Mumbai: Meet the shutterbugs high on the selfie rush
High speed and selfies may be thrilling, but sometimes they can be a dangerous cocktail.
From politicians to religious leaders to sports and film stars, the selfie bug has bitten most. The city saw sparks of selfie fever with the first selfie on New Year’s Day making waves in Mumbai.
Divya Pai (third from r) uses selfies to immortalise her travels
The first selfie seekers were seen frantically rushing amidst heavy traffic to click pictures. Not just the young, but people of all ages seem excited about taking this self-portrait photograph which is typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or a camera phone.
Monisha Khan (c) with her husband Christopher and son Raul sent special selfie Christmas and New Year greetings
For 16-year-old Chris Rodrigues, a selfie is a very potent mode of preserving memories of his college life. He says, “I first heard of a selfie when Pope Francis clicked one with some young people about a year ago.
Niti Parekh (l) sometimes uses a mirror and her DSLR to click selfies like this one
I was intrigued by the technique of not needing anyone to click pictures of me. Since I’ve started college, I snap pictures of my friends and myself when we are in a good mood, or are well dressed and having fun.”
Chris Rodrigues (c) clicks selfies with his friends. This one was taken at Bandra Bandstand
His class mate Naomi Fernandes learnt of a selfie when she was in Class 9. She says, “Since I got my first mobile phone, I have been clicking selfies. In the last few months of my college life, I have been clicking selfies with my girl gang. I upload these on Instagram, Facebook and use some as my WhatsApp display picture too.”
Rayees Shaikh (r) with his friends at the ice skating alley at an amusement park in the city
St Andrew’s College student, Rayees Shaikh has a selfie memoir of all the fun things he has done with his friends. “On a recent trip to an amusement park, my friends and I went ice skating. I clicked selfies of us there.
Naomi Fernandes (l) and her girl group always click selfies when they meet up
Also on the rides, I used my mobile to take some selfies. The thrill of being able to get as many people as one can in a single frame, along with myself adds to the adrenaline rush while clicking selfies.”
Mahima Gad (c) loves clicking group selfies with her friends
Mahima Gad first started clicking selfies two years ago when she first heard of the new way to click pictures that was in vogue. She says, “I loved the casual feel the picture had. It was perfect to capture the time I spend with my friends.
Sally Lopes says she is obsessed with clicking pictures of herself
I just needed to hold the camera at arm’s length or point it at a mirror, rather than use a self-timer. There was no need to ask someone else to click the pictures. Also, all my friends could be in a selfie as no one had to stand out to take the picture.”
Aspiring fashion designer, Sally Lopes loves clicking new profile pictures for all her various social media accounts. “I started clicking selfies much before they became a rage.
I still remember using my back camera, turning it towards myself and clicking pictures. My friends and family were fed up of my obsession with clicking pictures of myself, so I clicked my own pictures by adjusting the back camera.”
Her classmate, Niti Parekh is also a selfie fan. She says, “About two years ago, I first learnt of a selfie when all my Facebook friends were clicking and posting them. Around the same time, I also read about selfies in the newspapers. The Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfie last year made it a bigger craze.”
Divya Pai who runs a travel business that specialises in backpacking says selfies are helping her company The Land Out There get more visibility.
She says, “My partner Sherwin Rebello and I use a special selfie stick to click pictures of the groups that travel with us. Selfies fascinate many people, especially those in the villages we visit while travelling. They get very excited to see this ‘new city’ camera.”
Comparing a selfie to other photographs, the 25-year-old says, “Selfies are more expressive as they capture the facial expressions very beautifully. They match the scenic travel locations we go to. Selfies during travel on social media especially Twitter and Instagram are a big rage.”
Teacher Monisha Khan surprised her friends and family for Christmas when she sent a selfie wish to all. The Marol resident says, “My family and I were in Talegaon for Christmas. We missed our near and dear ones and so before we went for mass, my son Raul who loves clicking selfies clicked a selfie of our family.
On impulse, I sent wishes with our family selfie to all my contacts. I am not much of a picture person and struggle to click my own picture, so my friends and family were all very thrilled by this innovative way of wishing.”
The craze for a selfie has led many to court danger in traffic and moving trains as they pose. In fact, three youths on their way to see the Taj Mahal were run over near Agra earlier this week when taking selfies on the track. Tapan Tarapore, 18 says he likes clicking selfies while he is mobile.
He says, “I have an Instagram account called ‘Instamoves’ which has many followers who love my pictures, as they are clicked in difficult situations at speed — on amusement park rides, in trains, on bikes and while crossing the road. A static selfie is so easy to click and doesn’t involve much challenge.”
Santosh Pandit, 20, finds perilous selfies challenging and says they have helped him become unique on social media. The media student says, “I aspire to be a photo journalist. These selfies on the go will surely help me in my future career. Also, people like these pictures more than easy selfies. I love getting 1000 plus likes in mere seconds. Also, all my friends are in awe of me because of my daredevilry.”
He adds, “I have clicked selfies while running, driving, riding, underwater and even skating. I love seeing the blurs behind me as I click pictures at top speeds. My dream is to click a selfie while diving from a parachute and while driving a Formula One car. Speed and selfies are the two things that give me a thrill.”
Roma Singh, psychologist, feels the selfie craze is a passing trend. “Selfies are a result of the media age and the hype created on social media. Everyone wants to be ‘cool’ and relevant and so they are indulging in selfies. To some extent it is also the narcissistic feeling within a person to celebrate and be proud of themselves.”
Singh further says, “As a phenomenon, I don’t see the selfie rage as negative. But the need to click selfies in dangerous environs is not healthy. Wanting to get more likes and clicking pictures from moving vehicles and on crowded roads is dangerous. In the thrill to gain acceptance from their friends, young people take unwanted risks which could lead to accidents and loss of life.”
On January 6, Ganesh Kumkumawati (16) got electrocuted at the Jogeshwari railway yard. Kumkumawati was with two of his friends clicking selfies and was reportedly taking a photograph of himself atop the compartment of a standing train when he accidentally touched the overhead wire. The wire had 25,000 volts of current coursing through it.