Shwetha Sukumaran

Natural flower carpet at G.B Maidan. Photo credit: Shamseer Mambra

Photo credit: Shamseer Mambra

Many see, some visualize and a few capture. The images have a hundred stories to tell. Neatly woven sun rays, branching trees, dense foliage, long roads running the distance, a multiplicity of expressions on gazing faces, birds frozen at the moment of flight, wisps of smoke rising from piping hot tea cups, lakes and rocks in all their hues and shades – there is no end to the images that enthrall viewers.

University of Hyderabad can put a spell on visitors with its stunning campus. Picturesque like few other places in the city, it draws in lovers of photography, ranging from enthusiastic amateurs to seasoned professionals. They troop in with their favorite lenses, hoping to capture the University’s natural splendor, an environment with unlimited potential. Then begins the long wait to capture the rising sun, a dancing peacock, rays peeping through a tamarind grove, the craggy heights of Mushroom Rock, roads lit up by street lights, sunsets at Peacock Lake; anything and everything can be turned into a picture here.

Steps leading to the untamed wilderness. Photo credit: Sharone. K Meeran

Steps leading to the untamed wilderness.
Photo credit: Sharone. K Meeran

“The rich vegetation, lakes, rocks and the wildlife around, keep the shutter busy. It gets all the more beautiful under the lights. The campus being a mini India, the variety of portraits available is no less exciting. UoH is undoubtedly a photographer’s paradise,” exclaims George Milan Jacob, a passionate practitioner from the campus. “I would not be surprised if UoH happens to be the most beautiful campus in the country; being here for nearly five years, I still haven’t explored the campus to its full potential,” he adds.

In fact, the campus has provided many students the opportunity to begin photography or polish existing skills. “This is the place where I realized that I can click decent pictures and developed a taste for it,” says Renu Elza Varkey, with a wide smile on her face. “One thing I feel about this place is that it gives you many opportunities,” she quips, mentioning how she shifted from a Cyber Shot to a professional camera.

Sketches in the sky. Photo credit: Fazil NC

Sketches in the sky.
Photo credit: Fazil NC

Prajeesh Ad, recreates the campus through his images. From macroscopic images to wide landscapes, his pictures showcase the University in all its glory. “There is huge scope for macro, abstract, nature, landscape, people, and night photography inside the campus. Rich in greenery as it is, I have never missed my hometown in Kerala,” he says. “One can see a brilliant conglomeration of cultures here, which again keeps your lens and camera busy,” he adds, displaying his favorite photographs.

“It is the diversity that attracts me to the campus,” says Intaj Ali, a Ph. D. scholar from the field of Comparative Literature. While Anil Xavier points to the lively nature of the University, Fazil swears by the vivid colour tones and rhythm of changing seasons. “Apart from the usual places that we come across, the campus has many unexplored locations that offer excellent opportunities,” says Shawn Sebastian.

A beautiful sunset at Peacock lake. Photo credit: Milan George Jacob

A beautiful sunset at Peacock lake.
Photo credit: Milan George Jacob

For Shamseer Mambra it is the freedom of space and absence of restrictions on movement in the campus that keeps him going. “If one is ready for the sun rises here, one could get splendid shots,” shares Kedar Nadella, adding that the street lights should also be utilized. “I don’t have a professional camera so I click pictures with my mobile phone. I click what I see,” says Athul Prakash who is deeply inspired by the imagery of the campus.

A chameleon taking a stroll in the campus. Photo credit: Prajeesh Ad

A chameleon taking a stroll in the campus.
Photo credit: Prajeesh Ad

It is not only students who find inspiration here. There are others as well. “The campus is a perfect place to shoot. The natural beauty and the sunlight draw me to this place,” says Deepak Shekhar, an IT professional. “I love to come back again and again,” he adds with a sense of great content. “Hyderabad Central University is immersed in natural beauty. It was hard to believe that such a place could exist in Hyderabad,” states eminent macro photographer Saritha Dattatreya.

True, for that is why we seek to freeze the moments we love into images; to see them again and again. Where words fall short, it is images that speak.