and inhuman hazards, the Sudanese people tide over.
The photograph aroused the hypocritical feelings of numerous puritans across the world. They cursed, abused and harassed Carter in harshest words, as much as they could. Though this photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for the year 1994, Carter could not escape the remorse of his mind, mainly inflicted by the world-wide accusations darted against him. He committed suicide, 3 months after winning the prize. This blog is a floral tribute to that young, unknown photographer friend.
I have adopted the way as Kevin Carter himself narrating the cursed incidents that resulted in his permanent, premature exit from the world. As it is my fictitious imagination, it is more or less necessary to add factual twists at some places. I plead to all friends, who knew Carter personally and who go through this blog, to kindly excuse me for this. In the final part, I appear as myself. Here I have tried to express my views, on his sad demise.
Yes........ That's life. One cannot predict what will happen the next moment. All my life's incidents happened starkly unexpected and I think , the same will be true of anybody else. I never think that life can be planned, as a film director plans the scenes in his movie. I have watched some stupid 'Ads' in news papers and media telling:
'Plan Your Life Today. Invest your money with us and be the King of Tomorrow'
Who are they to plan peoples' lives? Who can say tomorrow one can't be a beggar even after making fabulous investments?
Life's ways are most uncertain. we are, while we live, frantically moving inside a labyrinth of miseries hoping that one day or other we will be able to come out. All these things I started thinking in my true sense, before I fell into the deep pit of depression, in the intoxication of drugs and liquor, before life was skipping out of my control.
I was working with the 'Weekly Mail' for some months in 1993, as a freelancer. I can openly say that we photographers are the least paid community when compared to the other press personal.
I was running short of money, a situation I have faced a lot of times in my life. Such times I become utterly restless and dulled. Frequent borrowings of money in the past, had made me severe my links with some of my good friends. It was not for them to blame, but I myself. What Shakespeare said once is an absolute truth. "Neither a borrower or a lender be" The journey to Sudan was an abruptly arranged one.I had again to borrow funds from some of my colleagues. One of our regional proverbs---A man who has no money to meet his and his families' basic needs, is equal to a dead corpse.
Our journey was in an Helicopter for the mission named 'Operation life-line Sudan' carrying food materials for the poverty-stricken Sudanese people. I was accompanied by Joao Silvia, a Portuguese freelancer. By 3.03 our copter touched the barren lands of a village called Ayod. It was like a vast strip of desert where we landed, with sandy red soil and spiny cactus trees here and there.Not a living soul was seen anywhere. We all got out from the Helicopter. After waiting for a few minutes, Silvia muttered a curse and went over to somewhere. I stood near the copter wondering what to do next. As I explored the land walking a few steps ahead, I saw steep rocky slopes at one side.
The dry terrains of Sudan
I felt boring as I stood there in the scorching heat. I was looking in vain for something beautiful to feed my camera. All of a sudden I heard a great commotion mixed up with loud blabbing of women and cries of children. A group was racing towards the plane emerging from the crevices of rocks underneath. It seemed that they had understood their food had arrived. All of them where just 'outlines' of people, skinny, dark and emaciated. In the hot sun they appeared like ghosts. There were very few men among them. Most ladies were holding hands of their kids.The children looked evidently undernourished with bulged bellies and exposed chest bones as if that can be easily picked out. I took 2-3 snaps of them and moved on.