It was a fine morning in Dhaka and I was in my office – and sweating despite the winter. It was the news photographer that I have been waiting for. He is late way beyond the due time to reach the office.
In December 2000 a conference called TechTransfer was held in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and the purpose of that conference was to find a way to use the merit and technical know-how of non-resident Bangladeshis working in the US and in Europe. I was so excited with this event for I could feel if anything could change the face of Bangladesh, then this was the opportunity. We need to grab it or it will be lost forever. I was working with a Bangla daily newspaper, at that time, as a sub-editor and in charge of the Technology section.
The news photographer never showed up and, with utter dismay, I had to print the report without a photograph. It was not the photographer’s fault at all. He was sent to cover another assignment, which was more “important” from the political point of view. It was a shocking experience for me.
A couple of years later, my elder brother called from the USA and said he wanted to send something as a gift on my birthday and asked if I wanted to name anything. Instantly I blurted out “get me a digital camera so that I can shoot news photos on assignment”. He was happy with my choice and few days later the coveted digital camera found its way in to a pair of craving hands. It was a Kodak EasyShare with a resolution of 2-mega pixels.
I was so happy with the camera. Every time I was taking pictures with it, I could feel someone inside me saying, “you better take a good picture, you better create something that will have a positive impact. Get something that emerges bigger than all these political cliché”.
As I became more and more interested in photography, I could hear the call of the huge world that is seen through the tiny viewfinder. I was amazed to feel its vastness and diversity. It took me three years to take the most important decision from the professional point of view. I choose to be photographer in order to be a documentary photographer.
Till today every time when I take the camera, insert the batteries, prepare myself for a new assignment, I still feel same excitement and I wonder what is waiting out there. Every time I want to feel the world through the lens in a fresh new way. I want to be born again when I feel like grabbing the camera, going out for a new assignment.